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Lupton J.R.,Texas A&M University | Balentine D.A.,Unilever | Black R.M.,Kraft Foods Inc. | Hildwine R.,Grocery Manufacturers Association | And 6 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2010

The goal of the Smart Choices Program (SCP) is to provide a simple front-of-the-package icon system to direct consumers to smarter food choices in the supermarket, which will eventually lead to more balanced diets and to more beneficial foods as food manufacturers renovate products to meet the nutrition criteria for carrying the icon. The SCP was developed by a coalition of scientists and nutrition educators, experts with experience with dietary guidelines, public health organizations, and food manufacturers in response to consumer confusion over multiple front-of-the-package systems based on different criteria. Representatives from different government organizations acted as observers. The process of developing the program was facilitated by the nonprofit Keystone Center, an organization that develops consensus solutions to complex health and social policy changes. The nutrition criteria for receiving the SCP icon are specific for product category by indicating "smarter" products within that category. A calorie indicator noting calories per serving and servings per package accompanies the SCP icon to remind consumers that calories do count, even for smarter food choices. For a product to qualify, it first has to be below the threshold for "nutrients to limit" and then (in most cases) it must be above the threshold for one or more nutrients or food groups to encourage. The criteria are based on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines and other consensus science and are transparent and available on the SCP website. This article describes the nutrition criteria and rationales for their selection. © 2010 American Society for Nutrition. Source


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Site: http://www.reuters.com

A woman walks by a miniature of the Capitol building at the Hart Senate Office Building at Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2016. The proposed legislation from Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas comes amid growing calls for transparency in the U.S. food supply. Labeling advocates have criticized the bill as toothless because it leaves the decision to disclose GMO ingredients to the companies whose products contain them. Senate Bill 2609 is known as the Biotech Labeling Solutions Act by supporters and the Deny Americans the Right to Know, or DARK, Act by opponents. A procedural vote on Wednesday failed to reach the necessary 60 votes to advance the bill in the Senate, with 49 yes votes and 48 no votes. Roberts vowed to keep fighting as the July 1 deadline looms for Vermont's labeling requirement to take effect. "I remain at the ready to work on a solution," Roberts said. The United States is the world's largest market for foods made with genetically altered ingredients. Many popular processed foods are made with soybeans, corn and other biotech crops whose genetic traits have been manipulated, often to make them resistant to insects and pesticides. Major food, farm and biotech seed companies spent more than $100 million in the United States last year to battle labeling efforts, according to a lobbying disclosure analysis from the Environmental Working Group, which opposes the Senate measure. Opponents to GMO labeling efforts include trade groups such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association, whose members have included PepsiCo Inc and Kellogg Co, and BIO, which counts Monsanto Co, Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical Co, and other companies that sell seeds that produce GMO crops among its members. They say labeling would impose speech restrictions on food sellers, burden consumers with higher costs and create a patchwork of state GMO labeling policies that have "no basis in health, safety or science." But companies such as Whole Foods Market Inc, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc and Campbell Soup Co already have begun labeling or abandoning GMOs rather than waiting for government action.


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Site: http://news.yahoo.com/green/

Cans of Campbell's brand soups are seen at the Safeway store in Wheaton, Maryland February 13, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron More (Reuters) - Campbell Soup Co said it will label all its U.S. products for the presence of ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms, becoming the first major food company to respond to growing calls for more transparency about contents in food. The world's largest soup maker broke ranks with peers and said it supported the enactment of federal legislation for a single mandatory labeling standard for GMO-derived foods and a national standard for non-GMO claims made on food packaging. The company, which also makes Pepperidge Farm cookies and Prego pasta sauces, said it would withdraw from all efforts by groups opposing such measures. (bit.ly/1OeE1Md) Several activist groups have been pressuring food companies to be more transparent about the use of ingredients, especially GMO-derived ones, amid rising concerns about their effects on health and the environment. Several big companies such as PepsiCo Inc, Kellogg Co and Monsanto Co have resisted such calls and have spent millions of dollars to defeat GMO-labeling ballot measures in states such as Oregon, Colorado, Washington and California, saying it would add unnecessary costs. Monsanto Co said in a statement Friday that it sells seeds to farmers, and does not manufacture or sell food products from crops grown from those seeds. The six biggest agrochemical and biotech seed companies — Monsanto, Dupont, Dow AgroSciences, Bayer CropScience, BASF Plant Science and Syngenta AG — spent more than $21.5 million to help defeat a 2012 California proposition labeling proposition, according to state election data. However, in 2014, Vermont became the first U.S. state to pass a law requiring food companies to label GMOs on their products, which will come into effect in July. Pro-labeling groups such as Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Just Label It cheered Campbell's move. "We applaud Campbell's for supporting national, mandatory GMO labeling," Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs at EWG said. Advocacy group Just Label It said Campbell's move was a step closer to reaching the goal of a federally crafted national GMO labeling solution. Campbell said late on Thursday that if a federal solution is not achieved in some time, it was prepared to label all its U.S. products for the presence of ingredients that were derived from GMOs and would seek guidance from the FDA and approval by the USDA. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which represents more than 300 food companies opposed to mandatory GMO labeling, said it respected the rights of individual members to communicate with their customers in whatever manner they deem appropriate. However, the GMA said it was "imperative" that Congress acted immediately to prevent the expansion of a costly patchwork of state labeling laws that would ultimately hurt consumers who can least afford higher food prices. Kellogg and Pepsi were not immediately available to comment on Campbell's move. Campbell said in July that it would stop adding monosodium glutamate (MSG) to its condensed soups for children and use non-genetically modified ingredients sourced from American organic farms in its Campbell's organic soup line for kids. The company also said it would remove artificial colors and flavors from nearly all of its North American products by July 2018.

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