I’ve occasionally received questions about whether Amway uses genetically modified organism (GMO) crops in their products, in particular in Nutrilite products. I’m personally not overly concerned by GMO if it’s from a company I trust. In past years “gmo” had a simpler name – farming! We’ve been genetically modifying our food supply for thousands of years, through transplanting and interbreeding of different plants and animals. Now we can just do it faster and in a more controlled situation.
Still, I understand peoples concerns. On the weekend though, there was a surprising article posted in China’s People’s Daily Online – Is Amway Nutrilite protein powder as addictive as heroin? The article is a bizarre, non-scientific hit piece, against both Amway and GMO. It cites some studies that found problems with some GMO animals. That’s kind of like saying you shouldn’t eat strawberries (a man-made hybrid fruit) because breading a donkey and a horse will give you an infertile mule. Just plain silly.
But it gets sillier. The article says, about Amway protein powder …
“people really feel better to take the Nutrilite protein powder but feel not as good as before if stop taking it”
… and claim this is evidence the product is addictive and creates dependence like heroin! Right. So if I give a badly dehydrated person water … they’ll feel better. If I stop it and let them get badly dehydrated again, they’ll feel even worse.
Bad water! Bad bad water!
The article has obviously been written or sourced from an Amway competitor, and there’s a big clue to this when we go back to the discussion on GMO -
“Industry insiders said that the Amway Nutrilite protein powder sold in China contains protein from GM soybeans grown in the United States.”
“Industry insiders” huh? That’s code for “competitors”. Still, I was interested if Amway was using GMO so I started googling around, and I found several documents of interest. One was the All Plant Protein Powder FAQ, produced by “ TECHNICAL REGULATORY SERVICES, Access Business Group, South Africa”. Access Business Group (ABG), a part of Alticor, is responsible for manufacturing Amway products. The FAQ says -
42. How do we verify that we use non-genetically modified soybeans?
We follow the European Union standard for providing non-genetically modified ingredients. The supplier of our soy protein isolate has a
stringent quality control system in place to ensure they provide us with non-genetically soybeans. We also ensure this requirement is being
met by using a test known as polymerase chain reaction, or PCR testing. This advanced methodology can test for the presence of genetically
This makes it pretty clear this product has no GMO. But is it perhaps different in different markets? I also found, from the same group at ABG, an FAQ on Nutrilite and Organic Farming -
22. Do Nutrilite farms utilize GMOs or GMMs?
Nutrilite has a long tradition of using organic farm practices on its farms. This policy includes using only traditional
farming methods and natural methods to control insects and prevent crop disease, and has been extended to preclude
the growing of GMO and GMM plants on any Nutrilite farming operation. It reflects Nutrilite’s commitment to providing
customers with products that address all of their concerns
So, Nutrilite farms don’t use GMO/GMM and in Europe/South Africa at least, they follow EU standards for suppliers. The final nail in the coffin for the People’s Daily claim is this, the Nutrilite Global GMO Policy, which states -
All ingredients for Amway core branded products (Nutrilite, Positrim) will be nonGMO or IP with a recombinant DNA threshold of 0.9% with the exception of
flavors, and subcomponents with no function or presence in the final formula.
So there you go. With some minor exceptions, Amway and Nutrilite don’t use GMO ingredients.