USA: First Non-GMO Month
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
This October, more than 580 natural food stores in the USA take part in the first Non-GMO Month, celebrating consumers’ right to choose food and products that do not contain GMOs. Organized by the non-profit Non-GMO Project, the event coincides with the launch of the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal on retail products. Studies increasingly show a correlation between consumption of GMOs and an array of health risks. With consumer confidence shaken by ongoing food safety failures, distrust of GMOs is growing. As a result, more and more consumers are seeking non-GMO choices, and Nielson reported in February of this year that “GMO-free” is now the fastest growing store brand label claim. The Grocery Manufacturers Association estimates that GMOs currently are in approximately 80% of conventional processed foods in the United States, but they are not labeled. This is in sharp contrast to most other developed nations around the world, where there are significant restrictions or outright bans on GMOs because they’re not considered proven safe.
To fill the information gap, a “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal has been created. Manufacturers earn the seal through compliance with rigorous GMO avoidance standards, including ingredient testing, as part of the nation’s first third party non-GMO verification program. Nearly 900 products have been verified to date, with thousands more in the process of becoming verified and new products joining the program every day. Non-GMO Month celebrations will draw consumer attention to Non-GMO Project products, as well as educate them about the GMO issue.
“The Non-GMO Project stays true to our mission to offer food in its most natural and unadulterated state, ” said Michael Besancon, Whole Foods Market senior global vice president of purchasing, distribution and marketing. “We’re committed to offering non-GMO food and products and to educating consumers so they can make informed choices.” Whole Foods Market stores nationwide will be participating in Non-GMO Month, and Whole Foods also in the process of having its entire 365 private label brand verified to the Non-GMO Project Standard. Close to 300 independent retailers and co-ops also are participating in Non-GMO Month.
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