For all of you who are working to support and promote third-party verified non-GMO products on the consumer marketplace, there’s some good news. Several organizations are teaming up with the Non-GMO Project, the third-party verification and labeling source for non-genetically modified organism foods, beverages, and other products.
One recent team addition is NSF International, an independent organization that has been around for nearly 70 years and that has a reputation for championing human health on multiple levels. NSF International has joined the Non-GMO Project as a Technical Administrator. At this time, the NSF is running tests on the overall Non-GMO Project system and expects to be up and running in early 2014.Read more about GMO labeling
Another addition is Living Naturally, which provides marketing and technology solutions for suppliers and retailers of natural products. Living Naturally will offer consumers and retailers easy access-just a single click-to lists of items verified to be free of GMOs. With this easy tool at your fingertips, you and other concerned consumers will have critical information that improves your buying power and your health.
For those unfamiliar with the Non-GMO Project, it is a nonprofit organization that focuses on educating the public about non-GMO food choices and also works to build and establish verifiable non-GMO food sources. The addition of NSF International and Living Naturally to the effort is important because:
- Both organizations are well respected in the areas of product safety and quality assurance
- Demand for non-GMO foods and beverages is increasing, and consumers are hungry for reliable information
- It provides food manufacturers, retail grocers, restaurants, and food growers with trustworthy parties that can help verify or promote the non-GMO label.
- Consumers will have access to reliable information that can help them make smarter choices when buying food, beverages, supplements, and other products
According to Tom Chestnut, vice president of NSF International’s Global Food Division, the organization has hundreds of qualified auditors around the world who can efficiently ensure consumers get the non-GMO products they want.
Insight into the Non-GMO Project
Those involved with the Non-GMO Project believe that all consumers deserve to be informed about any product that may consist of or contain GMOs so they can choose whether to include that item in their lives. The Project’s goal is to achieve 100 percent absence of GMOs from any given product.
Currently, the threshold is 0.9 percent, which means that any item that contains more than 0.9 percent GMOs must be labeled as such. The Project also considers pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and other personal care items as candidates for Non-GMO Project verification.
One grocery chain that has embraced the non-GMO crusade is Whole Foods Market. The retailer recently announced that by 2018, all the products in its Canadian and US stores must be labeled to show if they contain GMOs.
How do you know if a non-GMO product remains verified year after year? NSF International reports that product verification is continued via an audit conducted every year with high-risk products (e.g., those that are more easily open to contamination) are inspected on-site.
The addition of NSF International and Living Naturally to the Non-GMO Project is another leap in the right direction in helping ensure safe, healthful products make their way to you and your family. Each step brings us closer to a food supply that has not had its genes manipulated!