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Organic Consumers Association

Want to Avoid GMOs? Look for This Label

For Related Articles and More Information, Please Visit OCA's All About Organics Page, Genetic Engineering Page and our Millions Against Monsanto Page.

What do Cheerios and apples have in common? They are the latest and very public battlegrounds for the GMO debate. But these two mainstays of American childhood nutrition are headed in opposite directions. While the arctic apple, genetically modified to not brown when cut, is all but set to be approved for production, original Cheerios is now GMO-free. And while general public is wholeheartedly in support of knowing what is in their food, shoppers are still confused as to what all the labels really mean.

Now some of the very groups who dumped millions into defeating state GMO labeling laws across the country have changed tack and are pushing for a national GMO labeling law; one that only requires labels on GMOs "proven" to cause health problems. The problem? Patents and "intellectual property" laws not only severely restrict how GMOs can be researched, but have provided an easy way for the companies to discredit study results they don't like.

While food and seed giants figure out how to take the teeth out of GMO labeling laws before they even happen, there is good news for the more than 90 percent of American consumers who want to know whether or not something contains GMOs: We already have a label.

Certified organic farmers and food producers can't use GMOs. Ever. And there are strict regulations in place for certified organic producers to avoid GMO contamination, including testing. As Melody Meyer, vice president of policy and industry relations at UNFI and Rodale Institute business member explained recently, "In November 2012, the NOP clarified through formal rule making that testing for prohibited residues in organic products, including GMOs, MUST occur periodically (on an annual basis) and that certifiers must investigate and issue noncompliance notices accordingly to organic operations that fail to meet the requirement."

GMOs are also only one aspect of a toxic food system. Simply choosing non-GMO does not make for healthy food. In the last five years, the American Academy of Pediatrics, President's Cancer Panel and physicians nationwide have publicly advised us all, especially children and pregnant women, to reduce our dietary exposure to synthetic pesticides.  


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