What’s a GMO?

You may have seen those new labels popping up on various items in the grocery store that say “Non-GMO.” An independent verification group called the “NON-GMO Project” tests the ingredients of each product and then verifies them as GMO-free for consumers. The push for this new label is consumer based and funded by the corporations themselves. To put it simply, consumers don’t want GMOs in their food. Here’s why.

GMO food has been changed in a laboratory using genetic engineering. These changes have been made with very little regulation as to what can and cannot be added to our food or studies on how those changes affect us long-term. According to the NON-GMO Project, “This creates combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.” The industrial farming methods that have come with GMO food production have also recently come under fire, specifically with overuse of Roundup on crops. In fact, some of the most genetically modified foods are grown from “Roundup-Ready” seeds. Soy, corn, cotton, canola, and alfalfa are on the list of high-risk plants that are genetically modified.

As consumers have become more educated about the questions surrounding genetically modified food, the food industry has had to keep up with consumer demand for unadulterated, natural food. At the very least, this gives consumers the right to know which of their foods have not been genetically altered. There have been attempts by citizens in California and Vermont to have GMO food labeled, but at this point, and after extreme opposition by food companies and Biotech and pesticide corporations like Monsanto, these laws have not passed.

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