Amidst GMO Labeling Confusion, Rice Giant Gets Certified

Mar 30, 2016
Non-GMO Logo
WASHINGTON, DC – A Vermont law, passed two years ago, requires all genetically engineered food sold in the state to be labeled by July 1, 2016.  Last week, Congress failed to pass a measure that would have created a voluntary national standard for labeling — and also would have preempted Vermont's law.  

Since it is difficult for food companies to create different packaging just for one state, the Vermont law has in effect created a national labeling standard and companies, including General Mills, Mars, and Kellogg, have announced plans to label their products to provide consumers with up-to-date product information identifying ingredients that may be genetically engineered.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require labeling of genetically engineered foods or food products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) because the agency has determined that the nutritional quality and safety of genetically modified ingredients are no different from the same ingredients derived from conventional crops.

In response to consumers’ desire to make more informed choices about the food they eat, Riviana Foods Inc. announced last week that its leading rice brands have earned the Non‐GMO Project Verification and will display the Non-GMO Project logo on appropriate products.  
 
“Consumers want to know not just what’s in their food but also where it comes from,” said Paul Galvani, Riviana’s senior vice president of marketing.  “In the future, companies will succeed by having full ingredient transparency, allowing consumers to make informed choices.  Brands that are silent on the issue run a risk of losing consumer trust.”

There are currently more than 34,000 Non-GMO Project Verified products from nearly 2,400 brands, representing more than $16 billion in annual sales, and Riviana joins other U.S.-grown rice brands in using the non-GMO label.  

The Non-GMO Project Verified logo is currently one of the fastest growing labels in the natural food sector and the project is the only entity in North America that offers third-party verification for products made according to best practices for GMO avoidance.