Shopping Tips on Avoiding GMOs

You can't tell by looking at the food, and you can't even tell by reading the label in the United States.  Yet many of the foods we eat may be genetically modified. Advocates and consumers support a label on foods to notify of genetically modified origins.  And California residents are about to vote on GMO labels in their state.

California Right to Know's Stacy Malkan says, "Consumers want to know and have a right to know about genetically engineered foods, and there are significant health and environmental concerns associated with these foods.  GMOs have not been proven safe and numerous studies link these foods to allergies and other health risks.  Environmental concerns include an overuse of pesticides, the emergence of super weeds and unintentional contamination of organic crops."

While Californians wait for the November referendum and the rest of the country watches, what can consumers do if they want to avoid GMO ingredients?  The Organic Consumers Association's Kaare Melby offers this advice, "Food that is certified Organic is held to strict standards, which means that consumers can rely on Organic products to be GMO free."

Here's what Sue McGovern of the Just Label It Campaign said about making informed choices, "Consumers interested in making informed choices can access resources like the Center for Food Safety's True Food Shoppers Guide: How to Avoid Foods made with GMOS, or buy organic or Non-GMO Verified foods."  Just Label It offers many consumer resources.

Another common sense tip is to focus mostly on fruits, vegetables and whole foods in general rather than processed foods.  This can help shoppers avoid most, but not all of, the most common GMO food ingredients.