there will be an 18-month transition
period during which the project will
focus on ensuring a non-GMO seed
supply and working with farmers to
avoid GMO contamination and with
food manufacturers to address critical
control points and develop non-GMO
sources for ingredients. “We will be
collecting data to make sure supplies
are there so the standard can be
achieved,” said Thompson.
Following the transition period,
plans call for products containing the
Non-GMO Project seal to start
appearing on shelves in fall 2009.
Several food companies have started
putting their products through the
non-GMO verification process.
“We Need a Solution Now”
Industry leaders believe the Non-GMO Project offers an effective tool
to help the industry deal with the
GMO threat and preserve the integrity of organics. “The Non-GMO
Project will help us unite to deal with the GMO issue. This is something everyone should be part of,” said Margaret Wittenberg, vice
president of communications and quality standards, Whole Foods
Market, Inc., speaking at Natural Products Expo East last fall.
Grant Lundberg, chief executive officer, Lundberg Family Farms,
calls the Non-GMO Project timely and said the organic industry is
ready to deal with GMOs on a practical level. “This is a recognition
that GMOs are an issue and that we need to keep our products as
pure as possible. The Non-GMO Project will benefit consumers so
they trust what we do.”
Time is critical though, said Mark Squire, owner of Good Earth
Natural and Organic Foods in Fairfax, California and Non-GMO
Project board member. “We need a solution now. This problem will
only get worse.”
However, if the organic community works together to address this
issue, we can preserve the non-GMO integrity of organic foods and provide greater assurance to consumers.
Ken Roseboro is editor and publisher of The Organic&Non-GMOReport, a monthly newsletter focusing on the markets for
non-GMO and organic products and “The Non-GMO
Sourcebook,” an annual directory of suppliers of non-GMO and
organic products. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. (A complete reference list is included with this article
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