Heeding the call from consumers to manufacture products free from genetically modified organisms (GMO), Futurelife ® is the first company in the functional food market in South Africa to make the move to GMO free products.
The issue of GMO has sparked debate globally and in South Africa. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Food Safety Authority have approved the use of the genetically modified seeds that are grown in South Africa. Furthermore, according to WHO reports on food safety, GM foods currently available on the international market have passed risk assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. There are however consumers that believe the contrary.
“The debate regarding the merits of GM versus non-GM is a complex one and we do not profess to be experts in this area. However, we do stand by our customers and what they want out of our products,” says Paul Saad, CEO of Futurelife ®.
The market for enhanced or functional foods and beverages continues to grow in step with changing consumer health and wellness lifestyles. As an overall global trend in functional food and beverage consumption, consumers are navigating wellness with greater breadth and depth of knowledge and there is a keen focus on "clean, real foods".
“As we are a respected and credible health and lifestyle company, consumers hold us to a higher standard and we felt it important to satisfy our customers’ needs. We are therefore fulfilling our pledge to go GMO free, thereby offering our customers a choice,” says Saad.
GMO free raw materials
As of 1 July 2013, products manufactured in the Futurelife ® factory are being produced from GMO free raw materials. Two of the main raw materials in Futurelife ® products are Maize and Soya and according to Futurelife ®, there is no difference between the GM and GM free raw materials in terms of taste and nutritional content.
According to Saad achieving GMO free status in South Africa is an enormously complex task as the country is not set up for this. “In order to guarantee we are GMO free we need to ensure that a number of procedures are in place and tests are conducted regularly,” says Saad (further details of the process is available on www.futurelife.co.za/gmo ).
Furthermore, non-GM raw materials are more expensive than their GM counterparts but despite this on-cost, Futurelife ® has taken the decision not to increase its prices.
As part the retail distribution process, it will be approximately three months before consumers will see the GMO free products on shelf, which will be clearly labelled. The Futurelife ® range currently consists of Futurelife® SmartFood, Futurelife® High Protein SmartFood, Futurelife SmartFood for Kids and Futurelife® Crunch, which are available in most leading retailers, including Pick 'n Pay and Woolworths as well as Dis-chem and Clicks outlets.
(Press Release from Futurelife)