Being so far away from home my mother likes to send care packages from time to time, including some of my favorite foods and snacks. I recently received one from her, this past week, filled with granola bars, oatmeal, and some more of my favorite healthy snack choices. As I was unpacking the box and putting the snacks away, I came across the granola bars she sent that red “NON GMO” in bold letters on the front of the box. At age 21, this was one of the first encounters I’ve ever had with non- GMO labeling as I avidly check all the products I buy. I was satisfied to see this non-GMO stamp but also find it very concerning that out of all the food labels I have read and consulted, this was the first product I have seen that was properly labeled as a Non-GMO.
On the back of the “Kind Healthy Grains” box of granola bars I found a small label in the bottom left corner leading me to the Non GMO project website. I then followed the link provided to find more information on this project. The Non- GMO project is founded on one idea, which is that everyone should have access to clearly labeled Non-GMO food products.
“The Non-GMO Project is a mission-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to building and protecting a non-GMO food supply. We do this through consumer education and outreach programs; marketing support provided to Non-GMO Project Verified brands; and training resources and merchandising materials provided to retailers. Non-GMO Project Verified is a meaningful and achievable way for suppliers, brands and retailers to show their commitment to providing consumers transparent choice in the marketplace.”
I found this excerpt in the “About” section on the website which does a great job of describing the company’s mission and how they achieve it. Also, links were provided on the home page leading to a website specifically for shoppers, retailers, standards, and verification if one is looking to have their product verified. This website is incredibly easy to navigate and provides so much information on the impact, safety, and labeling of GMO products. It is also a great tool to find products and retailers that provide verified non-GMO foods (over forty thousand non-GMO products and over two thousand retailers).
This project is a huge step toward helping drive public awareness of contaminations in GMO products and where to find non-GMO food products. I am very happy that I came across this website because I can now use it as a tool to help with grocery shop. I will be consulting the long list of non-GMO products and retailers that are provided on the website, for a healthier GMO free grocery list. If you happen to see one of these labels trust the butterfly, as it is one of the most established seals for GMO avoidance.