Whole Foods Market teams with Non-GMO Project

July 12, 2009
Whole Foods Market has announced a commitment to the Non-GMO Project—a non-profit collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, processors, distributors, farmers, seed breeders, and consumers—to use the Non-GMO’s Product Verification Program (PVP) in connection with Whole Foods Market’s private label products.

Whole Foods Market has announced a commitment to the Non-GMO Project—a non-profit collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, processors, distributors, farmers, seed breeders, and consumers—to use the Non-GMO’s Product Verification Program (PVP) in connection with Whole Foods Market’s private label products.

The PVP is the nation’s first system designed to scientifically test whether a product has met a set of defined standards for the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

According to the Food and Drug Administration, as much as 75% of processed food in the United States may contain components from genetically modified crops. Despite the abundance of products with genetically modified ingredients, a Pew Initiative study on Food and Biotechnology shows that 59% of Americans are unfamiliar with the issue of genetically modified ingredients in food.

“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.

While federal law requires organic producers to comply with certain non-GMO requirements identified in the USDA organic standards, there is no standard for labeling GMOs in non-organic products.

The PVP uses a process that combines on-site facility audits, document-based review, and DNA testing to measure compliance with the standard. For a product to bear the seal, it must undergo a process through which any ingredient at high risk for genetic contamination has been shown to meet the non-GMO standard through avoidance practices and testing.

The first Whole Foods Market private label products to bear this seal are expected to be in stores before the end of the year.

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