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Walk down the food aisles and you will notice a new label multiplying on the shelves. Non-GMO labels are one of the fastest growing label phenomena in the grocery aisle today. Recent polls indicate that 92% of consumers want to know what is in their food when it comes to Genetically Modified Ingredients. That’s exactly why these labels are growing in popularity and recognition. They represent one way to assure consumers that they are not feeding GMOs to their families. The other sure fire way to avoid GMOs is to purchase certified organic products. It’s just that simple and most hungry shoppers don’t even realize it.

It’s a little understood fact: The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited in organic products. This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer can’t mix in any GMO ingredients. To meet the USDA organic regulations, farmers and processors must show they aren’t using GMOs, and that they are protecting their products from contact with prohibited substances, such as GMOs, from farm to table.

Organic always means that the use of excluded methods (including GMOs) is prohibited during the production/farming and handling/processing of certified organic products. USDA certified organic farmers must not use genetically modified seed, and they must have procedures in place that prevent GMO drift from adjacent farms. Certified operations are inspected at least once a year by a third-party USDA-accredited certifying agent to assure this.

Non-GMO claims do not necessarily mean the product is organic. A product can be labeled non-GMO and still be farmed with synthetic pesticides and herbicides and conventional fertilizers.  Organic always means the product has been produced without the use of GMOs and much more!

Organic always means that the use of excluded methods is prohibited 

Purchasing organic products means you are avoiding GMOs as well as promoting an abundance of other benefits. Those benefits are far-reaching and include environmental stewardship that ultimately leads to healthier human beings. The organic regulations promote healthy rich soil, robust biodiversity, and recycling of resources. Organic products are always grown without the use of pervasive pesticides, toxic herbicides, and petroleum-based fertilizers, creating a healthier place for all life to thrive.

For those who dine on meat, organically raised animals provide additional benefits. The regulations specify that they may not be treated with antibiotics, growth hormones, and other artificial drugs. The issue of antibiotic resistance is becoming a grave health concern and organic eliminates that risk. Additionally these animals must be fed organic feed and have access to the outdoors, making for a beast that is able to live life close to its natural predilections.

Consider the many other pesky substances that the USDA regulations forbid. Organic products must not contain artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. You can’t irradiate food and label it as organic. Synthetic substances are not allowed unless they undergo a rigorous National List Review process.

Organic food and textiles represent the most thoroughly vetted and highly transparent agricultural system in the USA. There is no other food system that undergoes as much scrutiny, review, and dialogue as USDA Certified Organic. Avoiding GMO products is just one of the many benefits organic affords those who venture to take that first delicious bite, or fall into those scrumptious organic sheets.

Isn’t it time to embrace organic as a real solution to many of our agricultural ills while spreading the organic gospel of what the regulations really mean? Organic = No GMOs and a whole lot more!

Check out these websites for more information! Then spread the word!

Only Organic—Organic Benefits:

Organic It’s Worth It

Benefits of Organic Help Guide

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About The Author

Melody Meyer's picture

Melody is the Vice President of Policy and Industry Relations for United Natural Foods (UNFI). In this role she is responsible for communicating and educating all stakeholders on critical organic issues. Her Blog covers a range of organic and sustainable food issues.

She is the executive director of the UNFI Foundation which is dedicated to funding non-profit organizations that promote organic agriculture Melody serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Organic Trade Association

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