Down to Earth is opposed to the development of products containing GMOs because we believe they may pose health, safety, and other potential risks that far outweigh the purported benefits.
Unfortunately, along with many food manufacturers, other retailers, and consumers, Down to Earth is essentially a victim of the biotechnology industry. The biotechnology industry has forced its products upon us with inadequate testing and—due to the lack of government action—without any requirement for labeling. As a result, it is not possible for Down to Earth to identify which products may or may not contain GMOs. Therefore, regrettably, as with all grocers and natural foods stores, we may sell some products that may contain GMOs.
Down to Earth strongly promotes the organic industry, whose products are produced without GMOs. Until recently, selecting foods labeled Organic has been the only way customers could avoid non-GMO foods. However, organic certification covers how a food is grown, not the content of the food itself. And, since food production has become increasingly compromised by cross pollination and cross contamination in processing and handling, even organic certification does not guarantee that a product is GMO free.
If a non-organic product contains corn, soy, canola oil, or even sugar (as a significant amount of sugar is now produced from GMO sugar beets) it may contain GMOs unless the manufacturer makes a specific claim that their product is GMO free. However, even if a manufacturer makes such a claim there is no way to know whether such claims are actually valid because they generally are not backed by third-party testing or adherence to independent standards of transportation and processing, etc.
The natural products industry, along with many concerned consumers and others, have long pressed for and supported efforts to require mandatory labeling of foods containing GMOs. Consumers have repeatedly stated they do not want GMOs in their foods. If such products were labeled, their sales would likely plummet resulting in their economic failure. Sadly, for various reasons, mandatory labeling efforts have not succeeded.
As a result of these issues Down to Earth, along with the natural products industry, strongly supports the Non-GMO Project. The Non-GMO Project provides manufacturers with a "Non-GMO Project Verified" seal that is backed by independent testing. The “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal means that GMO contamination has been avoided throughout the growth and harvesting of crops, their processing, storage and packaging. As of December 2012, over 6,000 products have been verified, with thousands more in the process.
With increasing numbers of manufacturers including the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal on their packaging, you will see more and more of the verified products on our shelves. Consumers have the right to choose what foods to eat and feed their families. This Non-GMO logo enables consumers to exercise this right!
We call on Congress to support labeling of foods that contain GMOs.
For more information visit The Non-GMO Project