The Burnaby-based company has a nationwide reach and a track record as a trailblazer in sustainability and environmental issues. “We feel this is the direction in which our industry needs to go - in which we all need to go. Someone had to step up first—why not us?” says Ian Walker, President of Left Coast Naturals. “Our products are all about staying true to the way nature made them. GMOs stand for the opposite. This is something we will not support.”
Nature’s Path Foods, another BC-based sustainable food company, has played a strong advocacy role on the Non-GMO front and congratulates Left Coast Naturals for taking a stand. "As a local organic food company committed to the Non-GMO movement, we're thrilled to see our friends at Left Coast Naturals show such dedication to keeping GMOs out of our food supply," says Arjan Stephens, Executive VP of Sales and Marketing at Nature's Path Foods. "It’s proactive policies like these and the actions of conscious consumers that are making BC a hotbed for growing transparency in the nation's food system."
For over 15 years, Left Coast Naturals has asked its vendors to provide letters confirming Non-GMO status. Today, as more commercial crops are being genetically modified, and public concern about GMO issues grows, the company finds that new tools including third party verification and lab testing can offer definitive confirmation of Non-GMO status. Left Coast Naturals recognizes that it’s now possible to offer a deeper level of transparency to its customers and more accurately follow the company’s position on avoiding GMO ingredients.
Fast-tracked Schedule for Change
Effective immediately, all new products developed by Left Coast Naturals, or brought into its distribution service, will need to prove their Non-GMO status. For items already being distributed by Left Coast Naturals, strict timelines have been set for weeding out GMOs from both its bulk foods and packaged grocery catalogues. Certified Organic items will be given special consideration, as Certified Organic standards do not permit the use of GMO inputs. Left Coast Naturals will work with current vendors whose products include suspected GMO ingredients to develop a plan for transitioning to Non-GMO ingredients by the 2015 deadline.