Mmm Mmm Better: Campbell’s making progress on non-GMO and organics

by Todd Larsen, Co-Executive Director of Green America Campbell’s is one of America’s most iconic brands.  The company famous for soups also produces thousands of other food items.  Famous brands under the Campbell’s umbrella include Pepperidge Farm, Bolthouse Farms, and Prego. Like most major food companies, Campbell’s had not kept up with the changing tide of consumer preferences for healthy and sustainable foods.  While the company bought farm fresh and organic companies like Plum Organics and Bolthouse Farms, many of their main products are still made with artificial ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, and GMOs. Over the past year Green America staff has been meeting with Campbell’s about a transition to non-GMO and organics across their main product lines.  We highlighted the growing concerns around GMOs and pesticides, and the need to include healthy ingredients in all Campbell’s products.  We talked with Campbell’s at a time when they were looking to innovate and the company was very open to hearing from stakeholders. This week, Campbell’s made several major announcements about improving the sustainability of their foods, including significant steps forward on going non-GMO and organic: Campbell’s will be launching several lines of organic kid’s soups, and removing MSG from all their kid’s soups.  In August 2015, the company will introduce Campbell’s Organic soup for kids in three chicken noodle varieties.  The soups will be non-GMO and certified Organic. Pepperidge Farm will be launching several organic wheat versions of their popular Goldfish Crackers.  Look […]

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Notes from the Hill: The Impact of Pesticides on Pollinators

Bumble bee

By Anna Meyer Yesterday Center for Food Safety hosted a congressional briefing on the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on pollinators. Neonicotinoids (neonics for short) are a class of pesticide developed from nicotine that pose numerous risks to pollinators and our environment. It is pretty likely that you have heard of this pesticide before. In recent years this class of pesticides was linked […]

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Health and Safety Findings at Quanta, Mac and iPod Manufacturer

FLA Report

Last August the Fair Labor Association (FLA) conducted audits in two of Apple’s final assembly plants in China. These factories are both owned by Quanta–Tech-Com in Shanghai manufactures Mac computers and employs roughly 32,000 people and Tech-Full in Changshu manufactures iPods and employs nearly 5,000 people. The findings from these audits were released today, one day after Apple’s announcement to ban […]

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Lisa Jackson: Take a stand for the workers that make iPhones!

Today Green America and more than 80 allies, including environmental and human rights organizations, socially responsible investment firms, and occupational health professionals, sent a letter to Lisa Jackson, VP of Environmental Affairs at Apple. Jackson is the former administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency. At the EPA, Jackson monitored benzene levels in the water and air to ensure no one was exposed to dangerous levels of this known human carcinogen and championed toxins-reduction in the environment. Our letter calls on Jackson to use her expertise and influence within Apple to make worker health and safety a priority in her second year at Apple. You can read the full text of our letter and view all signers here>>  To send your own message to Apple executives, use our new mock “app”: Want to end smartphone sweatshops? Here’s the App for that!

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The Problem with Benzene and Apple’s Off-Shore Solution

Benzene Graph

Chinese electronics workers are likely exposed to three times as much Benzene as US workers Since launching our Bad Apple: End Smartphone Sweatshops campaign we’ve received a number of questions about benzene, one of the chemicals known to be causing worker illness, including leukemia, in electronics factories. Benzene is both dangerous and ubiquitous.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies benzene as […]

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Despite fancy CSR, labor problems persist in Apple’s supplier factories

Despite Apple’s supplier code of conduct and its well-polished corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports, the most recent of which was released in February 2014, labor abuses persist in the factories where Apple products are made. In a report released today by the Economic Policy Institute, Apple’s own data, as well as independent investigations, depict working conditions that still routinely and systematically fail to meet Apple’s own standards, and can be fairly characterized as deplorable. In Assessing the Reforms Portrayed by Apple’s Supplier Responsibility Report, Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium, and Isaac Shapiro, EPI research associate, provide a detailed analysis of the latest annual report by Apple summarizing its audits of, and developments in, its supply chain. Persistent violations include working hours that are greater than legal limits and a significant number of supplier factories that are not in compliance with juvenile worker protection, occupational injury protection, and environmental health and safety standards. The new report indicates there has been little progress in these areas since 2009. “Two years after promising fundamental changes for workers in its supply chain, what Apple has delivered is more business-as-usual than sweeping reform,” said Shapiro. “Sadly, this means labor rights abuses in Apple’s supply chain are ongoing and commonplace.” “While Apple has made progress in some areas, the claims made by Apple in its report are often misleadingly rosy, presumably designed to distract from the serious labor rights violations that even its […]

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