Though the battle over Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the fight to label products that do contain GMOs has largely been waged in the world of food, you can now find wines that have been "Non-GMO Project Verified" though Natural Merchants. As President of Natural Merchants Edward Field explains, “Consumer demand for non-GMO products has increased dramatically in the United States, as an estimated 80% of all packaged goods are now genetically engineered. The demand flows over into wine and other alcoholic beverages."
What exactly does this certification mean? "Non-GMO Project Verified status indicates that the brands adhere to consensus-based best practices for avoidance of GMOs." Specific to the world of wine, what steps can be taken to reduce the risk of GMO infiltration? Using wild yeast for fermentation and bentonite clay for fining are two measures wineries can take. Of course, avoidance does not mean absence of GMOs, but consumers looking to support companies that make every effort to eliminate the possiblity of GMO contamination will certainly look for this label on their products.
With food and wine retail powerhouses like Whole Foods mandating that all products in their stores containing GMOs must say so on their label by 2018, this issue is only going to get bigger.
Would you like to see more widespread labeling of GMOs in wine? Would it alter your purchasing decisions? And is being certified for avoidance enough?