PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway announced to its shoppers in a Facebook post last night that its O Organics products, which are certified USDA Organic, do not contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms), adding that the company “fully supports the voluntary labeling of products that are GMO-free” and that it has “not made contributions to defeat any GMO-labeling initiatives.”
However, many shoppers responded to the post with comments criticizing the company for not supporting mandatory GMO labeling of all products and for its membership in the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which last year helped defeat a California bill, Proposition 37, which would have required labeling of food containing GMOs.
“Safeway needs to support mandatory labeling so the consumer knows about the food they buy. Just Label It!” said one shopper.
“No O organics in this household till Safeway drops out of GMA and supports mandatory labeling,” said another.
Another shopper urged Safeway to support a GMO labeling bill (I-522) in Washington state, where the company has stores.
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But some shoppers observed that Safeway’s organic food costs less than that of Whole Foods Market and New Seasons Market. “The Safeway by my house is loaded with so many organic options,” said one. “I am glad that I am able to bring home organic food for my family to eat.”
In explaining GMA’s opposition to Proposition 37 last year, Pamela G. Bailey, president and chief executive officer of GMA, called the bill “a poorly written measure that would mandate that food producers provide misleading and confusing information to consumers. In addition, it would unnecessarily increase food costs for California consumers and increase frivolous lawsuits against businesses while adding new costs for California taxpayers.”
In March, Whole Foods stoked the GMO labeling debate by announcing that by 2018, all products in its U.S. and Canadian stores will be labeled to indicate if they contain GMOs.
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