Target has recently debuted a new private label line named Simply Balanced, which consists of certified organic and genetically-modified-ingredient-free foods.
Approximately 40 percent of the items in the Simply Balanced line are already certified organic, and Target promises that the “vast majority” of its food products are free of GMOs, which are ingredients that have been genetically modified to hold strong against heavy amounts of toxic pesticides. In fact, by the conclusion of 2014, the company wants the entire Simply Balanced to be GMO-free.
USDA Organic certification is a premier way to ensure that foods are completely absent of GMOs, while the Non-GMO Project independently tests products for GMO traces and also certifies foods that meet its own GMO-free criteria. However, Target isn’t looking for Non-GMO Project’s certification for its non-organic Simply Balanced products.
“We are exploring and understanding labeling opportunities for Simply Balanced, including partnering with external experts, to ensure we deliver the best experience for our guests,” one Target spokesperson said. Surprisingly, more than 80 percent of non-organic processed foods sold in the U.S. today now carry GMOs, with stores like Whole Foods and The Fresh Market having already requested Non-GMO Project certification for many of their own private-label foods.
Target representatives expressed that the retailer is acting in response to increased consumer demand for organic and GMO-free foods, and it’s more than only packaged foods where it’s hoping to go organic. The chain even indicated that it would not sell genetically modified salmon, even if it earns approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Target even wants to grow its entire organic food selection by 25 percent within the next four years.
The company might be anticipating the continued threat of individual state GMO-labeling laws. Connecticut recently passed the first such law in America, while Washington state residents will vote on a GMO-labeling law during fall 2013 elections.
Furthermore, 26 other state legislatures are also debating similar laws.
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