In honor of Thanksgiving in the U.S., I wanted to give thanks to four people who I consider to be my GMO Heroes. Each of these individuals is dedicated to changing the way we think about food:
On November 7 2012, Californians had a chance to vote on a law that would require labeling of all Genetically Modified (“GMO”) ingredients found in the processed foods sold in their state. The proposition also included a ban on the use of the word “natural” when it’s used to describe foods that contain GMO ingredients (a common approach used by many processed food manufacturers).
Except for your right to choose the most healthy food.
Sure, you can waltz into your local grocery store and buy organic lettuce. It’s easy because you can see the difference: it’s labeled “organic.”
Unfortunately, GMOs are not labeled. Which means you have no idea if you’re choosing food with genetically modified ingredients.
And believe me, you are. About 70% of the time.
If something is that prevalent in our food, why isn’t it on the label?
When you take a moment to reflect on the history of product development at Monsanto, what do you find? Here are twelve products that Monsanto has brought to market. See if you can spot the pattern…
Buying 100% Organic, certified Organic, and USDA Organic-labeled products is usually the easiest way to identify and avoid genetically modified ingredients.
The United States and Canadian governments do NOT allow companies to label products “100% / Certified Organic” if they contain genetically modified foods.
To put it in more detail:
100% Organic: Must contain 100 percent organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt). This is the only label that certifies a completely organic product AND completely GMO-free ingredients.
Certified Organic / USDA Organic: At least 95 percent of content is organic by weight (excluding water and salt). The <5% remaining ingredients must consist of substances approved on the USDA’s National List. GMOs are NOT on this list, so USDA Organic products are also usually GMO-free. For verification, consult the following sources:
- The USDA’s National Organic Program overview page
- The USDA’s National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances
- The USDA’s Organic 101 blog
- A 2011 USDA policy memo in response to confusion over GMOs in organics
- The National Organic Standards Board Policy and Procedures Manual
Made with Organic: Up to 70% of the ingredients are organic. These products can NOT carry a “USDA organic” label, however their “remaining non-organic ingredients are produced without prohibited practices, including genetic engineering.”
But lately, even organic products are at risk….
GMOs Will End World Hunger!
GMOs Will Make Food Better!
GMOs Are Safe!
GMOs Promote Agrictultural Diversity!
GMOs Help Support the Herbicide Industry!
GMOs Don’t Need Testing!
GMOs Are Backed by the FDA!
GMOs Don’t Need Labeling!
Here’s the complete story about the wonders of GMOs…
It seems this first post should probably answer the underlying “why.”
Why did I suddenly feel compelled to start a blog about GMO (genetically modified organisms) food? What sparked my sudden awareness and eventual concern over genetically engineered products?