Large food manufacturers, faced with declining sales, are increasingly using deceptive absence claim food labels to distinguish themselves in a highly competitive space. Their goal: gain market share by playing on consumers’ lack of knowledge, misconceptions or outright fears regarding the safety of their food.

Nowhere is this type of fear mongering more prevalent than with GMOs. Biotechnology enables farmers to grow more food, more safely, and more sustainably than in the past. 20 years of research and evidence attesting to the safety of the use of GMO technology has made that clear. But the use of bioengineering has become a convenient target for clever marketers.

Sometimes it’s a company that changes its processes or sourcing to avoid GM ingredients – even though there is no nutritional, health, environmental or other benefit from the change.

Or it might be a company whose product never contained GMOs in the first place that decides to take cynical advantage of consumer fears and drop a prominent “non-GMO” label on its product anyway.

It’s time to speak out and challenge these misleading marketing claims. Here are a few of the most disappointing examples of food label fear mongering in the marketplace today. As we collect more – GMO or otherwise – we’ll keep updating this list.

If you come across a case of food label fear mongering, take a photo and share it on Twitter using #PeelBackTheLabel!

Hint Water

Just in case you ever worried about meat being in your water – mmmm, steak water, yummy, right?! – you can rest easy, Hint Water has a (ridiculous) label for that. In fact, on the back...

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Butterball Frozen Whole Turkey

Why does Butterball need a “raised without hormones” label? Oh wait! They DON’T. Here’s why: Per the USDA, it is illegal to sell poultry in the U.S. that was raised with added hormones. BUT, that has...

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Del Monte Green Beans

“Happy Deceptive Thanksgiving!” is what Del Monte should start adding to their marketing slogan. Each can of Del Monte’s Fresh Cut Green Beans has a Non-GMO label on it, but its only ingredients are green beans, salt...

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Libby’s Canned Pumpkin

Libby’s may be the best-known brand of pumpkin for pumpkin pies, but we’d like to make sure they’re known for something else: deceptive labeling. Despite containing only “100% pure pumpkin” in their cans, Libby’s proclaims “No...

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Dole Peaches

If Dole only sweetens its yellow cling peaches in 100% natural fruit juice, as they claim, and since there are no GMO peaches, why do they need to add the Non-GMO Project label? Like the company’s...

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WIN: Sanderson Farms Chicken

Over and over again we see poultry farms and food companies add labels to their products that tout a distinction without a difference. That’s not the case with Sanderson Farms. While others make claims like “no hormones...

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Breyers Ice Cream

Craving a sweet frozen treat? You may want to think twice about choosing products from ice cream and frozen dairy desert maker Breyers if you believe food companies owe consumers honesty in marketing. Here’s why: Even...

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Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup

Per the USDA, it is illegal to sell poultry in the U.S. that was raised with added hormones. So why does Progresso use language like “No hormones added ever” in its commercials and on its website? It’s...

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Ocean Spray Dried Cranberries

There is no such thing as a GMO cranberry. Ocean Spray’s “Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries” only have two ingredients – cranberries and cane sugar, and neither the berry plants nor the sugar cane has genetically-modified versions...

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Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

There is no such thing as a genetically modified olive. But, that hasn’t stopped Pompeian from deceptively labeling all of its olive oils with the Non-GMO Project logo. As demand explodes for other kinds of cooking oils like...

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