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UPDATE 1-Cargill offers certified non-GMO sweeteners and sunflower oil

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NEW YORK Oct 6 Cargill Inc has introduced its first sweeteners and sunflower oil certified as not genetically modified, or non-GMO, it said on Thursday, becoming the latest food company to bolster its roster of ingredients perceived as more natural.

The Minneapolis-based global commodities trader is now offering commercial-scale cane sugar and erythritol, another sweetener, as well as sunflower oil that have been certified as non-GMO by a third party, it said in a statement.

Food manufacturers including Dannon and Hershey Co have been opting for cane sugar and other non-GMO ingredients to capture the attention of consumers seeking organic and natural foods. The trend picked up ahead of new U.S. laws requiring companies to label whether their foods contain GMO substances.

"Consumer demand for non-GMO food and beverages is growing, and Cargill is responding," Mike Wagner, managing director for the company's North American starch and sweetener business, said in the statement.

The company has been adding non-GMO products for some time, including a sunflower oil blend launched in March 2015, but this is the first time Cargill has gotten this outside certification for its products. (Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Von Ahn)

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