GMOs are a hot topic these days and in October, we're celebrating companies that are part of the Non-GMO Project!
People are always talking about GMO! What exactly is it? Why is it bad?
GMO means "Genetically Modified Organisms." These are plants and animals that have gene-slicing techniques. Sometimes it is also called Genetic Engineering (GE). These strains of organisms are ones that could not occur through natural cross-breeding or pollination and the long term effects of GMOs are not yet known.
What does the Non-GMO verified seal mean?
According to the Non-GMO Verified Project's website, the seal means that:
- We require ongoing testing of all at-risk ingredients—any ingredient being grown commercially in GMO form must be tested prior to use in a verified product.
- We use an Action Threshold of 0.9%. This is in alignment with laws in the European Union (where any product containing more than 0.9% GMO must be labeled). Absence of all GMOs is the target for all Non-GMO Project Standard compliant products. Continuous improvement practices toward achieving this goal must be part of the Participant’s quality management systems.
- After the test, we require rigorous traceability and segregation practices to be followed in order to ensure ingredient integrity through to the finished product.
- For low-risk ingredients, we conduct a thorough review of ingredient specification sheets to determine absence of GMO risk.
- Verification is maintained through an annual audit, along with onsite inspections for high-risk products.
Is a Non-GMO seal the only way to tell if a product is free of GMOs?
No! If a product is Certified Organic, it is already a Non-GMO product. (GMO free is a requirement for Organic Certification!)
How long has Non-GMO verified been around?
The Non-GMO project was founded in Berkley at the Natural Grocery Co. In 2003, after a concern of Genetically Modified Soy Lecithin at their store, they rallied 161 other stores and co-ops together to form a letter writing campaign to discover what the GMO status was for the products in their stores. In 2005, these stores teamed up to form the Non-GMO Project and created a standardized meaning for Non-GMO for the North American food Industry.
What are the most common GMO crops?
Alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, soy, sugar beets, summer squash and zucchini.
Does People's Grocery sell Non-GMO Project Verified products?
Yes, and we are always adding them. During the past year, more and more products have gone through the Non-GMO Project certification process and so we are adding more and more products all the time, both new and old!