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Press Release: Nutiva Donates to Oregon GMO Food Labeling Initiative

Organic Foods Company Supports Oregon Citizens Group that is Fighting Big Corporations that Don’t Want People to Know About Modified Ingredients in Their Food

Ojai, CA – Nutiva recently demonstrated its commitment to its guiding principle, “Nourishing People and Planet,” by donating $1,500 to Oregon Concerned Citizens for Safe Food. In July, the Oregon group successfully gathered and submitted 101,256 signatures to the Secretary of State to add a genetically modified organism (GMO) food labeling referendum on the November ballot. Only 66,786 valid signatures are required.

The Oregon referendum would require notices on food labels if GMO ingredients are used. “More and more people are reading product labels because they want to know what is in the food they eat,” says Company President and Founder John W. Roulac. “Because there is growing health and environmental concern about GMO ingredients, it makes sense to include a GMO notice on labels so that people can make an informed decision,” he adds. “We appreciate that companies like Nutiva are supporting this initiative to protect our right-to-know and our freedom of choice,” says Donna Harris, a chief petitioner for Oregon Concerned Citizens for Safe Food. “The Oregon referendum is the first in the nation to go before voters and highlights a trend in which consumers are demanding to know more about their food,” she adds.

A key opponent of the initiative is the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA). “Their involvement is ironic because numerous organic and natural product companies are owned by Fortune 500 corporations who are members of the GMA,” notes Roulac. “We encourage firms that own organic brands and are members of the GMA to lobby the GMA from within to stop its vocal opposition to this simple right-to-know initiative.”

Roulac adds that firms selling organic foods and also financing the campaign to defeat the Oregon effort are sending a mixed signal to organic consumers and advocates. Nutiva congratulates Emerald Valley Kitchens (the largest financial supporter of the initiative to date), and Natures Path for their support and leadership on this important citizen effort to ensure a safer food supply. Contamination of organic foods by GMO ingredients is a major concern for the organic food industry. GMO citizen watchdog groups in other states including Florida and Washington are working on labeling initiatives and closely watching the Oregon process.

NOURISHING PEOPLE & PLANET

Nutiva’s guiding principle, “Nourishing People & Planet” is based on the entire cycle of healthy food stewardship: sustaining the soil; using organic ingredients; maintaining a clean and healthy processing operation; ensuring nutritional value of the product for consumers; and supporting causes that keep the healthy cycle spinning. Nutiva uses only the finest non-GMO organic ingredients and donates 1% of sales to groups that promote sustainable agriculture.

Nutiva is no stranger to political and legal struggles to advance the cause of healthy foods. In addition to it’s support of the Oregon GMO food labeling initiative, Nutiva is one of the industry leaders that sued the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals about unreasonable hemp rules proposed in October 2001. The DEA rules would have devastated the hemp food industry. The Court issued a stay in March 2002 – thus blocking the Agency from enforcing the rules. A favorable decision by the Court is expected in the coming year.

Hemp has a strong nutritional value because it is loaded with protein, omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) and Vitamin E. The plant is grown sustainably without pesticides and herbicides and has appealing attributes as a textile and skin care ingredient.

Founded in 1999, Nutiva offers deliciously healthy hemp and flax foods including nutritious hemp and flax food bars, hemp oil and capsules, and shelled hempseed. Next week Nutiva will announce the only certified organic hemp oil and gel capsules widely distributed in the U.S. For more information, please visit www.nutiva.com or call 1-800-993-4367. To learn more about Oregon Concerned Citizens for Safe Food, please visit http://www.labelgefoods.org or call (503)-892-9393.

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