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Day 1 of 5 Day Series: Non-GMO Foods: Why They Matter

written by

Alan McCaa

posted on

July 18, 2023

What does Non-GMO mean?

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. These are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.

Non-GMO, therefore, means that the food or product has not been genetically modified and comes from a traditional, natural genetic line.

Ensuring Non-GMO

The Non-GMO Project is North America's most trusted third-party verification for non-GMO food and products. Products bearing the Non-GMO Project Verified seal have gone through a rigorous verification process according to a consensus-based rigorous standard, which includes traceability, segregation, and ongoing testing of high GMO risk inputs. While this label is one of the most trusted and the transparency and accountability is admirable, the fees are difficult for small farms and ranches. 

Benefits of Non-GMO

Non-GMO foods benefit humans, animals, and the ecosystem in numerous ways.

Humans: Non-GMO foods tend to be more nutritious since they are often grown organically without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, enhancing the nutritional profile of the food.

Animals: For livestock, consuming non-GMO feed ensures that the animals are not ingesting modified substances, potentially reducing health risks.

Ecosystem: Non-GMO farming promotes biodiversity, allowing nature to maintain a balanced ecosystem. GMO crops, on the other hand, often create superweeds and superbugs that are resistant to pesticides and can disrupt the environment.

Consumer Control

As a consumer, you can look for foods labeled as non-GMO or certified by the Non-GMO Project. This requires a bit of label-reading diligence, especially since many foods are not transparently labeled. Buying from local, trusted farmers or food suppliers can also ensure that your food is non-GMO.

Remember that the FDA does not require fully transparent labeling, so it's crucial to understand these details to make the best choices for your food needs.



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