Food fight: GMO labeling disagreements behind food lobby shakeup?

Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, rocked food circles in late October with the news that it was leaving the industry’s most powerful lobbying group in Washington, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, amid disagreements about how to respond to changing consumer tastes.

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In the past year, the trickle of news about member companies deciding to leave GMA appear to be not one-offs, but part of a burgeoning trend.

Six months before Nestlé's decision, Campbell Soup Co., maker of Goldfish crackers and V8 juices, announced it was leaving GMA, in part because the association fought bitterly against mandatory labeling for foods with genetically modified ingredients, or GMOs. In what may have been a contrarian view, Campbell decided to stop fighting and instead embrace GMO labeling early last year, believing that consumers want more information about what's in their food and where it comes from — not less. Both Nestlé and Campbell are leaving the group at the end of the year.

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"Some of these companies are realizing that being more progressive is a good place to be, from a marketing perspective,” said Melissa Musiker, vice president and director of food and nutrition policy at APCO Worldwide, a public relations and consultancy firm. “They get kudos for it."

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The big Washington food fight

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