The GMO Experiment: New Seal Helps Consumers Say NO to the Experiment and Join the Control Group

A scientist holding a mouse.

In recent years, the number and scale of food product recalls has significantly increased, compelling the U.S. Senate to pass the Food Safety Modernization Act and consumers to take an increasingly active role in demanding transparency about what is in the food they are consuming.

Consumers now want to know exactly what it is they are eating. But what they may not know is that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are in as much as 80 percent of processed foods in the U.S. according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association and that we are all, if effect, part of a large experiment because there haven’t been long term tests to determine exactly how GMOs will affect our health.

What Are GMOs?

GMOs are organisms that have been created through the gene-splicing techniques of biotechnology which allow DNA from one species to be inserted into another species in a laboratory, creating specific characteristics and new species that do not occur in nature.  For instance, a plant can be engineered to become resistant to a pesticide, or even contain its own pesticides within the plant cells, so that the fields can be sprayed with the chemical and the crops will not die along with weeds.

How to Opt Out of the GMO Experiment

Consumers who don’t want their families to be an unwitting part of this big experiment are beginning to seek out foods that do not have GMOs, but because the FDA does not require that companies disclose if they contain GMOs, it can be hard to tell which products have them and which do not.

To help consumers find Non-GMO products, companies like Nature’s Path Organic Foods have joined with the Non-GMO Project on the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal, which lets consumers know what products are the best choices in order to avoid genetically modified organisms. The Non-GMO Project Verified Seal means that a product has been produced according to rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance, including testing of risk ingredients.  The program systematically provides for the evaluation of products, ingredients and manufacturing facilities to determine compliance with the Non-GMO Project Standard.

We at Nature’s Path were early supporters of the Non-GMO Project and among the first to sign up for the verification program. We believe that taking genes out of one species and putting them into the genes of another is simply not smart, especially if that’s what you are planning to feed your child or eat yourself. We want to make it easier for everyone to join us in the control group.

Image via iStock Photo.

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9 thoughts on “The GMO Experiment: New Seal Helps Consumers Say NO to the Experiment and Join the Control Group”

  1. “We believe that taking genes out of one species and putting them into the genes of another is simply not smart”
    Really? It might surprise you to know that breeders have been moving genes between species for decades, or even longer. Crosses with wild relatives, combinations of entire species (polyploidy) and more have moved genes between species both on purpose and accidentally long before genetic engineering came about to do it directly. Many organic crops have benefited from these earlier genetic alterations.

    One of the most basic staples, wheat, is a combination of three grass species in one. Breeders have been working on bringing new genes in from wild relatives of wheat to enhance protein and zinc content, is this wrong, even though it just uses breeding? Rice and millet have traded genes through horizontal gene transfer, and the list goes on. Everything we eat has been modified genetically, among and between related and unrelated species.

    1. I appreciate your response, and I think our points are actually quite similar. We are in agreement that nature does indeed allow inter-breeding…but only of certain lines of species. You mention wheat being a combination of three grasses, which is very different from, say, breeding elephants with mice. As you know, grains are the result of cross breeding grasses, most fruits are bred from trees/plants with abnormal seed coverings and vegetables are bred from several parent-lines. The point in what both of us are saying is that these inter-breedings are natural and did not override nature’s limits. Even though genes move in nature all the time, it is different with GMOs where people intentionally snip genes out of one organism in a laboratory and insert them into a completely different organism, like from a bacterium to a corn plant. And I do think that this unnatural form of moving genes is not a smart thing for us to be doing.

      1. The difference is hybrid VS genetically modified. They are very different things in the world of horticulture. You can do any easy internet search to read all about the differences. :)

      2. Karl is a professional troll. He wants to work and profit from GMO’s. Ironically so does EVERYONE who supports them. It’s pretty much exclusively only people who want to profit from them that are in support. Go figure. Karl even goes on sites arguing with any anti GMO column he can find. He created a website that he uses as “a source” which he calls independent (lol) That is top of the line trolling Karl, did they teach you that in your GMO business 101. Steamrolling the competition with a bunch of rhetoric. Seriously, no long term studies = you don’t know it’s safe… period. Horizontal breeding only happens between plants that have a symbiotic existence or are of similar family makeup. And mother nature controls the expression of the on/off’s of all the genes. In a lab.. the only way they know it works is by making them anti-biotic resistant.. then watch and see if desired trait appears to be there. They have NO IDEA what else is going on, and they admit that they often re-align themselves in unpredictable and unwanted patterns. Then they patent things that you say could happen naturally (which is against the law as of last year when they overturned a cancer patent saying that things that could happen naturally can’t be patented) Which means big agra has a bunch of patents that will be overturned.. or they will have to admit these things could NOT happen naturally. (anti-biotic resistance is not a natural trait of these plants) This is just a small example of how absurd and naive your argument is. It will be ironic when you get cancer from the foods you are promoting. And it will be your Karma when it comes out (as it already has) that GMO’s are inherently dangerous. Look for the negative.. you seem to only look for the positive. Intention is everything, and yours are warped.

        Love and Light

    2. There is a huge differences between crossing related species (which happens naturally as well) and using inserted genes using viral and bacterial agents (namely the cauliflower mosiac virus genes and e coli genes) that would NEVER happen naturally. Viruses and bacterium have the abiliy to attack host cell dna and mutate it…in nature we all know what this leads to. Disease and cancer.

  2. I avoid gmo’s by buying organic. The problem with this is that those of us that do this already will be buying the same foods — so no gain. until fritos and macdonalds and (you get my drift) have this in their ads, WHICH THEY WON’T, the numbers won’t tell people anything. BY THE WAY, LOVE THE AD FOR MACDONALDS OVER THE ARTICLE AND AT THE SIDE.

    1. Yeah, I wish we had more control over the ads that get served here, too. If you know any eco-friendly companies that would like to take over any of our ad spots, I’d love to replace these rotating ads with ones that align with our beliefs here!

  3. Having one company control all the seeds we grow and the pesticide required to grow it is foolishness on a giant scale. A species requires biological diversity with many redundancies to perpetuate itself. When the farmers have access to only one type of seed as is becoming the case, we are setting ourselves up for big problems.

    Also, is it smart to eat a product with pesticide in it? NOOOOO it’s not. This is why we eat organic or grow our own food.

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