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Dean Foods Reportedly to Become Third Big Food Maker to Leave GMA

Dean Foods “has quietly decided to leave” the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), according to Politico. 

That would make Dean the third major food manufacturer to leave the trade association that has long lobbied in Washington for large food companies’ interests. 

Campbell Soup Company announced its decision to leave GMA in June, after objecting to GMA’s intensive lobbying against federal legislation mandating GMO disclosure on labels. 

Campbell, which had already broken ranks in 2016 by announcing that it would voluntarily disclose GMOs on the labels of its own products, last month announced that it was joining the Plant Based Foods Association. “We are committed to providing our consumers with food choices that meet their nutrition, well-being, and lifestyle needs,” said Ed Carolan, president of Campbell Fresh, a division that includes Bolthouse Farms and Garden Fresh Gourmet.

Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, has also decided to leave GMA at year’s end, Politico reported in October. That was confirmed by GMA, although Nestlé declined to discuss the matter. 

Nestlé had “been at odds with the trade association on some of the most high-profile issues in Washington in recent years,” the news site reported. “It was among a handful of companies that backed an Obama administration effort to mandate added sugars labeling and encourage food companies to cut back on sodium voluntarily—two policies that GMA lobbied against. Nestlé also helped push GMA to submit split comments on added sugars labeling to the FDA, so the association essentially included the pros and cons of the policy rather than presenting a unified front opposing the idea.”