Carolyn Bell, RDN – Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) means plants or animals whose cells have been inserted with a gene from an unrelated species in order to change its original characteristics. For example, a certain plant or animal, may be genetically modified to make it more resistant to disease, or increase its reproduction, or perhaps increase the nutritional value. Because of the unknown long-term effect of GMOs, opponents to GMOs are asking food companies to avoid using them. The most common genetically modified plants are corn, cotton, soybean and canola. Corn is used in 90% of food production. It is important to note that GMOs are prohibited in organic food production and distribution; look for the USDA Organic seal to recognize organic foods. Non-GMO means the product is not genetically modified.
Some companies are moving away from GMO ingredients, and may advertise using the Non GMO Project Verified seal. For more information about GMOs, visit http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/what-is-gmo/.
For more information on the USDA Organic Seal, visit: https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/organic