PCC pledges to be Non-GMO

This article was originally published in March 2011

The Center for Food Safety is back in court, defending the farmer’s right to choose what to grow, and the consumer’s right to choose what to eat. It is appealing the government’s approval of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa and sugar beets.

PCC believes in an organic, non-GMO future. We’re signed on as a friend of the court in the sugar beet case, and we’re implementing a policy to support the consumer’s right to an informed choice in our stores.

Make no mistake: there’s not a single retailer in the nation that can claim to be 100 percent GMO-free. Consumers have been learning for years that any food with corn, soy and canola if not certified organic almost certainly is GMO.

One reason GE corn, soy and canola gained such a foothold in the market is that there was no testing and no mechanism to plug the sources of contamination when those crops rolled out in the 1990s. Now, we have a way to push back.

GMO-free goal

PCC’s management team held several meetings to assess what we might do in response to the approval of GE alfalfa and sugar beets. The result is a new element to our product standards.

PCC is asking all manufacturers making a non-GMO claim on their labels to verify that claim with the Non-GMO Project, the first independent, third-party certifier in the nation to establish Best Practices and testing throughout the supply chain to ensure non-GMO ingredients. Some vendors have internal verification programs in place, but most do not.

We’re also elevating a long-standing screen to our product standards. Buyers will give priority to new items containing at-risk ingredients (organic and non-organic) that are enrolled in the Non-GMO Project.

We can win

We beat back rBGH in dairy. We beat back GE tomatoes, GE potatoes, GE wheat, and GE rice. We can do it again.

  • Buy organic, especially Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified.
  • Support the Center for Food Safety’s legal fund at http://bit.ly/fHgBj3.
  • And ask the President to respect sound science at whitehouse.gov/contact or 202-456-1111.

Learn about non-GMO shopping at PCC.

Also in this issue

What’s on the agenda for the NOSB meeting in Seattle?

Are you planning to attend the meetings of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) next month in Seattle? Do you have something you’d like the national organic standards to address, something the NOSB should hear?

Basic necessities for farming: soil, water and equipment

We recently evaluated a gorgeous piece of property with prime agricultural soils in the Puget Sound region owned by an elderly couple. The property has not been farmed for over 40 years and although it has many good attributes — including a willing seller and great soil — it lacks some basic necessities for farming: water rights and farming infrastructure.