Target's New Simply Balanced Line Will Ditch the Genetically Modified Ingredients

Photo: Jay Reed/Flickr.

Earlier this month when I did my natural and organic coupon roundup, I included a few coupons for some of the organic products in one of Target’s store brands, Archer Farms. Target has introduced a new store brand called Simply Balanced that will be exclusively natural and organic. It started showing up in Target stores over the weekend.

The Star Tribune says there will be 250 products in the Simply Balanced lineup that includes "pasta, beverages, snacks, frozen seafood, dairy items and cereal.” All of the products will be free from artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. About 40 percent of the products will be USDA certified organic.

A store having its own private natural and organic label isn’t that unusual, but Target is pledging something that not all “natural” products can claim. By the end of 2014, Target says it will eliminate all genetically modified (GMOs) ingredients from the brand.

The USDA does not allow GMOs in certified organic foods, so any of the Simply Balanced products that are certified organic will not contain GMOs. Products labeled as natural can contain GMO ingredients, however. Target says that right now, 75 percent of the Simply Balanced products do not contain GMOs. Since organics make up only 40 percent of the brand, it’s safe to assume that many of the natural products under the label don’t contain GMOs. But, the ones that do aren’t labeled.

If Target makes good on its claim, by the end of next year, consumers will be able to purchase all of the Simply Balanced products without concern for GMOs. Last month, Target joined other retailers in saying that it wouldn’t carry genetically engineered salmon if the fish gets approval from the FDA.

It looks like Target is hearing the demand from consumers. We don’t want our foods to be genetically modified.