Whole Foods Market made a big step in food retail this month. The corporate giant that dominates the healthfood market is leading their customers away from GMOs. The company joined the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program this month. The Non-GMO Project is a consortium of people, businesses, and organizations who are committed to cutting GMO’s out of our food stream. This non-profit organization has now established the first scientifically-based, third-party system in North America for identifying if a product is GMO-free — the Product Verification Program.
The fairly new Product Verification Program is what Whole Foods has been searching since GMOs came to the US, the company says.
According to Margaret Wittenberg, Whole Foods Market global vice president of quality standards:
From the moment GMOs were approved for use in the U.S., we recognized the need for transparency, but there was no definitive standard by which to evaluate or label products. We searched high and low for years for a way to do this and now, thankfully, the Non-GMO Project has answered that challenge by creating a standard and a practical system by which manufacturers may measure their products. At last, shoppers concerned about foods made with genetically modified ingredients will be able to make informed choices.
Other countries around the world are banning GMO ‘agriculture’ and products. The US has no bans on GMOs and does not even require that products be labeled if they contain GMOs. “In 30 other countries around the world, including Australia, Japan and all of the nations in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production of GMOs, due to environmental impact and concerns about GMO safety,” said Megan Thompson, executive director of the Non-GMO Project. Despite the fact that most of the processed food in the US probably contains GMOs, most Americans don’t know anything about GMOs.
The Non-GMO project includes consumers, manufacturers (i.e Eden Foods, Organic Valley, Lundberg Family Farms, and Nature’s Path Organic), retailers (i.e. The Natural Grocery Company, The Big Carrot Natural Food Market, and Good Earth Natural Foods), processors, distributors, farmers, and seed breeders.
To learn more about Whole Foods Market’s involvement in the Product Verification Program, and the program itself, they are hosting a webinar on August 26. Their press release about the project can also be found here.
For more information on the Non-GMO Project, click here.
To learn more about GMOs, see these previous links on Eat.Drink.Better.:
Image credit 1: M.V. Janzen via flickr under a Creative Commons license
Image credit 2: newyork808 via flickr under a Creative Commons license