With growing consumer concern around genetically modified organisms in food, the need for labeling has started to take center stage. While legislative efforts to mandate labeling in the U.S. have not had much success, consumer pressure is leading to some positive trends in the food industry. Whole Foods recently announced that it plans to label all foods containing genetically modified ingredients by 2018.
As of now, the Non-GMO Project is the largest non-GMO certification program in the country and is the best way for consumers to identify GMO-free foods. However, they will soon have some major competition, which means more choices for consumers. Natural Food Certifiers (NFC), known for its organic, kosher, gluten and vegan certification programs has launched GMO Guard http://nfccertification.info/non-gmo/organic-gmos-and-gmo-guard/, a third party verification program certifying non-GMO foods.
“The organic certified producers were feeling pressured to certify a no-GMO label, even though the organic label implies no GMOs to begin with, which is the standard in the National Organic Program (NOP),” said NFC Founder and Director, Rabbi Reuven Flamer. “Their concerns confirmed what we had already thought: that organic certified producers were feeling pressured to certify a no-GMO label, even though the organic label implies no GMOs to begin with, which is the standard in the National Organic Program (NOP),” said Flamer.
Despite being certified organic, organic products can contain trace amounts of GMOs through accidental contamination via crop drift. GMO Guard will allow .05 percent as the threshold tolerance level because the ability to detect below that becomes increasingly more difficult. The GMO Guard Verification process for new products involves a cost-free preliminary analysis and the process may include but is not limited to, a request and review of the ingredient list, including country of origin, certificate of analysis, as well as inspection of manufacturing facilities.
According to newhope360.com leading natural and organic products retailers such as Whole Foods Market are seeing growing demand for products that don’t use genetically engineered ingredients. Products that have a non-GMO assurance seal are seeing sales increases of 15 percent to 30 percent, according to Whole Foods Market President A.C. Gallo.
Keep an eye out for the GMO-Guard certified products that should be hitting stores soon!