California-based supplement maker MRM is leading the U.S. nutrition sector in formulating quality products—many of which are eligible for "GMO-free" designation ahead of potential legislation.
The debate over genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs, is an old one that has generated a spike in public interest, prompting probes about safety as a result of their inclusion in many popular food products.
MRM founder Mark Olson said that the decision for his company to seek key certifications through the Non-GMO Project is a result of his long-term investment in using the finest ingredients to further health and fitness. The fact that the certification process is both costly and time consuming is all part of his investment in the health of consumers.
"We have always believed in being transparent in our research, and thorough in our sourcing of ingredients, so that we can create products with the highest possible nutritional value," he said. "Part of that equation is verified traceability."
In the last two years, a growing number of states have sought legislation to make labeling of genetically engineered foods mandatory, but have been unsuccessful. Yet despite ballot defeats, statistics show interest in the subject continues to grow, indicating labeling may eventually become a part of the U.S. food industry.
A 2013 poll conducted by the New York Times found that 93 percent of respondents want GMO ingredients to be properly labeled, and a similar survey done by the Washington Post in 2010 showed 94 percent support.
“People are paying attention to food, and because of that they're more interested in GMO issues," Consumers Union senior scientist Michael Hansen told Rodale News last spring.
Natural grocer Whole Foods Market has committed to full GMO transparency by 2018 in its U.S. and Canadian stores, but it is rare for a company the size of MRM to commit to transparency and seek certifications before laws may require labeling.
Nutrition industry insiders agree that places Olson and MRM in an enviable position.
Currently, MRM has received Non-GMO Project verification for Veggie Protein, and has pending enrollments with Vegan Bone Maximizer, Vegan Vitamin D3, FreshOMEGA™ and Veggie Elite—a performance-based plant protein for serious athletes that rivals whey and provides 24 grams of GMO-free protein per serving.
Future enrollments include MRM Veggie Meal and TreLEAFia™—a new GMO-free sugar alternative.
For more information on MRM, go to mrm-usa.com.