Campbell’s commitment to transparency on GM ingredients and calls for national legislation on GM labeling seen as best practice in sustainable agriculture and management of reputational risk for food industry.
NEW YORK, NY – THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2016 – Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and shareholders of the Campbell’s Soup Company were gratified to learn of the company’s decision to begin labeling food products that may contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), saying it illustrates how the company intends to lead on issues of sustainability and corporate responsibility.
ICCR investors have always cautioned management around the reputational risks inherent in the lack of transparency around GM ingredients, particularly as the brand seeks to position itself as a purveyor of wholesome and nutritious foods. The proactive decision shows the company is trying to develop responsible policies around GMOs and is being responsive to the concerns of its customers.
Dave Stangis, VP, Corporate Social Responsibility said, “We’ve always believed consumers have a right to know what’s in their food. We know that the overwhelming majority of Americans support GMO labeling, and transparency is a critical part of our purpose. That's why we're announcing our support for mandatory national labeling of products that may contain GMOs.”
Said Cathy Rowan of the Maryknoll Sisters, who leads ICCR’s dialogue with Campbell’s, “We have always advocated that companies adopt the precautionary principle when it comes to the use of GMOs. Transparent labeling accomplishes this by allowing consumers to choose whether the foods they buy will contain them or not. Failure to provide this information disempowers consumers and may present reputational risks that impact shareholder value.”
Members of ICCR have been engaging the company since 2010 on issues related to sustainable agriculture including the use and labeling of GMOs as well as the water impacts of its operations.
Continued Rowan, “We are gratified to see that Campbell’s recognized the risks and, further, that it has elected to step out publicly in favor of a national policy on GMO labeling. We hope its leadership will influence other major food brands.”
About the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR).
Currently celebrating its 45th year, ICCR is the pioneer coalition of active shareholders who view the management of their investments as a catalyst for change. Its 300 member organizations with over $100 billion in AUM have an enduring record of corporate engagement that has demonstrated influence on policies promoting justice and sustainability in the world. http://www.iccr.org