By: Clark Wolf
Last week the Senate failed to advance what some are calling the Dark Act (keeping people in the dark about what’s in their food). The bill would have left it up to food manufacturers whether to label for foods containing genetically modified organisms, thereby superseding any State laws, like the one passed in Vermont that require clear GMO labeling by July 1.
The reaction has been swift and expensive. It already had been. Biotech companies spent millions trying to pass this bill, or one like it. Now food companies are spending a bundle in various ways that include reformulation – to eliminate any GMO ingredients – or to relabel. We’re talking major players like Campbell Soup, General Mills GIS +0.57%, Mars and Kellogg K +0.53%. That’s a lot of shelf space in grocery stores everywhere.
At the same time, reports newly published state nearly 90% of Americans want to know if their food has GMO ingredients, even while other studies suggest that the return on the major investment biotech companies have sunk into the process may not be as hoped. Short term bump ups in profits are not turning out to be sustainable. European countries are finding the same or greater productivity, often with lower costs, using other less controversial and chemical focused methods.
And speaking of chemicals, Kraft Foods seems to have snuck all natural ingredients back into their iconic Mac and Cheese box without telling anyone. Some 50 million boxes later they have begun touting this latest remix, grateful that loyal followers seem to be embracing – or not noticing – the retro changes. Why should anyone object? This is the way it used to taste, before the preservatives and flavoring got swapped in to replicate original.
Talk about going backward to move forward!
Originally Published: Forbes