Lobby group GMA hosts ‘Consumer Packaged Goods’ forum in Colorado as GMO bill goes to ballot
Key representatives from the large conglomerates responsible for the majority of packaged processed foods in supermarkets around the world will be attending a “leadership forum” to discuss ‘the most pressing issues of today and concerns on the horizons’ this weekend in Colorado.
The lobby group hosting the forum, Grocery Manufacturers of America, has been responsible for channeling millions of corporate dollars into multiple US states to fight package labeling legislation for foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMO).
GMA has been instrumental in the expensive fights in California, Vermont (Where the state is being sued over a new law), Washington, (also sued over campaign finance laws), and a particularly nasty fight in Hawaii. Almost 30 states have significant levels of opposition to GMO food and this eventually produced a plan to kill state labeling initiatives from the federal level.
The forum is focused on bringing together the leaders in the “consumer packaged goods” industry. The best translation for this is most of the manufacturers, supermarkets, and associated companies that rely on the poor diet choices available at a low cost to Americans. The monopoly on supermarket shelves for GMO-laden foods is maintained from many angles and the key participants in that will be meeting here (FULL LIST). The notable names include Monsanto, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Kraft, ConAgra, Unilever and many more.
GMA is pleased to announce the first ever Leadership Forum at The Broadmoor, taking place this August 22-24, 2014 in Colorado Springs, CO.
This inaugural event is a new opportunity created for consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers – by CPG manufacturers. The Leadership Forum will uniquely assemble thought leaders from all over the CPG industry for two days of discussions and presentations to address the most pressing issues of today and concerns on the horizons.
Who Will be There?
This invitation-only event will bring together North American and global CEOs, presidents and senior executives from operations, sales, finance, legal, science & regulatory, talent development and marketing – from every GMA member company.
What Value Will I Receive?
As an attendee of the Leadership Forum, you can expect to participate in solutions-driven dialogue while building a network of connections with the most accomplished leaders in the CPG industry from around the world. Forum sessions will provide top executives with the opportunity to learn about the newest business theories, challenge status quo ideas or broaden your perspectives.
Why Should I Attend?
The GMA Leadership Forum is truly the only gathering where you will meet other leading CPG decision makers, hear from world-renowned game changers and prepare for the biggest trends of the future.
The location choice is almost disrespectful considering over 160,000 Colorado registered voters signed their names in favor of putting a GMO labeling bill on the ballot for November.
KUSA – A ballot measure aimed at labelling genetically modified food has gotten enough signatures to appear on the November ballot, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced Wednesday.
The initiative received 145.06 percent of the signatures necessary to make the ballot. Barring a successful protest, the initiative will be numbered Proposition 105, according to Gessler’s office.
Ballot Proposition 105 would amend Colorado statutes to:
-Require foods that are genetically modified or produced with genetic engineering to include the words “Produced With Genetic Engineering” on the label or container, with certain exceptions
-Apply existing food mislabeling penalties in state law to a food manufacturer, distributor, or retailer for failing to comply with the labeling requirements
-Prohibit a person from bringing legal action against a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer for failing to comply with the labeling requirements
-Require the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to develop regulations and oversee the labeling requirements.
The question when debated among intelligent minds always ultimately comes down to cost.
A Cornell University study found a similar proposal could add at least $44 a year to the grocery bill for a family of four and as much $400 more if companies decide to stop using GMO’s because of the rules. Still, Larry Cooper said it’s about access to information.
The solution is a change in culture, which will eventually develop its own economies of scale. Organic and natural focused supermarkets are thriving in Denver for example, and it is a lifestyle the citizens already actively support. Innovation will continue to lower costs across the board as technology and local sourcing expand. Do-it-yourself products and open source technology will also release some supply pressure on prices as people continue to seek convenient non-GMO options.
The trend is clear that labeling will probably happen in some form in most states. California’s Prop 37 failed among 12.5 million voters, 51.4% to 48.6%, Washington’s I-522 lost by approximately 55 to 45 percent, while the northeastern states may begin to provide organized resistance also.
The high irony is that these people will be sitting around eating expensive barbeque (presumably from grass-fed happy cows) while they discuss how to feed Americans more GMO supergruel at low prices.