In December 2018, the USDA published its National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (the USDA Standard) opens in a new tab, which requires food manufacturers to disclose the presence of bioengineered (BE) ingredients by January 1, 2022.
The USDA Standard only requires the disclosure of BE or GMO ingredients if there is “detectable genetic material” in the finished product. This means that ingredients that have been refined, such as sugars and oils, may not require BE or GMO disclosure even if they were derived from a GMO source. In addition, new technologies and products are continually emerging, and there are varying terms and definitions for GMO from scientific communities and governmental agencies.
At Whole Foods Market, in addition to suppliers complying with the USDA Standard, we require that all non-GMO label claims be third-party verified or certified.
Shopping at Whole Foods Market
Organic Means Non-GMO and More
In addition to many other requirements, organic certification prohibits GMOs, so any product labeled organic is a non-GMO choice.
If It Says Non-GMO, In Our Stores it Must Be So
We require that non-GMO label claims on products in our stores be substantiated to one of these third-party standards:
USDA Organic (or equivalent international program)
Nutrasource iGen Tier 3 (for supplements only)
Most products we offer that make a non-GMO claim are already verified. We are aligning the deadline for our requirement with the USDA Standards deadline, January 1, 2022.
365 by Whole Foods Market Brand Commitment
We go the extra mile in researching ingredients for our own 365 by Whole Foods Market brand. Major plant-derived ingredients in foods with this brand name are sourced to avoid bioengineering.
For more information about BE ingredients and GMOs, visit these sites: