Looking back on 2016, it is undeniable that the non-GMO movement is more united and stronger than ever. Millions of people across North America have mobilized to send a message loud and clear: everyone has a right to know what is in their food and deserves access to non-GMO choices. We’d like to extend our deepest thanks to you for continually choosing the Butterfly—with every Non-GMO Project Verified food you eat, you are helping to protect our food supply.
We made monumental strides towards a non-GMO future this year, and it’s something to celebrate. Here are the top 10 non-GMO wins we’re celebrating from 2016:
Humboldt, Marin, Mendocino, Santa Cruz, Trinity and Sonoma Counties have decided to say no to GMOs and make growing genetically modified crops illegal. With support from farmers, residents, and food retailers across the state, California can now boast the largest non-GMO zone in the United States: 13,734 square miles!
In response from nation-wide pressure, the Food and Drug Administration will be the first U.S. agency to test food for glyphosate, the world’s most widely used pesticide. Commonly known as Roundup, glyphosate has been listed as a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization and is sprayed on many food crops genetically modified to be resistant to it.
Vermont changed the course of history when it passed the first statewide GMO labeling law in the U.S. Although the passing of the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard just one month later effectively nullified Vermont’s law, it asserted that Americans will stand up for their right to know what’s in the food they eat. The passing of the federal GMO labeling bill marked a loss for our movement this year, but you can still look for the Butterfly for non-GMO assurance with your food.
Over the next five years, Boulder County will remove all genetically modified crops on 100,000 acres of county-owned farmland. This landmark decision came from the widespread support of residents, farmers and activists who believe that using non-GMO crops will protect the agricultural viability of the land.
Dannon has committed to bring all products from its three flagship brands Dannon®, Oikos® and Danimals® towards the use of natural ingredients that are non-GMO. The nation’s leading yogurt maker also committed that the feed of its farmer’s cows will be non-GMO, within a transition period of 3 years. Cheers to Dannon for embracing brand transparency and a non-GMO future!
Over 60 countries have completely banned genetically modified food and Mexico is following suit by denying Monsanto the right to farm on over 620,000 acres of farmland. As the fourth largest honey producer in the world, major concern for bee populations in the country arose when Monsanto attempted to plant Roundup ready soybeans. A judge ruled that co-existence between bees and genetically modified soybeans is not possible and denied the planting permit.
Following an in-depth investigation, the New York Times reported that GMOs in the United States and Canada have not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to a reduction in the use of chemical pesticides. While we’ve all known for some time that GMOs overpromise and underdeliver, it is heartening to see such reputable news outlets share the truth.
Sausalito Marin City School District decided to expel over-processed and unhealthy lunchboxes this school year, implementing instead 100% organic and non-GMO menu items, all of which are made from scratch and sustainably sourced. The district said student health and well-being, along with sense of responsibility to the environment brought them to the decision. We give them an A+.
Consumers, brands and retailers alike rallied forth with increased commitment to drive our seventh and most successful Non-GMO Month to date. With 2,400+ plus retailers, 258,000 website visits, $19.2 billion annual sales and 40,000+ verified products, it is clear that non-GMO momentum has no intention of slowing down.
Food giant Nestlé announced that it is removing all genetically modified ingredients from six of its top selling ice cream brands in a move to “evolve with consumer preferences.” Nestlé’s blow to GMOs comes after many food companies have decided to verify their products through the Non-GMO Project—the most rigorous verification program on the market.