By Nancy Smorch
The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization designed to preserve and build the non-GMO food supply, educate consumers, and provide non-GMO verification standards and choices.
You may have seen their butterfly logo, but not really understood exactly what they were all about. Basically, they have created an industry-wide standard for what "non-GMO" actually means.
With the narrow defeat of Proposition 37 in California (which would have required labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers in California if the food was made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways, and would have prohibited labeling or advertising such food as "natural”), consumers became more aware of the potential dangers of GMO foods, and still wanted a way to identify foods that were genetically modified. The Non-GMO Project was there to provide the solution.
While some products may say they are GMO free, these are really not legally or scientifically defensible, and they are not verified by a third party. The Non-GMO Project is North America’s only independent verification for avoiding GMO products. You can visit their website at www.nongmoproject.org to get more detailed information about their verification process.
You can also go to their site and look up foods by category to see if they have the “seal of approval.”
What I found really interesting on their site was the following information:
“Shopping organic is a great step towards ensuring that your family eats the healthiest foods possible. The challenge is that although GMOs are an excluded method under the National Organic Program, organic certification does not require GMO testing. Choosing products that are Certified Organic AND Non-GMO Project Verified is the best way to make sure you are getting the safest, healthiest, highest-quality food for your family.”
I was pleased to learn from their site that Glutino and Enjoy Life, two gluten-free companies, have announced the verification of some of their products. This was really great news for me, as eating gluten free often means eating products that contain corn or soy (although I try to stay away from soy for the most part)... and these are two of the biggest genetically modified crops.
I’ve always said we can’t rely on the government to protect our health. Often movements like this must come from a grass-roots approach. Hats off to the Non-GMO Project! Thank you for all of your efforts!