Now that we know how to identify GMO’s in their simplest form, we need to be able to identify them in their complex forms as well.
Marketers have become skilled at making a product sound healthy when its really no better than anything else on the shelves. Unlike organic labels and the Non-GMO Project Verified seal, the terms listed below don’t have clear definitions and are not backed by any standards that indicate the absence of GMO’s:
- “Natural” means only that a food product must be “minimally processed” and contain no artificial ingredients. This label can be on food from animals raised on GMO feed or given GMO hormones.
- “All Natural” has no legal meaning. Products described as “all natural” may contain GMO’s
- Surprisingly, foods labeled “GMO-Free” may contain GMO’s. The term has no legal meaning.
- The term “Pure” also has no legal meaning and there are no standards that support “pure” products being non-GMO.
Another way to avoid GMO’s is by reading the little stickers on produce that contains what is called PLU codes. These codes are to identify fruits and vegetables, but can also tell you if a fruit or vegetable is organic, conventional, or GMO.
- Organic produce (which is also innately GMO free) will all have a PLU number starting with the letter 9 (middle apple above)
- Conventional produce (which may be GMO) starts with the number 3 or 4. These all contain pesticides, herbicides, and/or fungicides. (first apple above)
- Because sticker code compliance is voluntary and food makers prefer GMO’s go unlabeled. But- Any PLU code starting with the number 8 is a GMO product. (third apple above)
Many of the items listed below come from one or more of the top 5 GMO sources: soy, sugar, corn, canola, cottonseed. It is important to recognize these items as possible GMO’s:
- amino acids
- artificial flavor
- baking powder
- citric acid
- corn flour/meal/oil/starch/syrup
- cottonseed oil
- high-fructose corn syrup
- hydrolyzed vegetable syrup/protein
- lactic acid
- modified food starch
- monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- natural flavor
- sodium ascorbate/citrate
- soy flour/isolate/lecithin/protein
- textured vegetable protein
- vegetable oil/protein/shortening
- vitamin C
- xantham gum
*Non-GMO or organic versions of some of these ingredients also exist, and may be found in organic foods and products that carry the USDA Organic or Non-GMO Project Verified Seal
(Information from Dr. Baylock’s Guide to Avoiding GMO Foods)