Praise Spice Company for Going Organic

eleven-herbs-and-spices-by-casey-fleser

Target: Alan Wilson, Chairman & CEO McCormick Corporation

Goal: Praise McCormick & Company for committing to be organic and GMO free by 2016.

The spice cabinet can be an area rife with pesticides, GMOs and irradiation that even those most committed to organic and GMO free eating often overlook. Frequently, herbs are irradiated to lock in health benefits. McCormick & Company, a popular spices and herbs company, already opts for steam treatments instead.

Currently, many of their spices are already non-GMO, but they’ve committed to obtaining labeling from the Non-GMO Project for at least 70 percent of their branded herbs, spices, and extracts by 2016. This includes a newly released vanilla extract.

The Non-GMO Project uses a consensus-based document as its standard for determining product certification. Companies seeking verification from the project go through a lengthy process to prove their products adhere to the organization’s standards. The project requires testing of all potential input points at specifically certified labs. The final product is not tested as this is typically impractical and unreliable.

In addition, traceability and segregation measures need to be implemented to ensure no future contamination is possible. Although many of McCormick’s spices are already non-GMO, the labeling effort provides increased assurance for consumers. Furthermore, McCormick promises that at least 80 percent of their gourmet herbs and spices will be labeled certified organic by 2016.

As a well-known spice, herb, and extract company that enjoys the largest portion of that market, McCormick’s commitment to providing organic, GMO free products is a clear indication of consumers directing commerce. Thank McCormick for listening and taking steps to meet consumer demands by 2016.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Wilson,

McCormick brand products are found in the majority of spice cabinets throughout the country. As the biggest player in the seasonings market, providing steam-treated, rather than irradiated, herbs was already a differentiating factor.

It is wonderful news that McCormick is listening to consumers and recognizes that opting out of irradiation was no longer enough. The move to provide organic and non-GMO herbs, spices, and extracts by 2016 clearly ensures McCormick will continue to maintain its market share.

While other organic and non-GMO alternatives are available, in 2016 McCormick will be one of the few readily available in grocery stores and accessible to the average-income consumer. While it won’t be 100 percent of the McCormick product line, it’s an excellent beginning.

We, the undersigned, applaud the efforts McCormick is taking towards providing organic and GMO-free products and encourage the company to continue the process until the entire product line is included.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Casey Fleser

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