GMO Labeling

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.

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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:

  • Non-GMO Project

  • USDA Organic (or equivalent international program)

For dietary supplement products only, we also permit the use of approved ISO 17025 accredited testing programs.


For more information about BE ingredients and GMOs, visit these sites:

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