Heard about GMO?
Genetically modified organisms are plants or animals that have had their DNA altered through gene splicing techniques. This enable scientists to insert the DNA from one species into that of another in order to obtain a certain desired effect, for example resistance to pests. From a purely scientific perspective, this is an amazing advancement.
The US is a world “leader” in GMO crops, and most of the soy, corn, beets and canola grown here is genetically modified. This is a relatively new science, and the pros and cons are still being weighed among experts.
The FDA estimates that 3 out of 4 processed foods in a typical US supermarket contain GMO ingredients. But shoppers have no clue which products are GMO and which are not. This is because the agricultural lobbies convinced the government that GMO corn is no different from regular corn in its gastronomic and nutritional qualities and therefore needs no special marking.
Bu the reason is much simpler: If people could choose between a known product without GMOs, or the same exact version but labeled as containing GMOs, most would play it safe and choose no-GMO. Too bad we don’t have a choice. In Europe, where products that are genetically modified must be labeled, this is the case. That’s why there are hardly any GMO foods to be found in the EU.
The Non-GMO project has set at its goal to raise people’s awareness to this matter and created a label (yes, another label…)
Whole Foods Market has partnered with the Non-GMO Project in order to raise consumer awareness of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods, according to Food Navigator:
About 580 natural food stores have said they will take part in Non-GMO Month this month. Nearly 900 products have qualified so far to carry the Non-GMO Project seal, which uses a verification program combining on-site audits, genetic testing of ingredients and a document-based review to confirm that foods do not contain GM ingredients.
The Non-GMO Project was established last year, but this month heralds the arrival of its verification seal on retail products. Whole Foods Market has put forward its entire 365 Every Day Value private label product range for authentication by the scheme and said it expects to announce additional verified products during October. read more…
Will this have any substantial impact on mainstream shoppers? It’s hard to see changes anytime soon. Today your only way of verifying the food you buy is GMO-free, is to buy organic.