Non-GMO the way to go
Quite often, you mention non-GMO ingredients and how we should avoid them. I do look for products that say Non-GMO or Non-GMO Project Certified. Is one non-GMO better than the other or, are they all safe to just say non-GMO.
GMO's, or genetically modified organisms, are plants or animals created through gene-splicing techniques of biotechnology according to the GMO Report.
This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding according to Mayo Clinic.
Because the quality of our food supply is intimately connected with political and regulatory decisions, and difficult for consumers to stay abreast of changes in food ingredients and their toxicity, (with the exception of reading my column), the Non-GMO Project was created.
The Non-GMO Project is a nonprofit organization committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products through labeling and education of consumers providing verified non-GMO choices. The verification seal, a seal with a green sprig and a butterfly with the words non-GMO Project Verified, indicates that the product has gone through a strict verification process and is an assurance that a product has been produced by the best practices for GMO avoidance.
If you see a product that states, GMO Free, be very leery of its labeling. GMO Free and similar claims are not legally or scientifically defensible due to limitations of testing methodology.
In addition, the risk of contamination to seeds, crops, ingredients and products is too high to reliably claim the product is GMO free. While the non-GMO Project's verification seal is not a GMO-Free claim, it is trustworthy, defensible, transparent and North America's only independent verification for a product made according to the best practices for GMO avoidance.
It is important to know that GMO high risk crops are alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, soy, sugar beets, zucchini and yellow squash. Also considered high-risk for GMO's are animal products, such as milk, meat, eggs, and honey, because of the contamination in feed.
Common ingredients derived from GMO-risk crops are aspartame, maltodextrin, high-fructose corn syrup, textured vegetable protein, monosodium glutamate and flavorings.
Look for the non-GMO Project label, usually found on the front of products, proudly displayed by the manufacturer.
Thought for the week: Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So, for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.
Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant; email her at email@example.com. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.