Time To Refresh: National Coalition Calls On Coca-Cola And Pepsi To Label GMOs...Or Stop Using Them

  Time To Refresh: National Coalition Calls On Coca-Cola And Pepsi To Label
                          GMOs...Or Stop Using Them

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2013

GMO Inside Wants Soda Giants To Acknowledge Presence of GMOs In Their Soda and
Other "Natural" Products

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --It's no secret that
sugary drinks and highly processed foods rank near the bottom when it comes to
healthy choices; however, a national coalition is targeting US soda giants
Coca-Cola and Pepsi for another unhealthy practice: their use of genetically
modified ingredients (GMOs) in their products.

GMO Inside, a campaign dedicated to advancing the right of consumers to know
whether or not foods are genetically engineered, is calling on Coca-Cola and
Pepsi to label their GMO ingredients… or get GMOs completely out of their
products.

GMO Inside is also calling attention to the fact that Coca-Cola and Pepsi have
spent more than $4.1 million to derail GMO labeling in the US. There are now
more than 60 countries which require GMO labeling, however the US is not one
of them. Last fall, voters in California went to the polls to try to become
the first state to allow for the statewide labeling of GMO ingredients.
Despite growing consumer demand for labeling and popular public support for
this proposition, Prop 37 was defeated, due to millions of dollars spent by
major food and chemical companies. PepsiCo contributed $2,485,400 against
Prop 37 and Coca-Cola spent $1,700,500.

High fructose corn syrup and sugar, the staple ingredients in any soda, are
derived from two of the most extensively genetically engineered crops: corn
and sugar beets. According to the Non-GMO Project, 95 percent of the sugar
beet crop and more than 88 percent of the corn crop are now genetically
modified in the US. Even diet options are not guaranteed to be non-GMO, as
aspartame, the most common artificial sweetener, is made from a genetically
modified bacteria.

"Over the past few years there has been an emphasis on healthier eating and
cola sales are decreasing," said Elizabeth O'Connell, Campaign Director for
GMO Inside, "However, it's extremely frustrating for consumers who think they
are making healthier choices, like Tropicana or Simply, to learn that they are
still consuming unhealthy ingredients like added sugar and high fructose corn
syrup, and that these ingredients are likely to be genetically engineered."

Beyond soda, these companies own a long list of juice brands often thought to
be a better choice than soda. The Coca-Cola Company also owns Simply Orange,
Vitamin Water, Powerade, Fruitopia, Minute Maid, Hi-C, Odwalla, and Zico.
PepsiCo owns Tropicana, Lipton, Gatorade, and Naked Juice. Some of these soda
alternatives contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, sugar, and
aspartame – and are therefore likely to contain genetically engineered
ingredients.

Additionally, Pepsi owns Frito-Lay, and a host of other food brands: Aunt
Jemima, Life Cereal, Hostess, Tostitos, and many others. Some products from
Frito-Lay even go so far to be labeled "natural" despite containing
genetically modified corn and vegetable oils, including corn, soybean, and
canola.

GMOs have never been proven safe for consumption,and a growing body of
studies is raising concerns around the health effects of eating them. GMOs are
also increasing the use of toxic herbicides and causing harm to farmers in the
US and abroad. Adding to this injustice is the fact that both Coca-Cola and
Pepsi offer non-GMO versions of their products in Europe, where the labeling
of genetically modified ingredients is required. (See Coke's UK product
page.)

"As the number three contributor behind the campaign to defeat Prop 37, behind
pesticide and biotech giants Monsanto and DuPont, Pepsi's contribution to the
dishonest anti-GMO labeling campaign was a main reason that Americans are
still denied their right to know what's in their food," said Dave Murphy,
Founder and Executive Director of Food Democracy Now! and Co-Chair of Prop 37,
"Because of Pepsi and Coke's financial support, Prop 37 and GMO labeling lost
by a narrow margin of 48.6% to 51.4%. It's time for companies like Coke and
Pepsi to stop deceiving the American public and label GMOs like they do in
more 62 other countries around the world."

GMO Inside is urging consumers to take action against Coke and Pepsi online by
signing this petition and leaving comments on their facebook walls -- and at
the grocery store by choosing drinks and snacks without GMOs. Consumers can
find non-GMO alternatives by looking for the Non-GMO Verified Project label or
choosing food with certified organic labels.

To date, more than 15,000 consumers have taken action with GMO Inside against
companies using GMOs including Monsanto, General Mills, Kellogg's, Hershey,
Mars, and others. In December 2012 the campaign and its 30,000 Facebook
friends shut down the Cheerios Facebook page app with comments about GMOs.

Interested individuals can also sign Food Democracy Now's petition to boycott
Pepsi.

ABOUT GMO INSIDE

GMO Insideis a coalition of businesses, organizations, and individuals that
support a healthy, GMO-free food system. The GMO Inside steering committee is
made up of the various organizations and individuals and convened by Green
America.

SOURCE GMO Inside

Website: http://gmoinside.org
Contact: Leslie Maloy, lmaloy@hastingsgroup.com, +1-703-276-3256; Elizabeth
O'Connell, eoconnell@greenamerica.org, +1-202-872-5309
 
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