"Several of our MegaFood products have been submitted for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal, but the process is long and more complicated for whole food supplements," Craven said. "While our entire product line has been non-GMO for more than five years, we are pleased to have these first five products certified by the Non-GMO Project and anticipate several more products will receive the same verification by the first half of next year."
MegaFood's Blood Builder, Wild Blueberry, Magnesium, Calcium, and Calcium Magnesium and Potassium whole food supplements have received the Non-GMO Project Verified seal from the Non-GMO Project. Additionally, the Non-GMO Project has recognized the FoodState manufacturing facility, where the MegaFood products are made, as a certified handler of non-GMO materials and products.
The Non-GMO Project third-party verification program was launched in 2008 as an initiative of independent natural foods retailers who were interested in providing their customers with more information regarding the GMO risk of their products.
Blood Builder is MegaFood's No. 1 selling product and is used to maintain healthy iron levels in the blood.
Moving toward a GMO free future
Craven recently initiated The Non-GMO Working Group, which includes a group of dietary supplement manufacturers who have united to support the Non-GMO Project as well as identify and support non-GMO ingredient manufacturers and suppliers.
"The Non-GMO Project has rigorous, high standards for obtaining their seal and much of the supplement ingredient supply chain is not ready to support the cause," Craven said. "My hope is that by creating The Non-GMO Working Group we can create a more phased approach that allows our ingredient suppliers to catch up with the movement."
In speaking at a recent event in Utah sponsored by the United Natural Products Alliance, Craven outlined the challenge faced by supplement manufacturers as they deal with the issue.
“We have zero chance to get some of our products certified by the Non-GMO Project,” he admitted.
Achieving verification is not easy at all. “The complexities around this are significant. The amazing growth in the non-GMO seal is huge and it’s putting undue pressure on supplements, because we are not there yet,” he said.
Complications center chiefly on excipients, many of which aresourced either from corn or soy. The latest figures reveal that more than 94% of the soy and 88% of the corn grown in the US is from GMO seed. Fish oils, for example, are non GMO by default if sourced from animals caught in the wild, but many are preserved with trace amounts of vitamin E, much of which is sourced from soy.