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GMO Free Food Packaging – What’s the deal?

GMO Free Food Packaging

GMO Free Food Packaging

Please imagine me using my best Jerry Seinfeld voice when I ask: What is the deal with GMO free food packaging?

But really. What is it? Why does it matter?

My husband came home with a bag of coffee, and when I emptied it into our burr grinder, I noticed this little label on the bottom:

GMO Free Packaging

You don’t eat the bag that your coffee came in, so who cares that it comes in GMO free packaging, right?

I think how much it matters depends on what it is that worries you about GMO foods. If you worry mostly about the potential health concerns, this might seem silly. But for me, the major worry with GMO crops isn’t about how it impacts my health directly.

GMOs in Packaging

Where would GMOs hide in food packaging? Two major GMO crops are corn and cotton. Either one can be used to create packaging. Cotton combined with paper fibers makes nice, strong paper packaging. If the packaging is made from bioplastic, chances are there’s GMO corn involved.

Why GMO Free Packaging is Important

So, why would you care about buying gmo free products if you’re not eating them? The short answer is pesticides. Read on for the long answer.

GMO free matters whether you’re eating a genetically modified organism, wearing it, crafting with it, or using it to package your coffee.

Let’s set aside worries about GMOs and direct health concerns for a minute, OK? Health seems to be at the center of the GMO debate, and I feel like this focus takes away from a much bigger, much more clear, and much more immediate problem with genetically modified crops. Pesticides. Pesticides, pesticides, pesticides.

Yes, when GMOs first came out, farmers could use fewer pesticides on these plants. And yes, it’s convenient that they can spray without worrying about killing the plants that produce food and pay their bills. The problem comes in over time, because weeds are adaptable.

When we plant row upon row of identical crop varieties and spray day after day with the same pesticides, we breed weeds that can withstand those pesticides. Or at least withstand them at the levels farmers are using them. That means spraying more.

Spraying more means more pesticides in our soil and more pesticide runoff into our lakes, rivers, and oceans. That means we are drinking pesticides in our water and contaminating aquatic habitats.

As more time has passed, spraying more has become less effective. The GMO solution? Create plants resistant to even more toxic pesticides and assuming that we’re not just escalating the problem and starting an even more toxic cycle starring new superweeds.

The soil and water contamination and habitat destruction that we’ve seen since the advent of GMO crops is the big problem that I think we need to talk more about. The direct environmental and indirect health impacts of GMOs are undeniable.

18 comments
  1. Arthur Doucette

    About the Author, she’s a moron.
    The POINT of GMO (and the reason farmers pay more for the seed) is that it REDUCES spraying of insecticides and allows farmers to use less toxic herbicides.
    Farmer’s aren’t stupid, so they wouldn’t use a product that caused them to use MORE of these expensive products.
    Which is why the total use of pesticides (per acre) and the environmental impact of pesticide use has dropped considerably with the adoption of GMO crops.
    Of course there is one big LIE out there, as some claim the use of herbicides has gone up, but that LIE is based on a calculation that uses the WEIGHT of the Active Ingredient as its metric. The herbicide used on GMO crops is over 4 times heavier than the herbicides it replaced, but it is ALSO less toxic, which is why the ONLY valid metric to see if herbicide use is going up or down is the one which measures ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT, and that has seriously gone down with GMO.

    1. MarkDonners

      Hundreds of millions of pounds of herbicide are used on GMO frankencrops, since the weeds get resistant they keep piling it on.. and it’s killing human health and pollinators. Plant variety is being destroyed as well. GMO and the criminal corporations’ herbicides are lethal poisons. Guatemala just recently voted to keep its corn varieties, so they told Monsanto where it could go.. back to the criminal corporate sewer pit it came from.

      1. Arthur Doucette

        So Mark, you also think farmers are STUPID?

        That they pay MORE for GMO seeds so they can also use MORE pesticides?

        Not a very critical thinker I see.

        Altered pesticide use on transgenic cropsand the associated general impact from an environmental perspective

        Gijs A Kleter,

      2. Warren Lauzon

        And Guatemala is doing so well in feeding it’s own people too – note the 60% part below…
        “..Agriculture provides the backbone of Guatemala’s economy, contributing 25 per cent of GDP, employing over half the labour force and providing two thirds of exports, mostly coffee, sugar, bananas and beef. Guatemala’s three main staple foods are maize, beans and rice. However, national production covers only 60 per cent of demand, and many poor families face seasonal food shortages…”

  2. Warren Lauzon

    Seriously… Does the author think that NON-GMO crops are not sprayed? Or does she want “organic paper”? Not real sure what her point is here.

      1. Warren Lauzon

        Because the main (and only real) purpose of labeling is to stigmatize it and to promote the sale of organics. You really should look at who is pouring money into the anti-GMO campaign – 90% or more comes from the giant organic food cartels, and from pseudo-science “medicine” sellers like Alex Jones and Mercola.

      1. Mike

        You obviously have a financial interest in GMOs. Not sure what it is, but the only stories you comment on are GMO related. The people who are in favor of genetically modified products are the same people who post comments over and over. There are only about a dozen different names total, and it might be just a few people with different names.

        1. Warren Lauzon

          The only financial interest I have is that I don’t want to overpay for my food because some activist anti-science group has caused it to be more expensive. And I would note that one of your buddy anti-GMO activists has posted the exact same cut and paste post on at least 40 different blogs and forums. So while I may post comments, at least they are not the same comments repeated ad nauseam.

          1. MarkDonners

            We should herd people like you who are brainwashed by American GMO corporate criminals into a giant pit and throw in frankencrops and agent orange.

              1. MarkDonners

                I forgot to add anyone who works in GMO companies as employees or managers should be ready to join the GMO supporters in that pit.

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