Eighty per cent of Barbara’s product line now Non-G.M.O. Project verified

by Eric Schroeder
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MARLBOROUGH, MASS. — Barbara’s Bakery, which recently settled a class action lawsuit involving the use of the term “natural” on some of its products, is introducing new packaging for its cereals and snacks with the Non-G.M.O. Project Verified logo. The Non-G.M.O. Project Verified label will begin appearing on 30 of Barbara’s 37 cereals and snacks, including its line of Puffins cereals, this fall.

“Barbara’s has always been committed to bringing consumers only the most wholesome and simple ingredients, and we’ve always listened closely to our loyal fans,” said Federico Meade, vice-president of marketing for Barbara’s Bakery. “In a survey of our most frequent purchasers, we learned that 90% wanted their cereals and snacks to be G.M.O.-free.”

Mr. Meade said approximately half its products met the standards for verification when the company launched the initiative in 2011 (although only one was “officially” verified), but in other cases the company needed to find new non-bioengineered ingredient suppliers in the United States as well as in Canada, Europe and Latin America. He said at least two additional products are expected to earn Non-G.M.O. Project verification by early 2014.

“Barbara’s has met or exceeded our rigorous standards for a number of products,” said Megan Westgate, executive director of the Non-G.M.O. Project. “We recognize and appreciate their hard work in sourcing Non-G.M.O. ingredients and applaud their robust efforts.”

The Non-G.M.O. Project offers North America’s only third-party verification for non-bioengineered food and products. The non-profit is committed to preserving and building sources of non-bioengineered products, educating consumers and providing verified non-bioengineered choices.

The addition of the Non-G.M.O. Project Verified logo to its products comes just a few weeks after Barbara’s Bakery reached a settlement to pay $4 million to plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit regarding the marketing and sale of certain products.

The plaintiffs claim that Barbara’s Bakery misrepresented the nature of certain products to consumers by labeling them as “all natural,” despite the fact many of the company’s products contained bioengineered corn or soy. Barbara’s Bakery denies it did anything wrong.

The lawsuit includes all persons or entities that bought eligible products from Barbara’s Bakery U.S. retailers, Barbara’s Bakery, www.BarbarasBakery.com, or other third-party retailers from May 23, 2008, through July 5, 2013. The court will hold a hearing on Nov. 8 to consider whether to approve the settlement, a request for attorneys’ fees and costs up to $1 million, and a special service payment of $2,500 from the Settlement Fund.

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