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Whole Foods Market(R) Partners With Non-GMO Project

 Whole Foods Market(R) Partners With Non-GMO Project

Whole Food Market in TX (photo by Creative Commons user That Other Penny)

PR Newswire

Whole Foods Market® Partners With Non-GMO Project to Label Company’s Private Label Food Products Using New Third-Party Standard ; Whole Foods Market Encourages Other Retailers & Branded Product Manufacturers to Make Similar Commitment to Non-GMO Food Supply Chain

Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI), the leading natural and organic grocer, today announced a commitment to the Non-GMO Project – a non-profit collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, processors, distributors, farmers, seed breeders and consumers – to use the Non-GMO’s Product Verification Program (PVP) in connection with Whole Foods Market’s 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 U.S., 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. “We searched high and low for years for a way to do this and now, thankfully, 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.”

According to the FDA, as much as 75 percent of processed food in the United States may contain components from genetically modified crops. Despite the abundance of products with genetically modified ingredients, a Pew Initiative study on Food and Biotechnology shows that 59 percent of Americans are unfamiliar with the issue of genetically modified ingredients in food.

“In 30 other countries around the world, including Australia, Japan and all of the nations in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production of GMOs, due to environmental impact and concerns about GMO safety,” said Megan Thompson, executive director of the Non-GMO Project.

While Federal law requires organic producers to comply with certain non-GMO requirements identified in the USDA organic standards, there is no standard for labeling GMOs in non-organic products.

The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to allowing consumers to make informed choices and to working toward the sustained availability of non-GMO options. Whole Foods Market is a member of the group, which is a collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, processors, distributors, farmers, seed breeders and consumers. Together these members have established a working standard and have developed North America’s first independent third- party Product Verification Program.