Lets hope this is better self-policing than the banks do... I am quite familiar with the logistic supply chain thoroughness of companies like Cargill, Pillsbury and other agriculture commodity companies in Minnesota, yet the supply chain is only as good as its weakest link. I worked for 3 years in supply chain software systems and have many friends in these companies. -AK
U.S. Approves SunOpta System for Detecting Genetically Modified Crops
By STEPHANIE STROMMAY 15, 2015
A little-known but publicly traded organic food processing company, SunOpta, has persuaded the federal government that its system for detecting genetically modified crops is so effective that the company should be permitted to label ingredients from one of its plants in Minnesota as free of such alterations.
“Consumers are looking for transparency, and we have a process in place that we’ve used for years,” Steven R. Bromley, chief executive of SunOpta, said in an interview on Friday. The company, which is based in Toronto but has most of its facilities in the United States, specializes in sourcing, processing and packaging of natural and certified organic food products that are sold in stores like Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s.
The labeling of foods to indicate the presence or absence of ingredients from genetically modified crops like corn, soy and sugar beets is one of the most contentious issues in the food business. Over the last few years, consumers, fearing that the manipulation of genes in the crops they eat could be harmful, have been putting increasing pressure on food producers to label products containing ingredients from so-called G.M.O.s (genetically modified organisms). Studies have not found any harmful effects from eating G.M.O.s.
The United States Department of Agriculture is not certifying that SunOpta’s ingredients are G.M.O.-free. Rather, it is certifying that the SunOpta process does ensure that the corn and soy it plans to process in its plant in Hope, Minn., are not genetically altered varieties.
That longstanding U.S.D.A. program, called “process verification,” typically allows companies that have passed the agency’s muster to use a red, white and blue shield on packaging. Some meat products from animals raised humanely, for example, sport the shield on their wrappers.
But the U.S.D.A. has given SunOpta permission to use a new navy-and-green label that reads “Non-G.M.O./G.E. process verified.”
The decision was noted in a monthly email that Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack sends to employees. That email was obtained by The Associated Press, which reported on Thursday that the U.S.D.A. would soon disclose a new labeling program.