Applegate and Non-GMO Project Verification
Which Applegate products are non-GMO?
All Applegate products are made without GMO ingredients and have been since June 2015. We're currently taking it a step further by removing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from our entire supply chain – from animal feed to finished product – and obtaining third-party verification. This process will be completed by 2020.
What third-party do you use to verify Applegate products non-GMO?
The Non-GMO Project offers North America’s only independent verification for products made according to rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance. Applegate verified products are produced in compliance with the Non-GMO Project Standard—that means ongoing testing of all major GMO risk ingredients, facility inspections and an annual audit to ensure products meet the highest possible standards for GMO avoidance.
Are all Applegate products verified non-GMO by a third party?
Not yet, but they will be by 2020. You can find a growing list of Applegate products verified non-GMO on our website.
How do we know that products are truly non-GMO?
We don’t – and that’s why Applegate is seeking to have all products verified non-GMO across the entire supply chain by a third-party. When we removed GMO ingredients from all of our products, we required documentation and affidavits from all of our suppliers and processors. All of our organic products are made without GMOs because that’s part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s organic seal, but even organic products are not verified by a third-party for the presence of GMOs.
How will I know if the product I am purchasing is Non-GMO Project Verified?
Here are three ways to identify which Applegate products are Non-GMO Project Verified:
- Look for the Non-GMO Project seal on packaging.
- Search our website for a current list of verified Applegate products.
- Visit the Non-GMO Project website for a growing list of verified products.
Why are you removing GMOs?
We think it’s the right thing to do because there are too many unanswered questions about the effects GMO foods have on animals, people and the planet. A report by the National Academy of Sciences determined that GMO crops and plants were no different than non-GMO ones, but the scientists also agreed that more research was needed. We think it’s best to err on the side of caution. And no matter what, we have always believed in transparency in labeling because we all have the right to know what’s in our food and how it was made.
I thought all Applegate products were non-GMO. Does this mean Applegate products without a third-party verification contain GMOs?
All Applegate products are made without GMO ingredients, which our suppliers and processors have provided documentation and affidavits to confirm. We also made a commitment to have a third-party verify that the meat used in our products came from animals fed a diet of non-GMO ingredients, such as non-GMO corn, by 2020.
If you’re removing GMOs, are your products safe to eat?
Yes. We stand behind the safety and quality of all our products. Applegate focuses on using simple and clean ingredients that avoid allergens so we can bring you food that you never have to worry about. When we decided to eliminate GMO ingredients from our products it was not out of concern for safety, but rather to enhance the trust with Applegate users who rely on us for quality products, made with quality ingredients. Now, we are building on that trust by committing to have all our products third-party verified non-GMO by 2020.
When will Applegate be entirely non-GMO verified?
We're happy to report that at the end of 2017, 30 Applegate products were third-party verified non-GMO and that our entire product line (140+) will be verified by 2020.
Can you explain why I don't see 30 products listed on the Non-GMO Project website?
Happy to help clarify the discrepancy. There are a few Applegate products that are Non-GMO Project Verified, such as our organic turkey bacon, organic chicken strips, organic chicken hot dogs, and organic turkey hot dogs, that haven't appeared on the Non-GMO Project website… yet. To help avoid confusion, we made the decision to not list these products on any websites until new product packaging, featuring the Non-GMO Project Verified butterfly seal, is printed. If you are interested in receiving a full list of Non-GMO Project Verified Applegate products, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Which product lines will you tackle first?
Our organic product lines will be the first to be verified non-GMO by a third-party.
Will the conversion to non-GMO verification increase costs on Applegate products?
Applegate will be working closely with suppliers to find the most efficient way to bring non-GMO verified products to market at minimal costs. There will be added costs to verify our products, but we hope this extra step will give consumers added confidence that Applegate products are best-in-quality.
Will Applegate be complying with Vermont’s GMO labeling law?
Although all Applegate products are made without GMO ingredients, we will not be changing our labels at this time. The USDA has not given us approval to label our products as “made without GMO ingredients,” since there are no standards currently set in place for animal products. With regulations on how we label foods constantly evolving, we will be monitoring the situation until we can make changes to our labels.
What does your parent company, Hormel Foods, think about this move? Did they try to stop you?
We can’t speak for Hormel Foods. Applegate is an independent, stand-alone subsidiary, and as such, Applegate senior leadership made the decision to pursue third-party verification on GMO avoidance across all Applegate products.