This post contains content sponsored by The Dannon Company, Inc. The opinions expressed in my post are my own. For more information on Dannon's move toward sustainable agriculture, naturality and transparency, and non-gmo ingredients visit www.dannonpledge.com and www.dannon.com/ing
I have been active in the GMO labeling discussion since pretty early on. While we can all debate the safety of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) until the cows come home, it's safe to say that there isn't a definitive answer on that just yet and we're each entitled to our own opinions on the safety of GMOs. Can we agree on that point?
Now that we have that out of the way, I have to say that whether GMOs are safe or not, we have the right to know if they're in the food we're eating. And you shouldn't need a PhD to decipher a food label to understand whether an ingredient in genetically modified or not. (You can check out my guides on GMO corn, GMO soy and GMO sugar beets for more information on that topic.)
I know I'm not alone in my desire to have information on food labels that allows me to make an educated decision about whether I want to purchase something or not. More and more consumers are requesting honest and clear food labeling that's easy to understand.
That's why I love cheering on major companies that are taking steps to show they're listening to consumers and taking action on those messages. The latest major company that has put a smile on my face is Dannon.
Dannon Pledge to Move Toward Non-GMO Ingredients
Let's give Dannon a round of applause for listening to its consumers. Even though their position is that GMO ingredients currently on the market are safe, they recognize that there is growing consumer preference for non-GMO ingredients in the US.
That's why they are evolving all products from their three flagship brands — Dannon, Oikos and Danimals — toward the use of non-GMO ingredients. These flagship brands account for approximately 50% of Dannon's sales.
To achieve this goal, they will be working closely with their feed suppliers. Most feed growers use GMO seed, which is one of the reasons large companies find moving to all non-GMO more difficult.
Fortunately, Dannon has strong relationships with its farmer partners, so they are going to be able to move faster to provide the non-GMO products that we're demanding. They're currently working with their feed suppliers and farmer partners to start planting non-GMO feed.
This action makes Dannon the first national yogurt company to take this pledge. So, by the end of 2017, you'll be able to choose the Dannon, Oikos and Danimals brands and know you're consuming a non-GMO yogurt. Yay!
One of the main reasons we buy organic yogurt now is to avoid GMOs, so I love that there will be an easier and more affordable way to access non-GMO yogurt for families around the country.
Dannon Pledge for Label Transparency
You probably deduced that the transition to non-GMO feed is only for a portion of Dannon's milk supply. That's why by the end of 201 7, Dannon will also clearly label its products that contain GMOs regardless of what may happen with the labeling bills that are moving through the federal government now. Again, they are the first yogurt company to take this pledge.
Dannon Pledge for Animal Welfare
In addition to moving to non-GMO feed with its 3 major brands and labeling the use of GMOs in its other brands, Dannon is also putting an increased focus on animal welfare. They're currently
very far along in implementing animal welfare practices at their farmer partners’ operations through the Validus Certification system.
According to Dannon, they believe that by the end of July 2016, more than 90% of their direct milk supply will come from farms that are Validus Certified. Animal welfare is definitely another area I look at when consuming animal-based foods so I like seeing this shift as well.
Join the Facebook Party July 12!
Join us for a Facebook Party sponsored by Dannon on the Mamavation Facebook Fan Page on Tuesday, July 12th at 10am PDT/1pm EDT. We’ll be discussing the new Dannon Pledge and what it means for the future of the grocery store. Dannon will soon be labeling GMO ingredients in all their products nationally, moving to non-GMO ingredients, and using milk from cows fed non-GMO feed for their three flagship brands (brand Dannon, Oikos and Danimals) over the next two years, and improving sustainable farming operations.
RSVP: Click on the Facebook Event Page to RSVP
Giveaways for the Dannon Facebook Party on 7/12
- Feel Good Fair Trade Package (worth $100) includes a recycled bamboo handbag, a 6oz tub of ethically-produced shea body butter, a Kenyan handmade bracelet, and 1lb of fair-trade ground coffee.
- You are Eco-Beautiful Package (worth $100) includes a $75 gift card to spend on natural and organic makeup from Root, a set of EcoTools eye makeup brushes, and an e-Cloth facial cleansing mitt.
- Activity is My Zen Package (worth $200) includes a $100 gift card to spend on hiking shoes at Merrell, a wristband fitness tracker, and a ThinkSport yoga mat.
- Love Your Bookworm Package (worth $200) includes a Kindle Paperwhite e-reader and decorative case, and an Amazon ebook gift card.
- Deluxe Kitchen Package (worth $400) includes a Tribest Dynablend glass and stainless steel blender, a $100 gift card to spend on kitchenware at Williams-Sonoma, a large bamboo cutting board, a set of ceramic kitchen knives, a set of 4 Acacia wood plates, and a granite mortar and pestle.
- GRAND PRIZE: Trip for two to New York City. Take a trip with a friend to the Big Apple and come see the city! Dannon is supplying you with spending cash, covering your hotel room, and asking you to come visit them on one of the days you’re there to tour Headquarters in White Plains, NY.
RSVP: Click on the Facebook Event Page to RSVP