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   WB01343_.gif (599 bytes) Pesticide and Environmental Update

Campaign to Test Natural Foods & Supplements
for GMO Contamination

The Non-GMO (Non-Genetically Modified Organisms) Project, a collaboration of natural foods retailers nationwide who want natural food & supplement companies to undergo 3rd-party Non-GMO verification, has announced that membership in The Non-GMO Project is free and very much wanted! The stores and their customers will be the first to get the information generated from these Non-GMO Compliance Reviews.


The Non-GMO Project is a collaborative effort of grocery stores across the U.S. and Canada. We are asking all of the manufacturers of the food and supplements we carry to go through a review process to confirm the Non-GMO status of their products. We need your help to create a strong base of support for this project and to make an impact on the natural food industry and beyond! People want to know, and have a right to know what is in the products they are buying. For technical support, we have retained the world's expert in GMO control, Genetic ID. Genetic ID has created a cost-effective strategy both for us and for the food & supplement companies that we carry in our stores. Please read our Mission Statement. Why is The Non-GMO Project so important?

Scientists from many different disciplines have written extensively on the dangers involved in releasing genetically engineered organisms into the environment and into our food. There is ever increasing concern (from the smallest community organizations to international health watchdog groups) that the consumers' right to know has been taken away by the lack of any labeling for GMOs. Product labeling for GMOs is not required by U.S. or Canadian law. But poll after poll shows that the majority of North Americans want independent testing which demonstrates safety, and labeling for commercialized products. Corporate & government research on the effects of genetically modified organisms has been either piecemeal, biased or short-term*, and labeling is still not required.

In addition, the public has often been denied access to the results of the GMO research that has been done. Nearly 70% of all field tests conducted in the USA in the last year now contain secret genes classified as "Confidential Business Information," which means that the public has no access to information about experiments being conducted in their communities.** Meanwhile, independent academic research conducted on GMOs is compiling a body of scientific evidence linking the consumption of genetically altered food to disease in animals and humans, and evidence to support even more frightening long-term scenarios resulting from the presence of GMOs in our bodies and in the environment.

Natural food grocers and natural food companies have an important choice! Because of the dangers, and because of the lack of sufficient testing, an overwhelming majority of our customers do not want GMOs in their food and are eager to invest in their health and in food safety by buying products that have 3rd party non-GMO verification. According to a survey conducted by the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) in 2000, 95% of Canadians believe they should have the right to choose whether or not they buy foods containing genetically modified ingredients. And an ABC News poll reported on July 15, 2003 that 92% of Americans feel that the federal government should require labels on genetically engineered foods. This number remains unchanged in a November 2004 poll by the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology -- "Public Sentiment About Genetically Modified Food". Please check out the resources articles links for more information about the dangers of GMOs in our food supply and in the environment. We need both knowledge of the dangers of genetically modified organisms, and choices that allow us to avoid those dangers. This is why The Non-GMO Project is so important.

Even on a practical business level, The Non-GMO Project is important. The Natural Foods Industry serves a specific client-base which demands all-natural ingredients. Retailers must respond to the demands of their customers or lose business. Most people realize that GMOs are far from what would commonly be called "natural". They are not expecting to find genetically altered food in their favorite natural food market, and if given an informed choice would overwhelmingly reject those products that contain GMOs.

Add to this the common assumption that "organic" means "non-GMO". In many cases this is true, yet it is known that GMOs have contaminated even organic supplies. Again, the natural foods consumer will overwhelmingly reject contaminated organics if given the informed choice. The ethics of the Natural Food Industry demand that it address the needs for quality assurance and quality control, specific to GMOs, in a more rigorous way. The Non-GMO Project can meet these needs. Who can join?

If you are a grocery store in the U.S or in Canada, please join us! There is no cost to join, membership in The Non-GMO Project is free. We are a non-profit project, so donations are always welcomed, but all you need to do to become a member of The Non-GMO Project is to say "Yes!" .

Join The Non-GMO Project

If you are a concerned individual, please tell your local grocery store about us! Ask store managers if they will join this effort. Let them know that you care deeply about the presence of GMOs in our food supply, and that there are many more like yourself. Let them know that all we need from them is a "Yes" of support. If you would like to help them directly, they are always eager for volunteers and donations! Please contact them at or (510) 526-2456 ext. 154.



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