The landscape of food is changing in more dramatic ways than ever before and consumers are leading the charge. As more and more buyers—especially moms, as the primary grocery shoppers for most households—gather awareness about the topic of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) they have begun asking questions. Their concerns are centered on environmental degradation, human health and safety, and farmer and consumer rights infringements that are associated with GMOs.
The panel discussion, Trust, Facts, and GMO Transparency, will explore the risk and rewards of GMO transparency, give real examples of how brands and retailers have succeeded with their transparency initiatives, and explore how transparency can build a rapport with shoppers that extends beyond store walls to the highly visible world of social media. Caroline Kinsman, Brand and Outreach Manager for the Non-GMO Project, is leading the session.
Consumers want the facts
- GMOs are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and viral genes that do not occur in nature nor through traditional crossbreeding methods.
- Genetically engineered foods have not been adequately tested. It is unethical to be using experimental technology in the food we eat. Many North Americans are opting out of the experiment and demanding to know what is in the food they buy and feed their families.
- More than 60 countries require labels on GMOs, and many of these also have severe restrictions or bans against GMO food production or sale. We deserve the same level of protection and information as citizens in other nations around the world.
Consumers want to trust
Increasingly, families want to know more about what is in their food; they want to know where it comes from and how it was made. According to a Consumer Report from June 2014, 92 percent of consumers polled said they believe genetically engineered ingredients should be labeled.
From plant to plate, shoppers are seeking labels they can trust and that provide assurance that the products they buy avoid GMOs. More and more, families understand that most powerful way to preserve non-GMO choices and protect the future of food is to vote with their wallets. They are rapidly changing the food supply by choosing products that are Non-GMO Project Verified. Their choices drive change throughout the entire supply chain.
Consumers demand transparency
When looking at grocery store shelves, shoppers want GMO transparency. They have the right to know what’s in the food they’re eating and feeding to their families—they deserve an informed choice.
The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit that works with farmers, growers and producers; manufacturers and processing facilities; retailers; and consumers across the U.S. and Canada in an effort to provide non-GMO choices. The demand for Non-GMO Project Verified products continues to grow exponentially, with nearly 35,000 verified to date. The organization’s verification program provides the only independent, third-party verification for GMO avoidance—offering a reliable and consistent method for consumers to know what is in the food they buy.
Caroline Kinsman works for the Non-GMO Project, the only third-party verification for products produced according to rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance. In her role as Brand & Outreach Manager, she collaborates with national and international brands to help share the story of their non-GMO commitments. Caroline’s passion for honest food production started at a young age on the family-owned dairy farm where she grew up. She traded in her milking shifts for a career in communicating for important causes. Today, Caroline still feels at home talking about farming and food production. Her current work brings attention to how consumers, retailers, manufacturers and farmers are working together to create remarkable change in the food industry.
David Pitman is a lifelong farmer, representing his family’s 60 year old poultry operation, Pitman Family Farms. As a third generation farmer, David has over 20 years’ experience in the Agricultural Industry with a notable concentration in Animal Well-being and environmental conservation. As the President of the California Cultural Heritage Poultry Association and an Executive Board Member of the California Poultry Federation, David serves the Poultry Industry with dedication. As a respected member of the Poultry Industry, David also is a devoted husband, father, friend, and mentor. Pitman Family Farms is located in the Central Valley of California and raises free range poultry without the use of any antibiotics. With high quality and nutrition being a focus of the family operation, David has implemented certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified programs. Pitman Family Farms proudly raises Mary’s Free Range poultry named after David’s mother, Mary. Mary’s Free Range products are often found all over the nation, and have been proudly recognized in Cook’s Illustrated magazine.
TBA from Whole Foods
TBA from Annie’s Homegrown