• Natural Products Industry News

'Non-GMO' Seal Identifies Foods Mostly Biotech-Free

New York Times

By William Neuman

Alarmed that genetically engineered crops may be finding their way into organic and natural foods, an industry group has begun a campaign to test products and label those that are largely free of biotech ingredients.

With farmers using gene-altered seeds to grow much of North America’s corn, soybeans, canola and sugar, ingredients derived from biotech crops have become hard for food companies to avoid. But many makers of organic and natural foods are convinced that their credibility in the marketplace requires them to do so.

  • News Releases from Down to Earth

Down to Earth to Open New Store in Hilo, Remodel Others

Honolulu, Hawaii (August 12, 2009) – Honolulu-based Down to Earth ALL VEGETARIAN Organic and Natural will open a new store in Hilo on the Big Island this fall and complete remodels of its Kahului and Kailua stores by early next year. The addition will give the company a total of five stores in Hawaii. Down to Earth is the only all-vegetarian food store in Hawaii and one of only a few in the nation. The expansion is expected to add approximately 50 jobs to the company’s payroll.

  • Down to Earth in the News

Down to Earth Plans New Stores

Honolulu Advertiser

By Andrew Gomes Advertiser Staff Writer The dominant retailer in the local natural-foods market — Down to Earth All Vegetarian Organic and Natural — is expanding in the face of a battered economy and delayed growth by bigger rival Whole Foods Market. Down to Earth has signed a lease to open a store in Hilo, Hawai'i, in October or November, giving the 32-year-old kama'aina chain five stores on three islands. The company also anticipates reaching a lease agreement in the next few months to open a store in Central or West O'ahu.

  • Down to Earth in the News

Health Food Store Expands to Hilo

Tribune Herald

A Honoulu-based health food store chain is opening in Hilo this fall. Down to Earth - which boasts it is "the only all-vegetarian food store in Hawaii" - will be located near Wal-Mart in the 5,500-square-foot space being vacated by Island Naturals Market, which is moving to the Hilo Shopping Center in September. The new Down to Earth store will open in October or November and will offer about 10,000 different "organic and natural" products.

  • News Releases from Down to Earth

New GMO Education Materials Now in Stores

Down to Earth is now offering a variety of Non-GMO education materials in all of its stores as support for the “Campaign for Healthier Eating in America.” The Campaign is being organized by the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), which was founded by renowned author and filmmaker Jeffrey Smith. It is designed to create a Non-GMO tidal wave across America and ultimately end the genetic engineering of our food supply.

  • News Releases from Down to Earth

Down to Earth Launches New Blog

In a move to increase its community outreach, Down to Earth CEO Mark Fergusson has posted blog and Twitter sites that promise to, in the words of a comment by one reader, “open the door to lively and deep discussion, spark curiosity and understanding, and renew compassion and civility toward all living beings: neighbors, nations, animals, and the amazing organism we call Earth.” “Let’s get down to earth,” is the brain child of Down to Earth CEO Mark Fergusson, who is also the blogger for the site.

  • Messages from the Chief Executive Officer

Vegetarian Lifestyle Can Help Reduce Pandemic Disease – "Love animals, don’t eat them!"

It is ironic that the meat industry—long touted as key to good nutrition—puts the health of people in our island ohana and throughout the world at risk time and again. The current outbreak of H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) virus speaks for itself, although plenty of other examples abound. These include the Avian Flu influenza of 1997, Mad Cow Disease of 1986, and the massive outbreak of toxic Pfiesteria in 1997.

  • Local and National Legislative Issues

Bill banning GMO taro introduced by councilor

Maui News

County Council Member Bill Medeiros has introduced a bill banning genetically engineered or modified taro in Maui County. The proposal received strong support Friday from Native Hawaiians, taro farmers and critics of GMO technology when it was introduced at the regular Maui County Council meeting. It was referred to committee for future discussion. Proponents of developing genetically modified taro have said research could help the plant resist modern pests and diseases.