Have you wondered how to tell if GMOs are in your food? Since there has been an obvious lack of transparency about GMOs (genetically modified organisms) for American consumers, it’s been a hit and miss proposition about how to determine what you’re actually eating, even if you try. GMO labeling has varied from state and to state, causing consumers even more confusion about how to tell if GMOs are in certain foods.
Additional labeling is now required from manufacturers to specifically inform consumers about what they are buying. A law was passed in July 2016 that requires accurate GMO food labeling, but it will take a while to phase in completely. Even then, there are some ifs about how much total transparency will result, due to the fact that the USDA Secretary of Agriculture will ultimately decide what exactly will and won’t be required to be labeled.
So, what can you do?
How to Tell if GMOs Are in Your Food
1. Choose Products with These labels
Your best bet to avoid GMOs is to select food that displays one of these labels:
- USDA organic label
- A Greener World’s Certified Non-GE
- Non-GMO Project – (Verifies that a product does not contain more than 0.9 % GM ingredients.)
Food labeled accordingly are really the only way to ensure that you avoid GMOs. Even with the new law, there are certain murky details that will allow companies to get by some stringent detailing of certain GMO ingredients.
2. Avoid These Big 4 Commercial Food Crops
Corn, soy, canola and sugar are the most common GMO products produced worldwide. They are used as ingredients in a wide variety of food products. Most commercial sugar, for instance, is derived from sugar beets which are 99% genetically modified crops.
Another large GMO crop worth mentioning that is often grown in the U.S. is wheat, which is the subject of many concerned consumers regarding the use of Round Up in the harvesting process.
Unless a food product is appropriately labeled as GMO free or certified organic, you can assume that one or more of these crops have made their way into product ingredients.
3. High Tech Detection
If you want to use your smart phone for detective work, some companies are already complying with the 2016 GMO labeling law. However, you’ll need a smart phone or computer to access the information. Companies like Campbell Soup Company and General Mills are already providing information through the SmartLabel initiative.
You can find GMO ingredients that are listed in their products through the “other information” tab on their websites. The Federal government allows them to use a QR code which is not easily accessible unless you have the proper digital equipment.
TIP: The simple phrase “added ingredients” should always throw up a red flag that GMO ingredients are most likely used.
To be honest, it’s probably almost impossible to avoid all GMO ingredients in foods unless you opt to eat whole foods. Learn to identify whole, natural foods from processed foods with artificial ingredients. Look for foods labeled organic, GMO free, non-GMO, and cage-free to be sure about what you’re eating.