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Trader Joe's Ousts GMOsTrader Joe's Ousts GMOs

November 15, 2001

1 Min Read
Trader Joe's Ousts GMOs

MONROVIA, Calif.-National specialty retail chain Trader Joe's announced that it is taking measures to prevent genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from having any place in its nationwide chain of stores, effective immediately. The decision to go GMO-free was made after months of consumer polls, which indicated the grocery's customers preferred GMO-free products. Trader Joe's is working with all new vendors to produce private label products that are GMO-free, as well as with established vendors to reformulate any products that contain GMOs.

In step with the decision to eliminate GMOs from its private label, Trader Joe's also announced that it would develop a program of random testing to verify ongoing compliance and vendor certification. However, the company stated that because there is no system to completely guard against contamination due to genetic drift, suppliers cannot realistically guarantee that products are GMO free.

Trader Joe's also asked its customers to contact Congressional representatives, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in regard to setting a national standard for GMO labeling.

Greenpeace was pleased at the actions taken. According to the group, 85 percent of Trader Joe's products carry the grocery's private label, and therefore would be affected by the policy change. "This announcement marks the first time a mainstream grocery chain has dropped [GMOs] in response to consumer demand," said Greenpeace's Heather Whitehead. "By responding to its customers, Trader Joe's has set an industry standard and has helped put other mainstream retailers on notice."

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