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Will Coca-Cola Support Mandatory GMO Labeling?

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on August 22, 2014 - 1:29pm

The global food revolution is now affecting the bottom line of Coca-Cola.

The company recently announced their second-quarter profits for the year fell from $2.68 billion to $2.6 billion, and their revenue decreased by 1%.

Latin America also saw a 1% decline in volume and a 9% drop in sales, which was partially blamed on the new 8-cent per liter soda tax imposed in Mexico.

But the news wasn’t all bad for Coca-Cola: the demand for healthier drinks pushed tea to become their fastest growing product-line, growing 4% worldwide, including a 6% growth in North America and a 5% increase in Japan.

It’s clear that Coca-Cola has hit a tipping point where profits increasingly rely on the buying power of health-conscious consumers. And yet, the company continues to oppose mandatory GMO labeling, which is one of the highest-priority food policies for these very same health-conscious consumers.

Mandatory GMO labeling is widely supported by the American public. In July 2013, a New York Times poll found that 93% of respondents said foods containing genetically modified or engineered ingredients should be labeled.

Even though the public overwhelmingly supports mandatory GMO labeling, the Coca-Cola Company spent more than $1.5 million in 2013 to oppose GMO labeling campaigns.

Last year, we decided to fight back against Coca-Cola’s effort to market products to health-conscious consumers while simultaneously opposing GMO labeling. We joined with our partners at the Center for Food Safety and Food Democracy Now! to launch CokeBoycott.com. Since launching the site and spreading the word across multiple platforms, including Change.org, Causes, and Moveon.org, we’ve had well over 300,000 people join the campaign!

The heart of our campaign has focused on educating health-conscious consumers about Coca-Cola’s corporate practices and their ownership of Odwalla, Honest Tea, Honest Kids, Peace Tea, Zico Coconut Water, Simply Orange, Vitamin Water, and Powerade.

Through this work, we hope to convince Coca-Cola to publicly state they will no longer fund opposition to mandatory GMO labeling. Our larger goal is for the company to eliminate all GMOs from their product line, and to support mandatory GMO labeling on a federal level.

With Coca-Cola’s sales taking a hit, and with sales of the brands they market as natural representing an increasing share of the company’s likely future revenues, can the company really afford to continue alienating natural foods consumers? Can the company continue to justify the business rationale for spending millions of dollars fighting to keep us in the dark about what we’re eating and drinking?

Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll continue to grow the Coke campaign, and continue to make sure health-conscious consumers know about Coca-Cola’s products and their corporate practices.

If you want to help us keep up the pressure, join the Coke Boycott here and help us spread the word about this important advocacy effort: http://www.cokeboycott.com.

Originally Published: The Food Revolution Network

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