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Genetically Engineered Foods
Our goal at Whole Foods Market is to provide informed consumer choice with regard to genetically engineered ingredients (also known as GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms). Clearly labeled products enable shoppers who want to avoid foods made with GMOs to do so. Accordingly, we have set a deadline that, by 2018, all products in our U.S. and Canadian stores must be labeled to indicate whether they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Whole Foods Market is the first national grocery chain to set a deadline for full GMO transparency.
Whole Foods Market has been collaborating with many of its supplier partners for several years to source products without GMO ingredients. In 2009, the company began putting its 365 Everyday Value™ line through Non-GMO Project™ verification and encouraged its grocery supplier partners to do the same. Whole Foods Market currently sells 3,300 Non-GMO Project verified products from 250 brands, more than any other retailer in North America. It will now expand this effort, working with suppliers in all categories as they transition to ingredients from non-GMO sources, or clearly label products containing GMOs by the five-year deadline. Whole Foods Market will make announcements about progress and key milestones along the way.
More on the Non-Project
The Non-GMO Project is a collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, processors, distributors, farmers, seed breeders and consumers who have developed North America’s first independent third-party Non-GMO Product Verification Program. This program ensures that food production follows rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance, and the seal allows consumers to make informed food buying choices.
The Product Verification Program uses a process that combines on-site facility audits, document-based review and product testing to verify compliance with the standard at every level of the supply chain, from manufacturing facilities to ingredient suppliers. For a product to be verified and bear the seal, it must undergo a process through which any ingredient at high risk for GMO contamination—soy or corn, for example—has been proven to meet the standard through avoidance practices and testing.
GMOs & Certified Organic Products
By law, organic products must be created only with non-GMO ingredients. Buying organic products throughout our stores is a reliable way for customers to choose non-GMO foods. Accordingly, we encourage manufacturers and producers to label organic products as not grown from genetically engineered seed.We also encourage other manufacturers and producers to create products without GMO ingredients or processes and to have them verified and labeled as such. As a pioneer in the U.S. organic food movement for the past 32 years, Whole Foods Market now offers thousands of organic products, the largest variety in the country.
We offer a wide variety of choices for our customers who prefer to avoid GMOs:
• Go organic! The USDA National Organic Standards do not allow genetically engineered seed and ingredients in the growth and production of organic foods.
• Buy 365 Everyday Value® food products. This line is formulated to avoid genetically engineered ingredients and hundreds of products are verified by the Non-GMO Project.
Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal, which indicates the product has passed a third-party verification program indicating that a product has been produced according to best practices and procedures to avoid the intentional use of GMO ingredients.