Sales of products carrying the Non-GMO Project Verified seal now total more than $8.5 billion, growing at more than 20% annually, reported Megan Westgate, Executive Director of the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit organization based in Bellingham, Washington. More than 22,000 products now carry the Non-GMO Project Verified seal, representing more than 2,100 brands, she said.
To qualify for the seal, a product has to be certified as containing ingredients with less than 1% genetic modification. Westgate said that’s a realistic standard, while totally GMO-free is not, particularly in an environment where more than 90% of conventional crops including corn, soy, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets and cotton are genetically engineered. “Interestingly, with all of this traction in the natural sector, we’re seeing more conventional companies coming on board and having their products verified,” Westgate told Iowa Public Radio in a December 17 interview.
To date, FoodChain ID, a third-party auditor that certifies products for the Non-GMO Project, has verified 17,000 ingredients from 10,000 suppliers in 96 countries. David Carter, General Manager of FoodChain ID, said he could barely keep up with the number of inquiries coming from companies that want Non-GMO Project certification. “The demand is now very, very high and it has been for probably over a year,” Carter said. Visit www.nongmoproject.org.