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Silk soymilk

Organic Consumers Association boycott forces Silk soymilk to get honest with Non-GMO Project

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: Silk soymilk, Non-GMO Project, health news

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(NaturalNews) The Silk beverage company, which is owned by the nation's largest dairy conglomerate Dean Foods, shot itself in the foot in 2009 when it quietly switched its line of organic soymilk beverages to conventional without changing its products labels (http://www.naturalnews.com/027450_food_foods...).

In response to massive consumer outcry and a subsequent boycott initiated by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), Silk eventually made some positive changes, including its recent achievement of gaining Non-GMO Project certification for all its beverage products.

Thousands of Silk customers were shocked to learn that the company had switched to conventional soybeans in 2009 without telling them. The only thing that changed on product packaging was the removal of the organic certification emblem -- everything else remained the same, including their price. But what was inside those cartons definitely changed, as organic soybeans had been replaced with conventional soybeans, which typically have been subjected to the spraying of pesticides and herbicides.

While Silk has admittedly never used genetically-modified (GM) soybeans in place of organic or non-GMO conventional soybeans, the company still failed to be transparent with its customers, which severely damaged the brand. So for years, the company has been working to rebuild its image and strengthen its tarnished reputation, and one of the ways it is hoping to do this is through cooperation with the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit collaboration working to preserve and build sources of non-GMO products.

If you shop at Whole Foods Market, you have likely already seen products bearing the Non-GMO Project seal of approval. This stamp basically means that while the product in question is not necessarily organic, it has been tested and verified to be free of GMO contaminants, and complies with the Non-GMO Project Working Standard (http://www.nongmoproject.org/wp-content/uplo...).

"With more than 20 million consumers nationwide and an exceptionally high volume of soybeans, all from North America, Silk is a tremendous ally," said Megan Westgate, executive director of the Non-GMO Project. "The verification of their beverage portfolio is an enormous boost to our non-profit mission of providing the public with an informed choice and preserving a non-GMO ingredient supply for the future."

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