Non-GMO Packaging and Labeling
If you shop in or supply to natural food stores, you’ve probably seen products labeled “Non-GMO” or “GMO-Free”. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms, and refers to food that has been artificially altered at the genetic level. Common GMO foods include soy, canola, corn, and sugar beets. The Non-GMO Project website has more information about GMO foods, and they offer the only third party verification and labeling for non-GMO food in the US.
Because GMOs are a relatively new science, the foods altered in this way could potentially contain unknown risks that could affect us and our environment. Biodiversity is one of the things that is put at risk by GMOs, heritage seeds are no longer used and a cycle of dependence is created on GMO seeds and pesticides (see “ The Environmental Impact of GMOs” from Onegreenplanet.com).Seed Savers Exchange is one way consumers are fighting back against the threat to Biodiversity.
A fast growing number of consumers want to see GMO products labeled, so that they can make an informed choice about the products they buy.
How GMOs affect packaging and labels
So what does all of this have to do with sustainable packaging?
3 of the top 5 GMO crops are also used to make packaging products: paper made with cotton, compostable film (PLA) made from corn, and ink made with soy. This should be taken into consideration by retailers and suppliers who sell Non-GMO products when choosing their packaging. Packaging supplies are not GMO labeled, as the focus of Non-GMO labeling is currently on food, yet the potential threats of GMO’s for packaging are just as real and significant! Researchers are also moving on to genetically modifying other living things such as trees for the paper industry.
In order to avoid packaging made from genetically modified organisms, businesses can instead choose packaging that utilizes natural paper made from crops such as hemp.
Businesses can also choose eco-friendly alternatives such as Distant Village compostable cellophane packaging made with wood cellulose for GMO foods, PURE Labels made with compostable sugarcane, or custom Elevate Packaging made with hemp plant fiber and printed with agri-based inks.
For more information on alternative sustainable packaging, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org