Follow Your Heart® Teams Up with the Non-GMO Project
Published April 12, 2013
When it comes to your food, we at Follow Your Heart® believe it is important to provide you with delicious, healthy, and environmentally-conscious choices. In an effort to promote that philosophy, we have registered with the Non-GMO Project. The Non-GMO Project is an independent non-profit collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, processors, distributors, farmers, and seed companies coming together to create more transparency about GMOs in food. You have probably heard of GMOs before, but what are they anyway? Aren’t Follow Your Heart products already non-GMO?
What are GMOs?
GMOs are “genetically modified organisms.” These organisms have been created through gene-splicing and other biotechnological techniques. There are many restrictions on GM foods and some countries have banned them completely. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows GM foods into the marketplace if they have been tested and deemed safe, but manufacturers are allowed to test the products themselves and there is no independent third party checking on the safety of these items or their long-term effects. This has caused great concern amongst many consumers. This is where the Non-GMO Project steps in.
What does the non-GMO Project do?
The Non-GMO Project creates a standardized definition of what non-GMO means and creates a system to verify this standard being met for the foods it verifies. Participation in the program is voluntary.
Are Follow Your Heart® products non-GMO?
For Follow Your Heart® brand products, we require non-GMO verification from our ingredient suppliers and most of our major retail products are already labeled non-GMO. We have decided to participate in the project in order further verify the non-GM status of our ingredients and to more clearly designate our products as non-GMO on the labels. We believe it is vital that our customers feel completely secure in the integrity of our products. Some Follow Your Heart products already carry the “Non-GMO Project Verified” Seal and we expect our remaining products to display the seal as they move through the Project’s evaluation process.
What does the verified seal mean?
Once a product has been certified by the Non-GMO Project, a “Non-GMO Project verified seal” is placed on the product. Due to the prevalence of GM farming, a 100% non-GMO standard is unfeasible, but the Non-GMO Project requires that all ingredients in a verified product contain less than 1% GM content. This is the current EU standard for non-GMO. According to the project, “the seal means a product has been produced according to rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance, including testing of risk ingredients.” The Non-GMO Project requires strict traceability and segregation practices from the farm to the manufacturer. It verifies these standards by requiring documentation, audits, and ongoing laboratory GMO testing of high-risk ingredients.
Have more questions about how it all works? To learn more about the project, participating retailers and the non-GMO seal, please go to http://www.nongmoproject.org/. For a list of Follow Your Heart’s® Non-GMO Project verified products, click here.