I’ve seen the Non-GMO Project label on a lot more food recently, and I wanted to know more about this organization and what they’re certifying.
Genetically modified organisms have their genes engineered by combining genetic material from animals, plants, bacteria, and viruses together into something that would likely never occur in nature. I am familiar with plant breeding, and I know that “genetic modification” refers to a completely different process.
I learned that products certified by the Non-GMO Project only have ingredients that are tested, traceable, and always separated from anything that could contain GMO ingredients.
I’ve also noticed Fairtrade Certified label on more products, especially my coffee, chocolate, and bananas. Why do these things need this label?
I learned that farmers in tropical countries, who grow bananas, chocolate and coffee, earn a lot less from these crops than they need to survive. They suffer poverty, lack of food, shelter, schooling, and poor resilience to crises like the pandemic.
Who to Trust, and Why?
I mentioned two of the independent verification organizations that certify foods as fair trade or GMO free. Fairtrade America and the Non-GMO Project are both nonprofits organized around their mission to improve food systems, in both the USA and around the world. I can see from their websites that both of these organizations have been around ten years or more, and many major brands use them to certify their products. They also publish their certification standards, so they are transparent about the requirements. Brands that have received certification print the seal on their packaging, and several brands carry both seals. The longevity of these organizations and the number of certified brands indicate that these are good tools by which to judge products’ alignment with my values.
We Hold These Values and Objectives at LifeSource
In October, LifeSource has special savings on products that are Non-GMO Project Verified, and Fairtrade Certified. Look for the Fairtrade America Certification, and the Non-GMO Project Verification symbols on brands we support. Together, we work towards increasing sustainability, and promoting our values. Try some new products, and discover your new favorites, at LifeSource!
Shared Objectives Among Both Certifiers
It is no coincidence brands are often certified by both organizations, since their objectives often overlap. For example, GMO seeds are banned under Fairtrade standards because GMO seed providers retain the rights to the genetics, so the seeds of the crops can not be saved or sold. There is also the question of the environmental impacts of GMO seeds, which are often designed for high pesticide input, rather than traditional farming.