The Non-GMO Project
The Non-GMO Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. One of their main purposes is to provide third-party verified non-genetically modified labeling, since GMO labeling is not required in the United States and Canada. Interest in this organization has dramatically increased as consumers are bocming more aware of and concerned with genetically modified foods. This organization believes everyone has a right to know what is in their food and deserves access to non-GMO choices.
Products are evaluated based on the Non-GMO Project Standard for GMO avoidance, which is a document designed by dozens of industry experts to guide the third-party verification and testing of ingredients at risk of GMO contamination. The Non-GMO Project Standard is updated regularly after a series of public comments and reviews. For example, in 2016 the updates included standards for animal-derived products such as dairy, meat and eggs. If all of the verification criteria are met, the product may then be sold with the The Non-GMO Project Verified trademark, and will be listed on The Project's website and mobile app.
Interest in this organization has dramatically increased as the battle of mandated GMO labeling has continued.
The Non-GMO Project was started in 2007 by two grocery stores, The Natural Grocery Company (in Berkeley, California), and The Big Carrot Natural Food Market (in Toronto, Ontario). They had already been working to provide transparency of what is in the food they sold, and the development of a testing, verification, and labeling program was pragmatic. The Non-GMO Project has remained active in these two originating countries, the United States and Canada, since then. The first products with the trademark Butterfly on them appeared on grocery shelves in 2010. As of 2016, the Non-GMO Project had verified over 41,000 products for shoppers seeking third-party verified assurance of GMO avoidance.
GM influenced products
For a more detailed treatment, see Genetic Engineering.
Genetically modified produce has entered almost every part of the food industry. A variety of genetically modified products such as corn and soy are sold directly to consumers, and are therefore somewhat easy to recognize as potentially genetically modified. However, other foods including animal products such as meat, milk, and honey are also at risk. Even aspartame, xanthan gum, and vitamins may contain with genetically modified genes. For this reason, the project verifies any food product, even if it is classified as "low risk."
- The Non-GMO Project is a nonprofit organization committed to preserving and building sources of non-genetically modified products, educating consumers and providing verified non-GMO choices.
- See the PEW Research Center’s recent consumer study on organic and GMO attitudes.