Celestial Seasonings Inc., a brand of The Hain Celestial Group Inc., Boulder Colo., announced that nine of its teas, including Sleepytime Herbal Tea,– have received Non-GMO Project Verification. This announcement is the first step in an ongoing process through which the brand intends to achieve Non-GMO Project Verification for all of its bagged specialty teas, the company says.

Founded in Boulder, Colo., in 1969, Celestial Seasonings Inc. was one of the pioneers of the burgeoning natural foods movement, the company says. In recent years, the brand and its parent company, Hain Celestial, have been vocal supporters of "right to know on GMOs" initiatives around the country, including California Proposition 37 and Colorado Proposition 105. More recently, Hain Celestial's Founder and Chief Executive Officer Irwin D. Simon was among 125 business leaders who implored the Obama Administration to direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require food companies to label products that contain GMOs, it says.

"Celestial Seasonings helped start the movement toward better-for-you products more than 40 years ago, and Non-GMO Project Verification shows our continued commitment to our founding principles," said Tom Arcuri, vice president of sales and marketing at Celestial Seasonings, in a statement. "While we've previously avoided GMO ingredients in our teas, this third-party verification provides the total transparency in sourcing that today's educated consumers expect from the brands they choose and trust."

The nine Celestial Seasonings teas that received Non-GMO Project Verification in the initial round of approval are Sleepytime Herbal Tea, Chamomile Herbal Tea, Peppermint Herbal Tea, Roastaroma Herbal Tea, Sleepytime Extra Herbal Supplement, Morning Thunder Black Tea with Mate and three varieties from the brand's Organic Fair Trade Certified Estate Teas line, which currently available at Whole Foods Market stores. The brand is continuing to enroll the remainder of its specialty tea portfolio for verification in phases.