Is Big Food’s Lobbying Arm on the Brink of Extinction?  Could the Efforts of Many Against GMO’s Be Really Taking Effect?

Consumers can take satisfaction in the fact that they’ve played a role in what some say is the diminishing power of the GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) over Washington policy.

For many, gratification—even the delayed variety—is worth stirring up trouble in the marketplace if it results in brands cleaning up their acts on issues of health, transparency and accountability. The combined decision of consumers to demand product labeling of GMO foods and their right to know is finally taking an effect on the big food industry. Big food companies are leaving the GMA as a result of very negative press on their past decision to lobby for GMO’s.  Just their name, grocery manufacturer’s association, is enough to raise concern that food should not be manufactured, but grown.

On Friday, Dec. 1, Mars, Inc., the sixth-largest privately held food company in the U.S., confirmed reports it will exit the GMA.

Mars is the fourth Big Food company to exit GMA this year. The first was Campbell Soup Co., which said in July that it wouldn’t renew its membership. Campbell CEO Denise Morrison said at the time that Campbell’s had found itself “at odds with some of [GMA’s] positions.”

One of those positions was GMO labeling. Campbell was the first company to publicly break with Monsanto and the GMA by announcing it would label GMO ingredients, even though not required to do so.

Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, followed Campbell out the GMA door, announcing in October its own plans to quit the GMA at the end of this year (2017).

Last week Dean Foods “quietly” exited the trade group.

GMA executives interviewed by Politico downplayed the loss of some of the group’s big-name members. But Politico was quick to point out that as one of the GMA’s top dues-paying members, Nestlé’s exit could deal “a tough blow” to the GMA’s operating budget. Campbell’s doled out about $317,000/year to belong to the trade association Politico said, citing the company’s financial disclosures.

It remains to be seen how many more companies will join the #GMAExit, or what the financial consequences may be for the GMA. But Politico calls the recent announcements “part of a burgeoning trend” as opposed to just a few “one-offs.”

Read on for the full article here.

I would love to believe that their lobbying arm is on the bring of distinction. If anything else consumers have sent a huge blow to their bottom line. If healthful food doesn’t send a message profits always does!

Raising awareness about GMO labeling has been a herculean task and it took the efforts of thousands of dedicated people to do it.  I would like to personally thank my friend and co-organizer of Plant Based Nutrition for Life meet up, Joan Levin, for her local and national efforts over the past years to make GMO labeling a reality. Joan is a retired attorney that has given much of her time and talent to help make this impact a reality. Now, let’s all keep the pressure on!



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