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ST. LOUIS, March 7 – Consumer advocates and Schnucks shoppers launched a campaign calling on Schnucks to label its store-brand products for ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), on the one year anniversary of Whole Foods’ announcement that it will adopt labeling for all products in its stores.
“Whole Foods took a big step, and it’s time for Schnucks to deliver for its customers,” said Alec Sprague, Consumer Advocate with the MoPIRG Foundation “Consumers have real concerns about GMOs, including the way they lead to increased pesticide use, and they have a right to know what’s in their food.”
"My experience has been very pleasant at Schnucks – when I’ve asked a manager or assistant manager to help me find something, they’ve been really helpful and courteous," said Sara Lappi, a former teacher and Schnucks shopper. "Labelling GMOs is just one more way for Schnucks to provide excellent customer service to me and other Schnucks shoppers."
As part of the event, MoPIRG Foundation also released a report documenting other recent actions companies have taken in response to consumers’ desire for better information about GMO ingredients in their food. In addition to Whole Foods’ commitment to labeling, other recent actions include:
- Chipotle and Ben & Jerry’s announced they will label the food they sell for GMO ingredients, and eventually move towards phasing out those ingredients.
- Both Cheerios and Grape-Nuts are going GMO-free.
- The Non-GMO Project, which offers voluntary GMO labeling, in 2013 saw a 300% year-over-year increase in producer interest.
And just this week, Kroger and Safeway joined other grocery chains, including Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Target by announcing they would not sell genetically engineered salmon, even if it’s approved for sale.
“Polls consistently show more than 90% of the public supports labeling,” continued Sprague. “It’s just smart business sense for companies to give their customers what they want.”
“Consumers expect transparency from the brands they trust to feed their families,” noted Lucia von Reusner, Shareholder Advocate at Green Century Capital Management. “Labeling GMOs is the logical step for any company hoping to win today's increasingly informed and sophisticated consumer.”
As part of its campaign to persuade Schucks to label its store-brand products for GMOs, MoPIRG Foundation has gathered over 800 petition signatures, and had its campaign endorsed by a dozen consumer, health, farming, and other groups as well as a dozen local elementary, high school, and health and P.E. teachers.
"Labeling would make shopping at Schnucks so much quicker and much more convenient," said Madeline Buthod, a mother of two and local Schnucks shopper. "There would be far fewer tantrums in the checkout aisle if moms and dads could more easily pick up the foods that they want, make their purchase, and get out. Schnucks should support our right to know, and label GMO ingredients in their products."
“GMO labeling is a common-sense solution that will help Schnucks’ customers know what’s on their plates,” concluded Sprague. “On the anniversary of Whole Foods’ commitment, it’s time for Schnucks to do the same.”
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MoPIRG Foundation, the Missouri Public Interest Research Group Foundation, conducts research and public education on behalf of consumers and the public interest. On the web at www.mopirgfoundation.org
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