Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Avoiding GMOs - There's a Guide!!

I don't know how I missed this before in all of my web-trolling about food, but, today, while researching phytoremediation research (the study of plants fighting toxins and bad things in the air, the soil and, basically anywhere in the environment - yes, yes - I am home SICK AGAIN!) I, somehow, fell upon The Center for Food Safety which is simply amazing! On the home page of the site is
  • the latest news in the food safety fight, as well as 
  • a link for you to join the "True Food Network" in order to stay connected with their doings - I, of course, signed up!

Along the top of the page are a number of tabs (all of which I have not yet explored), one of which I simply could not ignore: "Non-GMO's Shoppers' Guide". Here is a snippet of their description of the guide:

After a long wait, we are pleased to announce the arrival of our updated, portable pocket shoppers’ guide to help you find and avoid GE ingredients wherever you shop. Our guide gives you valuable information on common GE ingredients, brands to look for, and look out for, and common sense tips to keep you in the know.
[UPDATE (3/30/2011): There's an APP for that now! The guide has bee made into a mobile phone application for iPhone and Android phnes as well.]

The guide is well-organized and has a "Non-GMO" and a "May Contain GMO" listing for each category. It also has, at the end of the guide, a list of "Invisible GM Ingredients" - those ingredients that may have been created using some GM product. All-in-all, I think this is a handy reference for anyone that is concerned about genetically modified food (as I am!!!), but should, as it all should be, be taken with a grain of salt. The sad, true fact is that the GMOs are out there growing and, as all of us who saw (or read) Jurassic Park know, "Life finds a way." I say this in response to the sobering "special note" found at the end of the guide:

SPECIAL NOTE: This guide was compiled based on company statements, not genetic testing. Any product labeled as Non- GMO indicates that it’s manufacturing process is designed to avoid GMOs, but consumers should be aware that GM contamination is possible due to natural pollen movement, weather events, seed contamination, or human error. Hence there is no guarantee such products are 100% free of GMOs.

...and so I am left wondering: are there or will there ever be any products free of GMOs? Terrifying thought.

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