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Trader Joe's is the target of an anit-genetically modified foods activist group that is demanding that the Monrovia, Calif.-based grocer provide proof that its private brands are free of Monsanto's patented genes.
According to the Trader Joe's website, the grocer sources all ingredients for its private label brands from non-genetically engineered crops. However, the activist group, Occupy Monsanto's Genetic Crimes Unit (GCU), alleges that the chain provides no proof of the claim, nor does it work with any known third-party verification services.
The GCU said it has "reason to believe that Trader Joe's non-private label foods, which are not certified USDA Organic and contain corn, soy, canola, or sugar beets [likely contain] ... genetically engineered ingredients."
"We will not spend thousands of dollars to send Trader Joe's foods to laboratories for testing, instead we want Trader Joe's to come clean," GCU agent Richard Smith said in a staement. "Trader Joe's could easily become America's first certified GMO-free grocery chain, but they won't as long as they're selling so called non-GMO foods without proof."
A call to Trader Joe’s was not returned by presstime.