Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Organic Consumers Association: The Beat Goes On . . .Washington State and Vermont Advance GMO Laws

Timeline Photos

Karen Moriarty Bialek I wrote a letter to Quaker Oats - Pepsico - and this is the reply I received. Thought I'd share... any comments?

"Thank you for contacting Quaker. Your comments are important to us, and we appreciate your sharing them.

None of the oats, wheat or barley used in our products -- across all brands -- are grown from genetically modified seeds. In fact, genetically modified seeds for this crop are not currently commercially available in the U.S.

That said, we’re glad for the chance to provide some clarification about genetically modified ingredients. When it comes to safety, the FDA has determined that foods developed through this process are no different from foods developed by traditional plant breeding. In fact, they conclude that these GM foods don’t differ from other foods in any meaningful way.

All of our products (worldwide) comply with all applicable food laws and labeling requirements. Quaker relies on and supports the regulatory agencies charged with safeguarding our food supply when sourcing ingredients for our products. We are committed to using only safe and approved ingredients for our products.

Additionally, we want to assure you that PepsiCo supports clear labeling that helps consumers make the right decisions for themselves and their families. However, when PepsiCo joined a broad coalition of family farmers, food companies, scientists, doctors, and others that opposed California Proposition 37 it was for a number of reasons:

1) State-by-state approaches to food labeling create an inconsistent and confusing patchwork of information for the consumer.
2) Prop 37 would have unreasonably limited the use of "natural" on products that use traditional manufacturing processes. For example, products that use canning, freezing, milling or smoking would not be considered "natural" under this proposition. If it had passed, consumers would have seen far fewer natural product offerings in the store.
3) Labeling products to meet individual state mandates drives up costs for farmers and food manufacturers, which ultimately consumers pay for in the form of higher prices at the grocery store.
4) The complexity of the Prop 37 labeling requirement would have also increased lawsuits against businesses and added new bureaucracy, red tape and costs for California taxpayers.

PepsiCo believes consumers want and need choices—choices they are currently receiving. We for our part continue to promote transparent labeling of ingredients on our packaging. If at some future point the FDA were to explore a uniform national standard in this area, PepsiCo certainly would engage in the dialogue.

We appreciate your taking the time to contact us, Karen, and hope this information is helpful.

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