(OrganicJar) Whole Foods Market has partnered with the Non-GMO Project to test its private label products for genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), a move company officials say will help consumers make more informed food choices.
As much as 75 percent of the processed food in the U.S. may contain parts of genetically modified crops, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But there is no required standard labeling for GMO products in non-organic foods.
Whole Foods, meanwhile, says more than 80 percent of consumers would seek out non-GMO foods if they could. As a result, it plans to have its in-house 365 brand products tested for by the Non-GMO Project’s third party Product Verification Program (PVP). Qualifying products will earn the organization’s seal.
Several other countries, including Australia, Japan and the European Union restrict or ban the production of GMO’s due to concerns about safety and environmental impact.
In the U.S., the FDA has said there is no significant difference between genetically engineered seeds and natural seeds, thus labeling something as “GMO” is unnecessary. Industry fears consumers will not buy products labeled “‘GMO,” even though the FDA has said they’re safe.
But Whole Foods and the Non-GMO project say consumers have a right to know what’s inside the products they’re buying and that they want to ensure the sustained availability of non-GMO choices.
National brands such as Nature’s Path Organic and Lundberg Family Farms also have items enrolled in the program.
The first Whole Foods private label products to bear the seal are expected to be in stores by the end of the year.
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