The California-based retailer Safeway has recently announced that their ‘O Organics’ products are GMO-free. However, this news has been met with mixed reactions, as some shoppers are pushing them to voluntarily label their GMO products.
On their Facebook page, Safeway stated that they “fully support the voluntary labeling of products that are GMO-free.” They added that they have “not made any contributions to defeat any GMO-labeling initiatives.”
Many comments on the post, however, have pointed out that Safeway is a member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which aided Monsanto in last year’s defeat of California’s Proposition 37, which would have made GMO labeling mandatory. The Grocery Manufacturers Association also contains big food conglomerates such as Campbell’s, Kraft and Kellogg’s.
Last March, Whole Foods made history by promising customers that all GMO-containing products in their stores would be labeled by 2018. Trader Joes, Aldi, and several other smaller retailers soon followed suit with similar assurances.
The debate over the labeling of GMOs has become quite heated in recent months, with bills in various stages of legislature in multiple states. In Connecticut and Maine, these bills have been passed and are now technically laws, however, they require other surrounding states to pass similar laws before they can go into effect.
While Safeway is taking a positive step in assuring that their organic products are indeed GMO-free, it seems like a half-hearted effort to many, as they still refuse to label all of the GMOs that they have in stock.
In the words of one Safeway shopper, “Safeway needs to support mandatory labeling so the consumer knows about the food they buy. Just Label It!”
-The Alternative Daily