Shoppers’ Guide to Avoiding GMO Foods

With Vermont’s recent court victory to require manufacturers selling food in the state to adhere to GMO-labeling guidelines set forth, it’s time for other states to demand the same transparency on their own grocery store shelves and restaurants.

The Center for Food Safety updated its Food Shoppers’ Guide to Avoiding GE Food a little over a year ago, and they provide some good resources to get you started should you wish to have the option to either avoid, or have labeled, GMO foods. Public opinion polls hold that a large majority of Americans want their food suppliers to clearly label whether or not their products have GMO ingredients.

From the Center for Food Safety website:

“We’ve seen that our government, under pressure from the biotechnology industry, has not required the labeling of GE foods. And the biotech industry does not voluntarily identify them, fearing, probably correctly, that the majority of Americans would avoid GE foods if given a choice. As a result, the U.S. public has been deprived of its right to choose
whether to buy and consume these engineered foods. However, this is not the case with most of our major trading partners around the globe who have instituted mandatory labeling of all GE foods and ingredients.

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Our Imperiled and Dwindling Food Variety

A shocking stat: 93 percent of the seed varieties available in US seed houses in 1903 had gone extinct before 1990.

Now keep in mind that 1994 and 1995 were the first years that outdoor growing of GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) began, which started to result in crop contamination and further pressure on our international seed stocks.

This National Geographic infographic spells out some of the specifics (but only through 1983), which means that the graph below shows a picture of an already dwindling food variety a full ten years before the introduction of GMO-contamination to our crops:

1903-1983 study by Rural Advancement Foundation International results.

1903-1983 study by Rural Advancement Foundation International results.

Needless to say, the situation has become more dire in the 2000’s. Continue reading