With Whole Foods Market's recent announcement that labeling of all foods sold in its U.S. and Canadian stores containing genetically modified ingredients will be mandatory by 2018, some manufacturers have already begun taking steps to ensure their product offerings are free from GMOs. The latest to join the Non-GMO verified program is Small Planet Foods, a subsidiary of General Mills.
According Small Planet Foods Cascadian Farms' website, the company states: "In the spirit of transparency, we’ve enrolled our products—Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen and Lärabar—which have always been made without GMO ingredients, in the Non-GMO Project. Food Should Taste Good, which recently joined the Small Planet Foods family, will begin enrolling its products in April 2013. Once verified, this third party certification by the Non-GMO Project will provide you with additional assurance that our products are produced without the use of GMO ingredients."
General Mills has not made any announcements about whether or not it will begin labeling—or removing—GMOs found in its many other conventional product lines, including Cheerios, which was recently the target of a GMO campaign.
Currently, the Non-GMO Project is the nation's only third party certifier for verifying that products do not contain genetically modified organisms. Products that meet the organization's qualifications can include its Non-GMO verified logo on the product packaging.
While Whole Foods' move will require items that do contain GMO ingredients to be labeled, there is also a groundswell of consumer support in easily identifying—and supporting—foods that are free from genetically modified organisms. And as consumer awareness grows about the concerns surrounding GMOs—including human health risks and environmental issues—the labeling of GMOs in Whole Foods locations could bring a steady decline in sales of those products.
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