PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Vermont recently passed a law requiring food companies to disclose products that contain genetically modified ingredients on the label. Many companies have opposed the law, but subsequently announced they will comply with the changes required.

In an interview with Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Kelly Johnston, the Vice President of Government Affairs at Campbell’s Soup, said there is still a lot of confusion around what constitutes being labeled GMO.

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“When we approached the FDA about two or three weeks ago and about six weeks after we made our announcement that we supported a federal, national standard for GMO labeling, the FDA’s first question to us was, what exactly is the definition of a GMO? It’s something that even they struggle with because there are a variety of ways that men and women have manipulated plants over the millennia.”

He rejected the criticism that companies are trying to deceive consumers of  their products by not including certain things on the label.

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“The perception problem that food companies are facing, in that by opposing mandatory labeling of this nature, you’re telling consumers I’ve got something to hide. Now, that’s not really true because the industry has come up with some terrific new websites where consumers can go to find information.”

Johnston stated that, in the near future, an interactive element will be added food labels which could provide even greater access to their contents.

“The industry is developing a terrific new program called ‘Smart Label,’ which we support and we’re going to be a part of, which allows you, if you’re in a store and you have web access on a good smart phone, and two-thirds of people now have smart phones, can click on a QR code or a bar code and call up that site and it tells you more about the food product than you might be able to see on the label.”

 

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