GMO Labeling Is Coming, With or Without Federal Action

There’s been a lot in the news lately about the fight in Congress over mandatory GMO labeling on meats, vegetables and packaged foods. The House has passed a bill, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, making it illegal for states to pass mandatory labeling laws, citing in part the increased costs to supply chain partners (and therefore consumers) of a piecemeal collection of state laws. 

Wherever you stand on the issue it seems increasingly likely that GMO labeling is bound to be an important factor for the food processing industry, whether Congress acts or not.  

Influential companies like Chipotle and Whole Foods are pursuing non-GMO initiatives, forcing suppliers to reformulate their products. More pertinent to OEMs is the trend of mainstream food companies creating no-GMO versions of their products.

GMO-Free Products, Labels Spell Supply Chain Challenge

“As agriculture corporations push for an anti-labeling bill, another set of corporations are moving ahead with labeling initiatives of their own,” reports The Verge. “... Some surprising brand names are making the shift including traditional Cheerios, Hershey’s Kisses, Hellman’s, and Grape Nuts.”

While there is no way that the parent companies of these brands—corporations such as Unilever—will make a wholesale transition to non-GMO, these companies will respond to concerns of a segment of conscious consumers by introducing, and labeling, non-GMO versions of some of their products. 

This introduces new supply chain challenges in an already complicated and specialized, consumer-driven food market.