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Silk Brand Certifies All Products with Non-GMO Project

The Silk brand, which produces soy, coconut and almond “milks” has added a new angle to its green product marketing.

The company, which is owned by Dean Foods, announced that all of its products have been officially verified by the Non-GMO Project.

The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, distributors, farmers, seed companies and consumers that says it is dedicated to “ensuring the sustained availability of non-GMO food and beverage choices.”

Dean Foods was heavily criticized in 2009 for switching from organic to conventional soy beans without clearly notifying consumers of the change. The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) called for a boycott of Silk brand products after reporting that beans used in Silk were sourced from countries with unacceptable labor and certification standards including Brazil and China.

In August 2009, the Silk website claimed that all soy beans were in fact sourced from North America including organic and non-GMO soybeans.

In 2010, the Silk brand launched a separate organic line of soymilk, giving consumers a clear choice between non-organic and organic products.

Then, in late 2010, the company launched a traceability website, which allows consumers to trace the origin of the soybeans found in any Silk product down to the county level.

Now the Non-GMO labeling will likely further rebuild confidence among consumers.

All Silk soymilk, coconutmilk and almondmilk products were enrolled in The Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program last year. In order to achieve verification, Silk demonstrated that all of its GMO risk ingredients are tested according to a rigorous and continuous program in compliance with the Non-GMO Project Standards, which include traceability and segregation requirements.

The Non-GMO Project’s verification seal will now appear on all verified Silk Soymilk, Silk Pure Almond and Silk Pure Coconut beverage packaging beginning in August.

“With more than 20 million consumers nationwide and an exceptionally high volume of soybeans, all from North America, Silk is a tremendous ally,” said Megan Westgate, executive director of the Non-GMO Project. “The verification of their beverage portfolio is an enormous boost to our non-profit mission of providing the public with an informed choice and preserving a non-GMO ingredient supply for the future.”

Silk made the Non-GMO announcement at the Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) Forum, which took place in Boulder, Colorado last week.

Bart King is the principal and founder of New Growth Communications, a network of affiliated content producers and strategists serving clients in the emerging green economy. Follow him @bart_king and on LinkedIn.

[Read more about Bart King]

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