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Non-GMO Project updates verification standards

Non-GMO Project updates verification standards
Numi was the first company to have its tea bags verified by the Non-GMO Project, by choice, but it's now required.

Numi Organic Tea, known for delicious organic, non-GMO and Fair Trade Certified teas and teasans, is proud to announce the Non-GMO Project has updated its Standard for Verification to require the product’s evaluation to include immersion packaging—which includes tea bags. Up until now, only tea ingredients were required for tea companies seeking Non-GMO Project Verification. Numi was the first company to have its tea bags verified by the Non-GMO Project, by choice. All of Numi’s organic teas and teasans, which are blended with only real herbs, fruits, flowers and spices, boast the prized Non-GMO Project Verified seal on their packaging.

“As the leading provider of premium organic, Fair Trade Certified teas, it is our responsibility to weave sustainable consciousness into every decision we take as a company,” says Numi cofounder, CEO and alchemist, Ahmed Rahim. “We do this through our high-quality teas, through our values-based initiatives, and our sustainable packaging. Many of the nylon, see-through tea bags used by many companies are PLA (polylactic acid), created with bio-plastic material made from genetically modified corn; others are sourced from petroleum. Numi has not followed this trend. We use packaging that is completely free of GMOs, free of petroleum, and free of non-compostable materials. We are excited that the Non-GMO Project has updated their Standard to require the verification of tea bags, and are proud to be the innovative leaders on this initiative.”

 "We're excited to be working with such dedicated brands as Numi Organic Tea," says Megan Westgate, executive director of the Non-GMO Project. "The proactive work they've provided to ensure even their tea bags meet our rigorous Standard shows a high level of commitment to transparency and to changing the overall supply chain."

This standard update requires that products that are immersed in a consumable product, such as tea bags, must follow practices for GMO avoidance. Since tea bags are submerged in hot water along with tea before consumption, it is important that both the tea AND tea bags are Non-GMO Project Verified. Combining ingredient transparency and sustainability in the tea industry for more than 15 years, Numi is proud of their partnership with the Non-GMO Project. Together, the two are working to protect the health of our planet and people by eliminating the use of GMOs in consumables.

Numi’s chief operating officer, Brian Durkee, reflects on the updated standard from Non-GMO Project by stating, “Unlike most other food packaging components, teabags are cooked as they steep in boiling water. Thus, teabags are essentially consumed with each sip of tea. Currently, the only use of genetically modified organisms in the tea industry is found in teabag material, and GMO-sourced ’see-through’ teabags are widely used. Numi is, however, committed to sourcing only the most natural, highest quality ingredients for each of our products. Thus, we have steered clear of utilizing materials that are sourced from GMOs. Numi was the first company to voluntarily have our teabag materials Non-GMO Project Verified and we are excited that the Non-GMO Project has recently updated their standards to require the verification of all teabags moving forward.”


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