HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Non-GMO Month and the Roll-Out of the Non-GMO Verification Seal

This coming month is Non-GMO month which coincides with the launch of the new non-GMO verification seal by the Non-GMO Project.  About 580 natural food stores plan to participate in the event which celebrates the qualification of approximately 900 products for the Non-GMO seal. In order to qualify, product manufacturers and producers must participate in a verification program that includes on-site audits, genetic testing of ingredients and a document-based review to confirm that the product does not contain GMOs. Whole Foods' entire 365 Every Day Value product range is going through the verification process.

According to

Whole Foods Market senior global vice president of purchasing, distribution and marketing Michael Besancon said: 'Shoppers want more information about what’s happening to their food. The Non-GMO Project’s program helps us stay true to our mission of offering food in its most natural and unadulterated state. We’re committed to this program because it gives us and our suppliers a way to label non-GMO verified products and to educate consumers so they can make informed choices.'

Although the USDA requires that certified organic produce must also be GM-free, there is no government requirement for labeling of foods containing GM ingredients in the non-organic sector. And for some crops, it is becoming increasingly difficult for manufacturers to source non-GM versions. GM soy, for example – the most widely grown GM crop – now accounts for 90 percent of soy produced in the US.

CEO of the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association Corinne Shindelar said: 'Retailers started the Non-GMO Project because of consumer concern and requests for non-GMO foods.'

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