As the debate rages over genetic modification of plants and animals for use in commercial food products, a group of natural grocery stores and co-ops in the United States and Canada have taken the issue into their own hands. They formed The Non-GMO Project, which will provide North American consumers with the ability to purchase Non-GMO products produced in compliance with a membership supported, rigorous Non-GMO Program Standard. “People have a right to know what is in the food and supplement products they are buying,” said a project spokesman, “And if most people knew for certain that they were buying a product that contained GMOs, they would seek an alternative.”
Due to the absence of food labeling laws for GM foods in both the US and Canada, consumers cannot be certain if a food or supplement product contains GM ingredients. In addition, while the US National Organic Standards and the National Standard of Canada for Organic Agriculture assure that food and supplement ingredients carrying an organic label are not grown from GM seeds, neither program deals with the issues of genetic contamination. GMO contamination of crops is a fast growing concern across the North American continent, and polls repeatedly show that the majority of Americans and Canadians feel that GMOs should be labeled in food.
There has been a growing concern, supported by mounting scientific evidence, that the introduction of GMOs into the food supply could have potentially disastrous effects. “Over the last fifteen years, I and other scientists have put the FDA on notice about the potential dangers of genetically engineered foods. Instead of responsible regulation we have seen bureaucratic bungling and obfuscation that have left public health and the environment at risk,” said Dr. Philip Regal, Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota.
The Non-GMO Project was founded by two natural grocery stores, The Natural Grocery Company in Berkeley, California, and The Big Carrot Natural Food Market in Toronto, Canada. To create a systematic and scientific program for Non-GMO certification, they have retained Genetic ID North America, the world’s leader in GMO control and identification. The Project’s mission is two-fold; first, it seeks to enlist as many member grocery stores as possible across the United States and Canada. Second, The Non-GMO Project will contact all natural foods and supplements manufacturers, and formally request their participation.
To join The Non-GMO Project as a member store, or for more information about the project, please visit http://www.nongmoproject.org. For US inquiries, contact Corey Nicholl, at (510) 526-2456 ext.154, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For Canadian inquiries, contact Asa Copithorne, at (416) 466-2129 ext. 638, email@example.com.