Dannon introduced its first Non-GMO Project verified yogurts Monday, including select Dannon and Danimals products. This is the company’s first step toward fulfilling the promise it made last year regarding the labeling and removal of GMOs from its yogurts by 2018.
“We hear that consumers increasingly want to know what’s in the products they buy and how they’re made,” says Sergio Fuster, President of DanoneWave’s yogurt team. “By working closely with organizations like the Non-GMO Project, we’re offering consumers more food choices that match their preferences.”
The Non-GMO Project Verified products include single-serve, multi-packs, and 32-ounce containers of Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, Vanilla, and Peach whole milk yogurts; quarts of full fat, lowfat, and nonfat Plain yogurt; and multipacks of Danimals smoothies in a variety of flavors including Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, Strawberry Kiwi, Cotton Candy, Raspberry, and Orange Cream.
The company eventually plans to procure the verification for all products from the Dannon, Oikos, and Danimals brand families.
An estimated 80,000 acres of U.S. farmland is needed to cultivate the new supply of non-GMO feed for the cows that producing the milk for these yogurt products. Dannon has worked closely with Green America to cultivate this supply.
“The scale at which Dannon is working is impressively large and we are pleased to be able to assist them to find the right partners to work with,” says Alisa Gravitz, president and CEO of Green America.
This news comes just over one year after Dannon announced its Dannon Pledge, in which the company committed to a range of progressive practices focused on sustainable agriculture and transparency in food. The Pledge was announced in April, and Dannon began using non-GMO ingredients in select products in July.
“At Danone we believe that each time we eat and drink, we can vote for the world we want to live in,” writes Danone, the French parent company of Dannon, in a press release. “This powerful idea is at the heart of what we call the Alimentation Revolution, a movement led by Danoners, together with consumers, retailers, farmers, suppliers, and NGOs all designing, producing, marketing, and consuming food in a new way – a way that brings health to people and health to our planet.”
Following Dannon’s announcement, the National Milk Producers Federation retaliated, calling the initiative “fear-based.” The Federation is part of an anti-labeling campaign called Peel Back the Label that specifically targets Dannon, as well as other producers that label GMOs including Hunt’s tomatoes and Cheerios.
“We continue to be surprised that we are on the receiving end of criticism about our providing choices that consumers are looking for,” a Dannon rep told Valley News following this criticism.
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