Last week, I posted a survey by fellow blogger, Priscilla Matuson, writer of A Gluten-Free Vegan Mom Who Knows. My post on the subject and links to Priscilla’s are here. According to Priscilla’s survey, Jules was one of the few Gluten Free flour companies that admitted to having GMO ingredients in their products.
Needless to say, as a lover of all cookbooks, products and posts by Jules Shepard, I was distressed to hear her response to Priscilla. After all, her flour was one of the first Gluten Free flours I purchased and used for myself. And I followed her blog and purchased her e-cookbooks (she has excellent recipes). She was a great help to me.
To satisfy my own curiosity, I contacted Jules myself to see what she had to say about the GMO ingredients in her products. Here is some of the things she shared with me:
5 out of the 6 ingredients in my flour are non-GMO and the supplier of the 6th one can’t verify, but certainly doesn’t say they have GMOs. We are working to find another supplier for that one ingredient because I personally want all my ingredients to be confirmed non-GMO. If a consumer goes to the store and buys flour or crackers or cookies or cereal … off the shelf, they almost never know if they contain GMOs. We will start seeing more labeling, but most ingredient suppliers haven’t ever been called upon to say whether their ingredients are GMO free or not, so they don’t know. Our food supply labeling is changing, and things will start to change for consumer products on the shelf, as well, but at this point, most GF products aren’t labeled non-GMO …
… It’s understandable that those who are not in the business of food manufacturing would not know how long it takes to find, confirm continued inventory, test and switch an ingredient. It’s unfortunate, but the change probably can’t happen until the first of the year — though that is still going to be much faster than many other companies who are just learning about the demand for GMOs. …
…we are doing our best to do all the right things. I feed my family with my products, too, and I would never do anything to jeopardize anyone’s health.
I appreciate Jules candid comments and I also appreciate Priscilla’s desire to bring forth awareness of the GMO issue! But as a food producer myself, I know, like she says, it take time to change suppliers and recipes along with the time to have products tested and approved for sales to the public. Unfortunately, manufacturer’s are currently NOT required to list GMO ingredients on their labeling. This can greatly affect folks like Jules (and other small Gluten Free producers) who may not have any idea as to whether or not her ingredient supplies are non-GMO!
In my opinion, the issue is making sure GMO ingredients are made known by having them included in the labeling. We, as a health conscienous group, need to support organizations such as Non-GMO Project and the Right To Know Organization so we will all know what we are eating.
In the meantime, it will take time to make the change. Let’s continue to support those companies who are doing their best to bring us good wholesome non-GMO Gluten Free foods!
NOTE: Both Jules and Priscilla live in the path of the Frankenstorm (Hurricane Sandy). Let’s remember them this week and hope that they are safe!