What is in this article?:
Does the non-GMO Project verification, increasingly appearing on food, beverage, and personal care products threaten the the future of organics? Organic Connections, the magazine of Natural Vitality, takes a deeper dive.
is there room for both labels?
Several organic industry experts say that educated organic consumers would already know that organic is one of their best options to avoid GMOs since the National Organic Program rules consider genetic engineering an “excluded method.”
“The true organic disciple will understand that ‘organic’ has to be non-GMO,” says Steve Ford, president of Stonebridge, Ltd., a supplier of non-GMO and organic soybeans.
“When it comes to labeling non-GMO products it must be understood that if you’re certitied organic then you’re non-GMO,” saysRandal Buresh, president of Oregon’s Wild Harvest. “The Non-GMO Project may help spread the word about organic farming, helping to clarify what being organic is all about.”
Brendan McEntee, president of Cook Natural Products (also not a Non-GMO Project company), agrees. “For the informed organic consumer there will not be any confusion about organic not being non-GMO.”
Though he also says “Certain organic products may lose market share to certified non-GMO.”
Bob Sinner, president, SB&B Foods, a supplier of non-GMO and organic grains, sees a place for both non-GMO and organic labeling. “I understand why the organic folks might try to protect their labeling turf, but as a unified effort to support the consumers that reject biotech I would hope they realize the benefits of both non-GMO and organic labelng,” he says.
Whitman concurs. “I don’t think we need a turf war between organic and non-GMO. It wouldn’t be productive. GMO is unpopular with health-conscious shoppers. Organic is popular. Can’t we just get along?” he says.