WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- The Campbell Soup Co., has come forward in support of labeling for genetically modified ingredients, despite opposition from much of the food industry.
The company announced plans to voluntarily label its own foods for GMOs earlier this week. The labeling will not only apply to Campbell's soups, but to Pepperidge Farms baked goods and Prego pasta sauces.
In a letter to employees posted to Campbell's website Thursday, CEO Denise Morrison said: "We have always believed that consumers have the right to know what's in their food."
The company has promised to lobby Congress for legislation that would mandate food companies to label foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. It also added that it would withdraw from industry efforts to stop such labeling at the national level.
Certain states are considering requirements for GMO labeling. Vermont became the first state to mandate labeling, a requirement that takes effect in July.
The Food and Drug Administration has said GMO labeling is not necessary because GMO ingredients are virtually identical to non-GMO ingredients from a nutritional standpoint. The agency also expressed concerns that GMO labeling may be misleading, causing consumers to see such labels as warnings to avoid certain products.
The Wall Street Journal reported much of the corn and soybeans grown in the United States qualify as genetically modified. Food producers estimate roughly 80 percent of packaged foods contain genetically modified ingredients.