Thursday, May 9, 2013



Media contact:

Nancy Brown
Spokesperson, Right to Know Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (May 3, 2013 – Minneapolis, MN)  As citizen-led efforts nationwide call for mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods, Minnesota’s labeling advocates are rebuking General Mills CEO Kendall Powell for comments made at the “Brainstorm Green” conference earlier this week in Laguna Niguel, California.

In an interview, Powell said that genetically modified foods, also known as GMOs, are safe to eat and increase the food supply. He also said that current labeling requirements meet consumers’ expectations and that there’s no room on packaging for additional information.

“Considering the serious health and environmental concerns raised by genetically modified foods, it’s irresponsible of Kendall Powell to continue to defend the widespread use of this technology and to aid the biotech industry in its campaign to misinform the public about GMOs,” said Right to Know Minnesota spokesperson Nancy Brown in a statement released today.

Regarding safety, Brown points to a University of Minnesota research review concluding that about half of the safety studies have found “some risk” linked to GMO consumption. She also notes that the American Public Health Association, the American Nurses Association, and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine all support labeling.

Powell also suggested that General Mills’ supply chains would need changing if GMOs were labeled in some states.

But Brown says the disclosure itself has no effect on General Mills’ supply chains. Powell is making the case for labeling, she says, by acknowledging that informed consumers would reject GM foods, thereby forcing manufacturers to switch to non-GM ingredients.

“If General Mills views GM ingredients as a positive attribute, they should proudly label them. Instead, they’ve worked to defeat labeling efforts by funding opposition to citizen-led initiatives. The simple disclosure, ‘Produced With Genetic Engineering,’ would provide consumers with the information they want and need to make informed decisions,” Brown says.

“Powell is, at best, uninformed, or, at worst, is deliberately misinforming the public on these critical issues concerning our health, our land, and the food that sustains us,” Brown says.

“Right to Know Minnesota calls on Kendall Powell to become fully informed about the dangers posed by GMOs; to stop defending the biotech industry; to retract his statements; and to endorse the labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients so that consumers can make informed choices.”


Right to Know Minnesota is a campaign started in 2011 by concerned citizens to make the labeling of genetically modified (GMO) foods the law in Minnesota. We are a coalition of farmers, health advocates, families, and others who support healthy foods.

Additional interview:
Jim Riddle
Spokesperson, Right to Know Minnesota

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