Understanding the Non-GMO Logos on your Food Products
Food logo labeling is becoming increasingly common on packaged and prepared food products. While prominent in the “healthy food” industry, it is less common on conventional food products, excluding those labelled kosher/halal and non-gluten. Logos reflect the interests and concerns of the targeted consumers of products and provide information about a product beyond just basic ingredient and nutritional labeling. They provide quick visual recognition for pertinent information on ingredient sources and quality and integrity of the food product and company, and are important for those with food sensitivities and allergies or environmental and animal welfare concerns. However, not all logos are well known, and many may not be clearly understood by consumers.
This article focuses on bringing familiarity to labeling and is not meant to endorse any products. The products featured are those that are available at Karma.
The Non GMO Project label can appear on both conventional and health food products. A wide variety of products on Karma’s shelves carry this logo, as the examples here show. The Non GMO Project is an international leader in non-GMO verification and certification and is the most widely used on products available in Canada and the US.
Other non-GMO labels are present on some products.
GMO Guard is a new third-party verification program that was launched in the US by certified organic producers who felt pressured to create a label confirming non-GMO status for organic food, although by definition organic products are non-GMO. This highlights the need for clarity for consumers.
Other products such as non-organic Bob’s Red Mill products have a self proclaimed non-GMO label. However, they also have a statement that a number of their products have been verified by the Non GMO Project.
As old and new programs for non-GMO certification appear on products, consumers need to become educated on the reliability of these to make healthy food choices for themselves and their families.
Submitted by Daria Love, on behalf of the Food Issues Committee.