Last Friday, Safeway shareholder activists urged an enhanced fight against efforts by organic foods industry to stigmatize foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMO's).

At their annual meeting in Pleasanton, California, representatives from the National Center for Public Policy Research urged shareholders to reject a proposal that would have forced the grocery chain to brand products containing GMO's.

General Counsel for the Center for Public Policy Research, Justin Danhoff, said his organization discovered a proposal by the Green Century Equity Fund submitted to the shareholders.

"Essentially, that would have required the company to go up and down the shelves in all their stores, and label any food item that contained any genetically engineered food, also known as GMO's," Danhoff said. "There are numerous reasons why this is completely unnecessary. First of all, the FDA has studied the issue exhaustively and has found virtually no difference between GMO modified products and non-GMO modified products, and it's the FDA that decides what goes on food labels."

Danhoff said the effort to force GMO labeling is part of a plan to force consumers to buy only more expensive organically grown products.

"For years, they've stigmatized GMO's, and then they want to force stores to slap a label on these products they've stigmatized for years," he said. "And now, guess what? Now, you've scared the public and made the product taboo, and they're going to make you go buy their organic products. So, it's really a sinister motivation on the part of the organic food lobby, because they're really just in it for the money."

Danhoff said grocery stores have every right to follow what he calls 'proper science'.

"The National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society of Medicine, the World Health Association,and I could go on and on," Danhoff said. "They've all exhaustively studied GMO's, and trillions of GMO meals have been consumed in the last 25 years, and there is no evidence, non whatsoever, that GMO's pose any threat to human health."

Due to Danhoff and his group's efforts, less than 11 percent of the Safeway shareholders voted for the proposal to label GMO foods in their stores.

The group also visited meetings hosted by Kraft Foods, Pepsi and Monsanto, supporting the use of GMO's.

GMO supporters say the high yield crops have helped to reduce hunger and starvation all over the world in the last 25 years.

The Green Century Equity Fund presented a proposal that stated that over 90 percent of consumers support GMO product labeling.

General Counsel for the Center for Public Policy Research, Justin Danhoff