Non-GMO Project Verified
As consumers continue to seek healthier food options, the concept of genetic modification of ingredients has come into the spotlight. While purchasing certified organic products is a substantial step in working toward a non-GMO diet, many organic manufacturers and importers are going the extra step to obtain Non-GMO Project verification.
How Are Genetically Modified Ingredients Being Used in Conventional Wines?
- Ingredients used in wine production can include a GM yeast called ML01, which is approved for use in wine production in the U.S. (by the FDA) and Canada. Our winery partners use only indigenous “wild” or locally cultivated organic yeast.
- Some wineries use fining and clarification agents such as casein that could be derived from GM milk. Our winery partners use only Bentonite clay or pea protein as fining agents and no additional clarification agents are used in production.
- Genetically modified Enzymes may be used as processing aids in some wines. See the many programs and research being conducted at the Institute for Wine Biotechnology in South Africa.
- CO2 can be added to some sparkling wines, and that can be derived from ethanol, which could be made with genetically modified corn.
- Even genetically modified wine grapes have been in field trials for years in both the US and Europe.
Most of our winery partners use indigenous “wild” yeast fermentations in their wines, and do not “inoculate” the wines with the addition of yeast during production. Indigenous yeast fermentation starts by itself when wild yeast strains – originating in the vineyard – start fermenting. Others cultivate and utilize local organic yeast strains. Only naturally produced, vegetarian fining agents, such as Bentonite clay and pea protein, are used by all wineries. Both preclude any possible contamination by those common GMO sources.
The verification is granted by the Non-GMO Project, a not-for-profit organization committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices.
Non-GMO Project Verified status indicates that the brands adhere to consensus-based best practices for avoidance of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are organisms whose natural genetic material has been altered through engineering techniques. Natural Merchants winery partners proudly display the Non-GMO Project Verified badge on neck tags, cones or shelf tags so that consumers can easily identify the products.