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Monsanto, Which is Fighting Efforts to Label Genetically Engineered Food in California, Supported Labeling Such Food in Britain

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page, and our California News page.

Monsanto fully supports the labeling of foods with genetically engineered products.

In the United Kingdom.

St. Louis-based Monsanto, a leading producer of genetically engineered seeds and chemicals such as the herbicide Roundup, has donated $4.2 million to efforts to defeat Proposition 37, a controversial measure on the November ballot that would require labeling for genetically engineered foods.

But in the late 1990s, Monsanto ran advertisements in Britain that supported food labeling, which is common in Europe.

The European Union first approved labels for genetically engineered food in 1997, and specific rules covering corn and soy came a year later. Monsanto's ads in Europe apparently ran after the decision to label foods had been made. Labeling rules in the United Kingdom went into effect in early 1999.

"It ran in 1998-1999, was in the U.K. only and was supportive of efforts by retailers to position their products with their customers," Monsanto spokesman Tom Helscher wrote in an email.

The company declined to comment further about why it chose to support labeling abroad but is spending millions to fight California's effort.


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