GMOs and Your Right to Know
GMOs and Your Right to Know What’s in Your Food
This October, Chequamegon Food Co-op joins more than 2,000 grocery retailers across North America that are participating in the sixth annual Non-GMO Month. Created by the Non-GMO Project, this month-long celebration puts a spotlight on a person’s right to choose food and products without genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
“Our customers tell us they are worried about GMOs in our food. With GMOs present in up to 75 percent of conventional packaged foods, we are committed to helping people find safe, healthy non-GMO choices,” says general manager Harold Vanselow. “We believe people have the right to know what’s in their food.” You can find Non-GMO Project Verified products throughout the store by looking for the Non-GMO Project seal with the orange butterfly on product labels.
The non-GMO category is one of the fastest growing sectors in grocery; with 83 percent of shoppers seeking out non-GMO products and 57 percent saying non-GMO is key to brand buying. This growing awareness is sparking major change in the industry: labeling ballot measures, food manufacturers refining ingredients; retailers announcing their non-GMO purchasing policies; and food service companies inquiring about verification. To date, more than 30,000 products have been Non-GMO Project Verified, with annual sales of these products topping $12 billion.
Public concern about GMOs is rising as studies increasingly raise doubts about the long-term safety and environmental impact of this experimental technology. GMO labeling is mandatory in 64 countries around the world, including Australia, Russia, China, and all of Europe, but no such requirements exist in the U.S or Canada. Ninety-two percent of consumers say they believe that genetically engineered ingredients should be labeled. 
“The right to know what we’re eating and feeding our families is so basic,” says Megan Westgate, Executive Director of the nonprofit Non-GMO Project. “Americans deserve the same freedom to avoid experimental GMO foods as people in other countries.”
The Non-GMO Project is a nonprofit organization committed to preserving and building the non-GMO food supply, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices. They believe that everyone deserves an informed choice about whether or not to consume genetically modified organisms.
For additional information, visit the links below:
“What is GMO?” https://livingnongmo.org/learn/gmo-faq/
“Non-GMO Month” https://www.nongmomonth.org
“Labeling Survey Results” https://justlabelit.org/faqs/
“State Labeling Initiatives” https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/976/ge-food-labeling/state-labeling-initiatives
 2015 Market LOHAS (Lifestyle Of Health And Sustainability) Mambo Sprouts Marketing Annual Natural and Organic Consumer Research
 Consumer Reports, October 2014