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October is Non-GMO Month!
Are GMOs Safe?
There are, of course, many supporters of GMOs and many believe they are safe. Are they?
Proponents of GMOs say they are simply an extension of natural breeding and are completely safe to eat. They also argue that these modifications can increase crop yield, reduce pesticide use, and benefit the farmers, among other things.
There are many of us who believe GMOs are not safe, obviously. Recently a report, GMO Myths & Truths, examining the claims was released.
Earth Open Source's report compiles a large amount of evidence refuting pro-GMO claims. Claims are listed as Myths, and with each are many studies showing the Truth. Here are two examples:
Myth: GM foods have been proven safe for human consumption.
Truth: The few studies that have been conducted on humans show problems.
(Studies are listed and they state that GMOs have not been properly tested.)
Myth: GM crops increase yield potential.
Truth: GM crops do not increase yield potential and in many cases decrease it.
(At best, GM crops produce approximately the same yield, and often produce much less.)
This is a very interesting report and well worth looking through! You can download the whole report here: GMO Myths and Truths.
Some of our favorite websites about GMOs...
Just Label It
Institute of Responsible Technology
Truth in Labeling
The Non-GMO Project offers advice on their Creating Change Through Action page.
First step: buy Non-GMO Verified Products! There are many, many products - many non-GMO choices for you!. Browse their list or look for the label on backages when you're out shopping.
Second, you can request verification. If you don't see your favorite product on the list, fill out their request form. The Non-GMO Project will get in touch with the company and tell them about the project.
There are many retailers (including us!) that are committed to providing you with GMO-free choices! We also suggest supporting the Non-GMO Project! They work hard to keep safe choices on the grocery store shelves. If you're considering a donation, it's an excellent organization!
All of these steps will let the companies know we're serious about having a right to know!
n nearly 50 countries around the world, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) must be labeled because they haven’t been proven safe. By buying Non-GMO Project Verified, we support manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, and farmers who are committed to providing safe, healthy Non-GMO food for us and for our children. Our choices can change the world. Let’s help create a non-GMO future together!
During Non-GMO Month we’ll help empower you to choose Non-GMO. Products that have achieved non-GMO Project Verification will be clearly tagged, and special deals will be available on many of these non-GMO goodies.
Are you concerned about GMOs in your food? Do you think there are potential health risks? Do you believe we have a right to know if there are genetically modified organisms in our food? There are things we can do!
92% of Americans want GMOs labeled!
From Just Label It
53% off Americans would NOT buy GMOs!
Do You Read Labels?
Most of us know the crops that are usually genetically modified, like corn and soy. But there are so many more!
The crops commonly genetically modified right now include alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, soy, sugar beets, zucchini, and yellow squash. Sheesh! Also considered high-risk are meat, eggs, and dairy due to animal feed contamination.
So, does your favorite food have any of these listed in the ingredients? No? Great! Except that there are many hidden ingredients that are made from one of these GMOs.
A few common ingredients that most are most likely derived from GMOs include margarine, vegetable oil, and vegetable protein. That doesn't seem too surprising. What may surprise you is these ingredients: amino acids, vitamin C, flavorings (natural and artificial!), molasses, and vitamins.
There are so many more ingredients that may be derived from GMOs. Here's a couple of links so you can check your favorite foods: Responsible Technology, Non-GMO Shopping Guide, and The Non-GMO Project
Follow Your Heart
This has been one of our favorite, most popular products for years! Imagine how excited we were to see it's on the list!
What list? The Non-GMO Project's VERIFIED non-GMO list! The Non-GMO Project is about our right to know whether or not our food is GMO free. Here’s an overview of what it takes to become Non-GMO Project Verified…
First, an interested manufacturer, farmer, or restaurateur reaches out. The Project answers basic questions and helps them understand what to expect. The company shares basic information, such as product names, ingredients and number of production facilities. All this info helps the Project’s technical advisors to pinpoint high-GMO risk ingredients and facilities, sketch out a rough idea of what any individual verification will entail, and figure out what the verification process will cost.
For the many brands that do decide to pursue Verification, contracts are signed ensuring that confidential product information stays confidential, and that products only get to use the Verification Mark once they’ve completed Verification.
Even more important is the Verification process itself. Companies provide hard data about the products they are enrolling: ingredient lists, production facility information, test results from approved laboratories, etc. Once the data upload is complete an evaluator with FoodChain, the Project’s technical advisor, begins the review process – and what a process it is!
If a product contains only low-risk ingredients, with no GMO varieties on the market, testing is not required, but FoodChain conducts a thorough review of ingredient specification sheets for an in-depth assurance that there is no risk of GMO presence.
For companies with major high-risk ingredients in their products, the Non-GMO Project standard requires ongoing testing of those risk ingredients. High-risk ingredients are any derived from crops grown commercially in GMO form–from corn and canola to the occasional summer squash. After testing, ingredients must remain segregated from other GMO risk factors, and traceable from that point on. This ensures ingredient integrity through to the finished product. To ensure that everything’s being produced properly, manufacturers must pass onsite inspections of any facility that uses high-risk ingredients.
Upon successful completion of the verification process, the manufacturer receives a certificate of compliance, and can start using the Verified seal on their packaging. Even at this point, manufacturers who have committed to Verification aren’t off the hook – they must continue testing every single batch of their high-risk ingredients, and complete an annual audit process to remain verified.