Kashi announced a big initiative to increase the company's availability of organic and Non-GMO Project Verified foods. By the end of 2014, all existing Kashi GOLEAN cereals and Kashi Chewy Granola Bars—representing Kashi's biggest offerings—will be Non-GMO Project Verified. Beginning in 2015, all new Kashi foods introduced into the market will contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients and will also be Non-GMO Project Verified.
"This commitment meets the ever-evolving needs of our consumers," says David DeSouza, Kashi general manager. "As one of the largest food brands in the natural and organic marketplace, we are in a unique position to make a sizeable, positive impact on the food system."
Currently, about 70 percent of processed foods have genetically modified organisms (GMOs), more than 80 percent of many crops in North America are grown using GMOs and less than one percent of U.S. cropland is organic. Kashi believes that the current food system needs to evolve.
Kashi's Non-GMO Project Verified Product Pledge
This long-term commitment follows the Non-GMO Project Verification of seven Kashi foods earlier this year, including Kashi Autumn Wheat, Cinnamon Harvest, Island Vanilla, Strawberry Fields, 7 Whole Grain Flakes and 7 Whole Grain Puffs cereals, and Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf. In addition, two more cereals, Kashi Simply Maize and Kashi Indigo Morning cereals, are currently in the process of becoming Non-GMO Project Verified.
The Non-GMO Project is the leading independent verifier of non-GMO foods and the only third-party verification system in the U.S. All Kashi products that have met its rigorous standard will carry the Non-GMO Project Verified seal, beginning with the seven cereals that have already completed the process.
The Product Verification Program is a rigorous, multi-step process involving segregation, traceability, risk assessment and ongoing testing of all major GMO risk ingredients at critical control points. Verification can take several months depending on many factors, including how many products a company enrolls at one time and the level of evaluation required for each ingredient.
"Products are not verified until their compliance with the Non-GMO Project Standard has been fully demonstrated," explains Megan Westgate, Non-GMO Project executive director. "When people see the Non-GMO Project Verification mark on a product, they can trust that it's been made in compliance with the best possible practices for GMO avoidance."