BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Applegate, a subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corp., announced plans to remove genetically modified organisms from its entire supply chain, from the animal feed to the finished product, and to achieve third-party certification. In conjunction with the announcement, the company launched its first-ever Non-GMO Project verified products: Applegate Organics Chicken Nuggets and Applegate Organics Gluten-free Chicken Nuggets.
The move furthers Applegate’s non-G.M.O. commitment. Last year, the company removed bioengineered ingredients from all of its products; however, its new endeavor includes animal feed crops, the vast majority of which in the United States are genetically modified.
|Steve Lykken, president of Applegate|
“It’s very significant that today Applegate is promising to go even further on our quest for transparency and traceability in removing G.M.O.s from our entire supply chain, including the most problematic part — animal feed,” said Steve Lykken, Applegate president. “Exactly a year ago today, Applegate became a stand-alone subsidiary of Hormel Foods with the promise that we would continue to lead in changing the meat we eat, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
The Non-GMO Project Standard includes ongoing testing of all major G.M.O. risk ingredients, plant inspections and yearly audits, Applegate said.
“The Applegate brand was built on a foundation of trust with consumers,” Mr. Lykken said. “By pursuing third-party certification on G.M.O. avoidance for all of our products, we’re adding another layer of credibility and providing consumers the information they need to confidently make the best choices for themselves and their families.”
Applegate’s portfolio of hot dogs, bacon, sausages, deli meats, cheese and frozen products always have been made with meat from animals raised without antibiotics or hormones and fed a vegetarian or 100% grass diet, free of added chemical nitrites, nitrates or phosphates, and free of artificial ingredients or preservatives.Last July, Hormel completed its acquisition of Applegate Farms, L.L.C. and its Applegate brand for $775 million.