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General Mills, ConAgra Report, and Big Food Suffer Losses in Wake of GMO Controversy

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

Food giant General Mills (GIS) is expected to post single-digit growth when it reports fiscal Q1 numbers early Wednesday, amid growing skepticism over genetically modified foods and rising competition from organic food makers.

The maker of cereal and packaged foods saw earnings slip 12% in fiscal Q4 and is expected to report Q1 EPS of 70 cents a share on nearly $4.3 billion in revenue. That would be a 6% profit gain and a 6% sales increase from the year-ago period.

Shares rose 2% to 50.02 in early-afternoon trading on the stock market today.

An early warning sign came last week when ConAgra (CAG) lowered its fiscal 2014 earnings guidance due to Q1 profit that the company estimated would be 37 cents a share, well below estimates.

The Omaha, Neb.-based company cited "challenging industry conditions" and "difficult conditions" for some of its branded retail categories in its consumer foods segment.

The maker of Chef Boyardee, Marie Callender's and Slim Jim releases its full Q1 report early Thursday and is expected to break its seven-quarter string of profit growth. Sales also have missed views the past two quarters.

The big food companies could be affected by state efforts to require labeling of GMO foods, which they say is an added cost that could mean higher prices for consumers.

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