National Non-GMO Month – What They Are and Why You Should Care

As a consumer, you have many choices. You can choose to buy a wool or polyester sweater. You can choose to buy a gas or hybrid vehicle. You have the ability to make these choices because these products are clearly labeled. Choosing whether or not you put GMOs in your body is harder. Check the […]

National Non-GMO Month – What They Are and Why You Should Care

As a consumer, you have many choices. You can choose to buy a wool or polyester sweater. You can choose to buy a gas or hybrid vehicle. You have the ability to make these choices because these products are clearly labeled. Choosing whether or not you put GMOs in your body is harder. Check the packaging on your favorite snack. Did you see the label informing you your snack was full of GMOs? Most likely you didn’t because companies are not required to tell you whether or not GMOs are in your foods. In fact, GMOs are in about 80% of commonly processed foods. So what are GMOs and are they really harmful?  Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.

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GMOs are a potential risk to humans
A number of scientific studies cite allergic reactions, liver problems, reproductive dysfunctions and other conditions stemming from the consumption of GMOs. GMO testing on laboratory rats is a first step to extrapolate their dangers on humans. A study showed that mice fed the Bt-toxin not only had reproductive issues but also developed allergies to non-GMO foods.

Jolly Llama Sorbet Pops                                                                                                                                                                                                

Non-GMO-Month-2013-Logo-300x149Jolly Llama Sorbet Pops are Non-GMO Project Verified. This means that Jolly Llama products are certified to be produced without GMO ingredients. Non-GMO Project Verified foods, are growing at 15% to 30% in sales, according to officials at Whole Foods Market, and reached more than $3.5 billion in total sales in 2013.Non-GMO Project reported that its Non-GMO Verified seal is the fastest growing verification seal in the U.S.

What Can You Do?
As the public learns more about genetically modified organisms, there are many things that consumers can do to learn more about the issue and support efforts to make the public more aware of the products that contain GMOs.

In order to ensure that you are not eating food that contain GMOs, choose organic. Foods that have the USDA organic seal are prohibited from using GMOs in organic production.

Next, consumers should support labeling of products containing GMOs. Groups like the Non-GMO Project have a verification seal for products that contain no GMOs. Just Label It supports labeling of products that contain GMOs.

Regardless of whether one lives in Washington or not, consumers can support the efforts of theYes on 522 Initiative. This Washington initiative will be before voters in November 2013 and seeks to require labeling on foods that contain GMOs.

Last, consumers are encouraged to join social media efforts like GMO Inside which gives people information and tools, and provides a place for a growing community of people from all walks of life to share information and actions around genetically engineered foods.

Currently about 93% of the US population supports labeling of GMOs. These grassroots efforts by organizations and concerned citizens is the best way to change the conversation and encourage companies to provide transparency to the public by clearly stating which products contain GMOs.

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