Organic Consumers Association

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A Q&A on Genetically-Modified Foods

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's All About Organics page, Whole Foods and the Myth of Natural page, Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page, and our Illinois News page

In Wednesday's Tribune, we look at genetically modified foods and those trying to get them labeled as such or pulled from stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

The subject of genetically modified crops is full of passionate voices on both sides. We covered the issue in Wednesday's story. Even so, some readers may still walk away with questions about whether to avoid them or how to do so if they wish.

These extra morsels may help make this huge subject more digestible:

How much do stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market vet their products for eco- and health-conscious shoppers?

We had discussions with both stores for the story. Both companies are very attuned to customer concerns about GMOs, and say they are doing what they can to remove and reduce them in their stores.  Representatives for the Non-GMO Project give high marks to Whole Foods Market for doing such things as getting their 365 Every Day Values store brand verified non-GMO -- and strongly encouraging suppliers of their other products to enroll in the non-GMO program.

In a statement, Trader Joe's told us that "all products in Trader Joe's private label are sourced from non-genetically modified ingredients. Our efforts began in 2001, when we determined that, given a choice, our customers would prefer to eat foods and beverages made without the use of genetically engineered ingredients. Our process has been to identify any product containing ingredients that could potentially be derived from genetically engineered crops and work with our suppliers to replace offending ingredients with acceptable alternatives."

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