BELLINGHAM, Wash. (PRNewswire-USNewswire)/ — This October, nearly 1,000 natural food stores across the U.S. and Canada are taking part in Non-GMO Month, celebrating the public's right to choose food and products that do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organized by the non-profit Non-GMO Project, Non-GMO Month provides a platform for citizens and organizations to stand up for the right to know what's in their food, and to choose non-GMO. Dozens of Non-GMO Month events are scheduled throughout October, including a historic Right2Know March from NYC to DC, and a mom's panel focusing on protecting children from GMOs.
GMOs, or "genetically modified organisms," are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses and other animals and plants. These experimental combinations of genes cross the natural species barrier and have not been proven safe. Studies increasingly show a connection between GMOs and an array of health risks and environmental concerns. While GMOs are labeled or banned in most developed countries, in the U.S. and Canada they are unlabeled and are found in nearly 80% of processed food.
With U.S. consumer confidence shaken by ongoing food safety failures, distrust of GMOs is growing. As a result, consumers are increasingly seeking non-GMO choices, and Nielsen reported last February that "GMO-free" is currently one of the fastest growing store brand label claims. In the natural sector, SPINS reports that "Non-GMO Project Verified" is growing faster than any other product claim they track, with at least $250mm in marketplace sales.
Speaker, author and children's health advocate Robyn O'Brien says, "As a mother of children with food allergies, it concerns me that there are currently no definitive tests that can be relied upon to predict whether the novel proteins in genetically engineered foods might trigger an allergic reaction. We have the right to know what we're feeding our families, and the Non-GMO Project Verified label makes it possible to keep GMO foods out of our kids' lunch boxes."
Throughout October, shoppers will be able to find Non-GMO Project Verified choices featured at nearly 1,000 Non-GMO Month registered retail stores. On the Non-GMO Month website, people can search the events calendar, find retailers, and enter a Non-GMO Month Daily Giveaway contest.