Every April, the Non-GMO Project hosts the Non-GMO Challenge—a month-long photo campaign that invites and unites people across the U.S. and Canada in making promises to avoid GMOs – for a day, for a week, for a month, for good – whatever feels most comfortable.
Last year, hundreds of amazing photos were submitted. It was inspiring to see the commitment of so many people across North America vowing to keep GMOs out of their life, one pledge at a time!
It’s Only “Natural”
Today, a trip to the grocery store means not only reading your shopping list, but shelves filled with many seals and labels: organic, gluten free, fair trade, fat free, raw, vegan, humane and of course, Non-GMO Project Verified. Most of these labels help you avoid ingredients and/or support production methods. The Non-GMO Project Verification mark is backed by a rigorous standard and a robust third-party verification system. It’s important to know the full meaning and stringency behind labels, because not all labels are created equal.
According to The Washington Post, the natural category accounted for $40 billion in sales for 2014. What does a “natural” claim tell you about GMO content? Unfortunately, nothing. I’m not criticizing natural foods, a peek into my cabinets will prove I’m a huge supporter. But I’m an even bigger supporter of transparency—and the more I know about a product and how it was produced and by whom, the more likely I am to purchase it. These days, “natural” alone isn’t enough for me.
Consumer Reports recently reported on GMOs in natural foods:
More than 60 percent of people in our national survey said they believed that “Natural” means “No GMOs.” But that’s not what our tests found. Virtually all of the samples we tested of products that made only a “Natural” claim did have a substantial amount of GMOs, although since we did our testing some manufacturers have removed the “natural” claim or have become Non-GMO Project Verified.
The very best way to know you are avoiding GMOs is to look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal. When you reach for the butterfly, you know independent, third-party verification ensures your food has followed industry best practices for GMO avoidance, including the testing of all major high-risk ingredients.
What Does the Non-GMO Project Verified Butterfly Mean?
- We require ongoing testing of all major high-risk ingredients—any ingredient being grown commercially in GMO form must be tested prior to use in a Verified product
- We use an Action Threshold of 0.9%. This is in alignment with laws in the European Union (where any product containing more than 0.9% GMO must be labeled)
- After testing, we require rigorous traceability and segregation practices to be followed in order to ensure ingredient integrity through to the finished product
- For low-risk ingredients, we conduct a thorough review of ingredient specification sheets to determine absence of GMO risk
- Verification is maintained through an annual audit, along with onsite inspections for high-risk products
When you look for and purchase products with the butterfly, you are making a non-GMO choice that you can trust and share. It’s a choice that makes a difference in how your food is produced.
Join Us — Take the Non-GMO Challenge!
What is your Non-GMO pledge? Take a photo with the attached template and share it with us to complete your entry for a chance to win a tasty DreamBox as a thanks for your non-GMO commitment! Need inspiration? Check out photos from Challenges past!