Whole Foods, nine more companies join the Non-GMO Project

The trend toward Non-GMO Project Verification is expanding dramatically, with a doubling of product enrollment and an announcement by Whole Foods Market that they will be verifying their private label products through the Non-GMO Project.

Whole Foods and nine other new participating companies will use the Non-GMO’s Product Verification Program (PVP) to verify the non-GMO status of its 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 engineered organisms.

“From the moment GMOs were approved for use in the US, we recognized the need for transparency, but there was no definitive standard by which to evaluate or label products,” said Margaret Wittenberg, Whole Foods Market global vice president of quality standards. “The Non-GMO Project has answered that challenge by creating a standard and a practical system by which manufacturers may measure their products. At last, shoppers concerned about foods made with genetically modified ingredients will be able to make informed choices.”

Once a product has been approved through the PVP it can be labeled with the Non-GMO Project Verified seal. The first Whole Foods Market private label products to bear this seal are expected to be in stores before the end of the year.

10 new brands to be Non-GMO Project Verified
Other new participants of the Non-GMO Project’s PVP include Kettle Brand Potato Chips, Guayaki, Full of Life Products, Tofurky, Turtle Island Foods, Green Mountain Gringo, and Straus Family Creamery. New Chapter and Rainbow Light have joined the program as the first vitamin and supplement companies to enroll products, and EO Products has enrolled the first body care items.
In total, ten new brands have signed on to the program, joining companies such as Eden Foods, Lundberg Family Farms, Nature’s Path, United Natural Foods Inc., WholeSoy & Co, R.W. Garcia, and Whole Foods Market. A complete list of enrolled products is available on the Project’s website: www.nongmoproject.org

Companies that have made a non-GMO commitment and are in the process of enrolling in the PVP include Earth Balance, Wildwood, Traditional Medicinals, and Edward & Sons Trading Company, along with many others.

“As this critical mass of companies committed to non-GMO products comes together, it becomes possible to protect consumers’ right to an informed choice about consuming GMOs,” said Project Executive Director Megan Thompson. “This was the vision of the retailers who founded the Project, and it’s very exciting to see it coming to fruition.”

25% discount to enroll products
In light of the increased enrollment activity, an offer for a 25% discount on PVP enrollment fees has been extended through September 15, 2009. Companies interested in taking advantage of the offer should complete an enrollment inquiry on the Project’s website, or call the Non-GMO Project directly at 888.688.7262.

© Copyright The Organic & Non-GMO Report July/August 2009