Consumer and Environmental Groups Call on General Mills to Stop Funding Anti-GMO Labeling Efforts and Support Consumers’ Right to Know

200,000 Consumers Sign Petition Urging Company to Reverse Position
on GMO Labeling

ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Consumer and environmental groups representing hundreds of thousands of
consumers launched an advertising campaign directed at General Mills
calling on the company to respond to consumer demands for the right to
know what is in the food they buy and eat and to stop funding anti-food
labeling efforts. General Mills, known for cereal brands like Cheerios
and Wheaties, has spent millions of dollars fighting efforts to require
labels on food products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

In an open letter
published today in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the groups write
“Your brand has been built on the reputation of trust. But while more
than 90 percent of Americans want the right to choose whether their food
contains genetically modified ingredients or GMOs, big food companies,
like General Mills, spend millions of dollars on anti-labeling
initiatives that keep their customers in the dark.”

“General Mills claims it wants to be ‘transparent’ with consumers on the
issue of GMOs,” said Heather Kurth Flesland, Campaign Director, Right to
Know MN. “A company is not ‘transparent’ when secretly funneling
millions of dollars into anti-GMO labeling campaigns. It’s time for
General Mills to start a real dialogue with consumers about their
legitimate right to know what’s in the food they eat and buy.”

In the letter, the groups point to national surveys that show negative
consequences for companies that are activity working to deny consumers
the right to know: “Recent polling found that 84 percent of consumers
believe that General Mills should stop spending money on campaigns that
deny consumers the right to know and nearly 70 percent of consumers are
less likely to purchase General Mills products knowing that the company
funds campaigns to deny consumers the right to know.”

The advertising campaign is part of an ongoing effort lead by Just
Label It
to change the positions of General Mills and other food
companies who are out of step with the American public on the issue of
GMO labeling. An online petition
to General Mills has garnered over 200,000 signatures in recent weeks
and reached over five million people over social media.

Studies
consistently show an overwhelming majority of Americans support
mandatory labeling for GMO foods. Mandatory labeling would bring the
U.S. into alignment with most other developed countries – including 28
nations in the European Union as well as Japan, Australia, Brazil,
Russia, and China – all of whom already require labeling for GMOs.

     

• Right to Know MN

• Center for Food Safety

• Citizens for GMO Labeling, Inc.

• Environmental Working Group

• Food and Water Watch

• Friends of the Earth

• GMO Free New Jersey

• Greenpeace

• Illinois Right to Know GMO

• Just Label It

• Massachusetts Right to Know GMOs

• Moscow Food Co-op

• New Hampshire Right to Know GMO

• Pesticide Action Network North America

“As one of the nation’s foremost companies and head of more than 100
successful brands, we believe you can take the lead for the rights and
well-being of all Americans. We strongly urge you to support mandatory
[Food and Drug Administration] labeling of GMOs,” the letter concludes.

Additional activities and events directed at General Mills will be
launched in the coming weeks. More information about this campaign is
available online www.concealorreveal.org
and on Twitter @justlabelit.

Contacts

Just Label It
Shannon Van Hoesen, 202-939-9141
shannon@ewg.org