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MGP offers Non-GMO grain neutral spirits

DBR Staff Writer Published 21 May 2014

The use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in producing primary ingredients for distilled spirits continues to raise concerns among various segments of our global society. MGP has taken steps to address these concerns, including the production of non-GMO grain neutral spirits (GNS).

"By expanding the scope and variety of premium spirits that MGP is able to provide, we are demonstrating our commitment to proactively address the evolving needs and requests of our customers," said David Dykstra, vice president of alcohol sales and marketing. "This commitment is part of our nearly 75-year-old legacy of seeking ways to deliver an increasingly innovative and distinctive selection of world-class beverage alcohol options."

Corn is the principal crop from which MGP produces the majority of its alcohol products, which include premium bourbons, whiskeys and distilled gins, along with grain neutral spirits.

However, a portion of the company's distillery operations in Lawrenceburg, Ind., is dedicated to the production of alcohol made from non-GMO corn. Additionally, commercially available non-GMO barley and rye are used for producing certain whiskey varieties at that location.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines GMOs as "organisms which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally."

The process has been called "genetic engineering," and it allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another, sometimes between two unrelated species.

"Issues related to what some advocacy groups consider unknown safety risks and other possible ramifications continue to fuel debates over the acceptance and viability of GMO products," said David Whitmer, MGP's corporate director of quality, research & development and innovation.

"This situation has the potential to impact broader consumer perceptions, thus increasing demand for GMO-free alternatives and calling for package labeling to proclaim the difference. In some markets, such labeling could be deemed a positive for retailers, as well as suppliers of the branded products."

Source: Company Press Release