The natural transition from one season to the next fills us with anticipation and the sense of moving forward, while at the same time, reflecting on where we’ve been. With Non-GMO Month behind us and as we ease into the final months of the year, our thoughts turn to gratitude, contemplation and hope.
This year offered up a sequence of roadblocks in our mission for GMO transparency. The Simplot Potato and AquAdvantage Salmon, approved by federal agencies as safe for human consumption, could appear on North American store shelves in the near future. The President’s signing of the “DARK Act” nullified Vermont’s historic mandatory GMO labeling legislation – the first of its kind in the United States and the result of countless hours of effort by individuals and organizations demanding the right to know what is in our food.
While disheartening, these thumps to the non-GMO movement did little to diminish the passion and fervor of thousands of like-minded consumers, retailers and brands who continue to press forward for truthful GMO labeling. Undeterred and united, we rallied forth with increased commitment to our seventh and most successful Non-GMO Month to date.
From launch to culmination, it is clear that Non-GMO Month momentum has no intention of slowing down. Annual registration in our Retailer Program is on the rise, as is the number of brands enrolled in the Non-GMO Project Verification Program, and more than 40,000 products have now been Verified in accordance with our rigorous Standard. Perhaps even more telling, the significant shift in natural and organic products moving from specialty niche into the mainstream market supports the expanding participation by conventional grocery chains.
The Project’s original grassroots ambition set out to increase public awareness, provide non-GMO choices and preserve and build a non-GMO food supply, a heartfelt but lofty ambition by anyone’s standard. Seven years into our mission, we have seen more successes than setbacks and made the Butterfly synonymous with a healthy non-GMO future. With our eyes already on the planning for Non-GMO Month 2017, we continue to be motivated by your energy and enthusiasm and remain inspired by your steadfast support. As we have stated many times over, none of these triumphs would be possible without you!
Here is a sampling of the 2016 successes you helped to generate:
- 2,380+ Registered Retailers
- 17,000 Non-GMO Month daily giveaway entries
- 340 million Facebook impressions through their new enhanced interaction metrics
- 7,500 sponsor-branded Non-GMO Project tote and messenger bags and thousands of other “Look for the Butterfly” materials distributed
- 2,619 new products Verified in the 90 days leading up to Non-GMO Month
- 703 new company inquiries about the Product Verification Program in the 90 days leading up to Non-GMO Month
Featuring Non-GMO Project Verified products and information on endcaps is one of the best ways to raise awareness. Every year, retailers across the country get creative with their merchandising and send photos of some truly inspiring designs!
2016 Grand Prize Winner:
- The Turnip Truck Natural Market, Nashville, TN
- Good Earth Natural Foods, Fairfax, CA and Mill Valley, CA
- Yelm Food Co-op (Yelm, WA)
- Wright’s Nutrients, New Port Richey, FL
- Roots Market, Clarksville, MD
- Non-GMO Month 2016 event photos from Native Sun Natural Foods Market