Blog: Chef Jemichel ~ The Chef-Doctor
by chef jem

No "Full-Disclosure" of "Non-GMO Corn" @ Trader Joe's!

ow thisSeeking full disclosure on the TJ tortillas.

Date:   1/15/2018 8:05:01 AM   ( 12 mon ) ... viewed 341 times

January 17, 2018 - My Reply:

Web Customer Relations wrote:
"Aloha Chef,"

Aloha Julia! Are you in Hawaii?

[J] "Thanks for contacting us. All of our private label products are indeed GMO free, which of course includes all of their ingredients.
Unfortunately, we are not able to share the certification that demonstrates our corn is GMO free, because it would violate our legal
agreement of third party non-disclosure."

[CJ] I'm sorry to hear that Julia!
Would it be possible to share just data findings of your "third-party lab testing" on the corn tortillas without identifying anyone?

Thank you for considering my inquiry.
Have a fabulous rest pf your week!

The above is essentially a duplicate request of my initial inquiry (See January 15th below) that asked for "test results". I don't really care to know "who". Now my duplicate request explicitly clarifies that this is all about "data" and not about people (or "persons" - fictional or otherwise ; ~ ).

January 16, 2018 -

There is a real need for total transparency and complete full-disclosure regarding all aspects of how our food is grown, produced, processed, etc. that has never been greater than it is now. Responsibility for meeting this need is all the more incumbent upon the businesses that are involved with the marketing of organic and (what they say are) non-gmo foods. In this way the customers of these markets can scrutinize the products before purchasing them. Presently - that degree of transparency and disclosure apparently is not possible at Trader Joe's. However - I can still imagine that "certification" reports could be made available in the markets and stores for the customers to see upon request. Why not make the reports (or at least a factual summary of the report findings) available to the public when it is in the best interest of the public?

Just received their reply (of 13:45):

"RE: Trader Joe's Product Information Form

Aloha Chef,

Thanks for contacting us. All of our private label products are indeed GMO free, which of course includes all of their ingredients. Unfortunately, we are not able to share the certification that demonstrates our corn is GMO free, because it would violate our legal agreement of third party non-disclosure. This legal agreement means that we do not share who produces our products, and our producers do not share that they create our products. Our certification includes the names and other pertinent details of our producers, thus we will not share that document.

However, I can assure you that if, at any time, we discover that ANY of our producers are not compliant with our strict GMO-free regulations (typically discovered through our random audits by third-party lab testing), we consider them to be in violation of our contract, and will discontinue business with them. I hope this explanation reassures you that we take our GMO free claim extremely seriously.

Customer Relations
Trader Joe's"

Some questions that arise from the above reply:
What is the true nature of "legal agreement of third party non-disclosure"? Why is that necessary? Is the supposed need for this "non-disclosure" more important than the customers' assurance of "certification that demonstrates ... corn is GMO free"?

January 15, 2018 -

Just sent the following to Trader Joe's:

I've just read the Q&A posting regarding your Non-GMO policy and although that sounds good I'm still weary of getting non-organic corn products, i.e corn tortillas. Do you have a current report of test results (from a 3rd party lab) on your corn tortillas that I can see?

I feel compelled to inquiry into this from all the readings I've done on the predominance of GMO corn and that the only sure way to avoid it is to get organic corn. If TJ's can show that there non-organic corn tortillas are GMO-free that would be good news for me to hear!

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