Mississippi Market commits to not bring in any new items that contain “GMO-likely” ingredients.
Genetically modified ingredients, while ubiquitous in our food supply, are currently limited to a few approved crops, including corn, sugar beets, soy, canola, cotton, alfalfa, papaya and summer squash. If these ingredients are not accompanied by organic certification or Non-GMO verification, they are likely to be a GM variety.
Mississippi Market’s product policy now includes:
Mississippi Market Co-op will not add any new products containing corn, soy, canola, non-cane sugar, cottonseed oil, papaya or summer squash unless they are certified organic or Non-GMO Project verified. An affidavit of non-GMO sourcing may be accepted in some situations.
This product policy change shows a strong commitment to GMO-free products, while honoring long-term relationships with more mainstream brands that the stores already carry. Mississippi Market hopes to see other natural food stores follow suit.
Mississippi Market believes that the labeling responsibility should be on the producers of GM products and is a supporter of the Truth in Labeling Coalition and the Just Label It campaign, which petitions the Food and Drug Administration to mandate labeling for all genetically modified food sold in the United States. Meanwhile, the co-op will continue to label foods on our shelves that have joined the Non-GMO Project and have been independently tested to be GM-free. That disclosure is voluntary, however, and the food industry’s heavy hitters do not want GMO labeling inscribed in FDA policy. Because the FDA makes no distinction between GM and non-GM foods, such labeling is unlikely to occur without significant consumer action. Shoppers can look for the Non-GMO project tags on our shelves calling out products that have tested GM-free.
On the state level, Mississippi Market has joined Right to Know Minnesota, a coalition working to pass Minnesota legislation requiring labeling of foods produced using genetically modified organisms. While Mississippi Market believes federal-level labeling is ultimately the best solution for consumers and producers, this legislation draws much-needed attention to this issue and will show Minnesotans’ support for GMO labeling.
Not accepting new products that are likely to contain GMOs is a way we can take action now, even as we lobby for labeling requirements,” explains Liz McMann, Mississippi Market’s consumer affairs manager. Going forward, the co-op will no longer accept any new products with ingredients that are likely to be genetically modified. Ingredients such as corn, soy, canola, sugar beet, cottonseed, papaya and summer squash must be certified organic, Non-GMO Project verified, or able to provide other verification of non-GMO sourcing.”
Visit www.msmarket.coop/products/policy to view Mississippi Market’s complete product policy.