Moms Across America (MAA)—a non-profit national coalition of moms with the motto “Empowered Moms, Healthy Kids” has launched the Moms Across America Gold Standard—a multi-tiered seal of approval for brands focused on organic practices and eco-friendly procedures. The goal, according to a press release: “to take the mystery out of shopping, making it simple for people to choose the healthiest products for themselves and their families and to use their wallets to take a stand against unhealthy alternatives and unethical business practices.”
Zen Honeycutt, Founding Executive Director of MAA, tells WholeFoods that MAA reaches between 1 million and 4 million a month—and this seal is what these moms want. “These are conscious moms who are aware of what’s going on in the food supply. They’re the leaders, they’re the pioneers,” Honeycutt says. “This Gold Standard is the future of being successful to marketing to moms, and it’s also how we’re going to transform the food industry. If food manufacturers listen to us and take steps to not only be non-GMO and organic, but also to incorporate Fair Trade, humanely raised, eco-friendly packaging, and to support regenerative agriculture, they’re going to get loyalty for life. Our moms are so excited about seeing this logo on grocery store shelves, and they will share with their friends and family to spread the word.”
As outlined in the announcement, The Moms Across America Gold Standard will evaluate and award brands on a scale of three to five stars.
To receive three Gold Stars a brand’s product must:
- Provide total transparency, including “natural flavors,” and not include carrageenan, synthetic food dyes or additives.
- Be certified organic by the USDA or other certifier.
- Be Glyphosate Residue Free (preferred) or recently glyphosate herbicide tested.
To receive four Gold Stars a brand’s product must:
- Meet all previous requirements.
- Be Non-GMO Project Verified if the ingredients exist as GMO (for instance, a pure coconut milk would not need to be Non-GMO Verified) and no synthetic biology (SYNBIO).
- Heavy metal tested for 2X the number of heavy metals in standard testing and additional pesticide testing for commonly used pesticides.
To receive five Gold Stars a brand’s product must:
- Meet all previous requirements.
- Use Fair Trade practices and pay Fair Labor wages.
- Use Low to No Pollution Packaging – utilizing 100% recycled materials, bioplastics or glass, or have a mail-in recycling program.
- Support the transition to Regenerative Organic Agriculture either through ingredients or by donation of a portion of sales.
“Even at the first level of three gold stars, with the glyphosate testing in addition to organic, it’s already better than organic. Organic standards don’t test for glyphosate. And glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world and its been showing up to contaminate our food supply,” Honeycutt notes. “So just at the three star level, moms are saying, ‘That’s what I want.'”
The program launched in September 2019, and Honeycutt says that as it grows, MAA will be sharing the stories of going above and beyond. “We want the customers to know the extraordinary levels that these brands are going to in order to operate with integrity. We’re super excited to celebrate these brands. Our moms want to hear these stories about these brands. We want to restore trust and integrity in the food supply, and I think we can do this.”
The first recipient of the Moms Across America Gold Standard is the environmental toxin remover Primary Detox from BIORAY, which 5 Gold Stars.
Manufacturers looking for more information on how to sign up can visit MOMS ACROSS AMERICA GOLD STANDARD.
Note: This article was updated on 11/20/19 with MAA’s updated requirements for the gold star levels.