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What is GMO–and Why Do We Care? Part II

Can You Really Be GMO Free?

by Olivia Bernadel-Huey   With growing demand for Non-GMO products, many companies are choosing to label themselves “GMO free”.  Don’t let yourself be deceived—over 80% of North American food contains GMOs.  The reality of our current world full of genetic modifications is that there is no way to be 100% GMO free at this time. Not even Organic and Non-GMO products are necessarily completely GMO free.   Modeling after the EU, the Non-GMO Project verifies products that still contain up to 0.9% GMO.  With so much of American crops being GMO, it is extremely difficult to entirely avoid genetically modified ingredients.  Even farmers who do commit to being Non-GMO or Organic are prone to cross pollination and contamination from nearby GMO crops. Consequently, companies interested in switching over to Non-GMO face an extremely daunting task.  It takes at least 18 months for the majority of companies to switch over to non-GMO ingredients from crops such as corn and soy which tend to be genetically modified.  Remember, 93% of American soy is GMO.  The lengthy process all depends on finding farmers willing to make the switch as well, a decision most do not make lightly since it requires changing agricultural conditions and practices that work for genetically modified crops, but not for non-GMOs. That’s even if the farmers can find non-GMO seeds to purchase.  Keep in mind that 3 seed companies producing patented GMO seeds control 53% of the global seed market.  Broaden that to the top 10 seed companies, and we see that these 10 biotech giants—Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Groupe Limagrain, Land O’Lakes, KWS AG, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, Sakata, and DLF-Trifolium A/S—dominate 73% of the global seed market.  Any farmers looking for non-GMO seeds are likely to come up empty handed. And let’s not forget the price increase or quality issues that come with using different ingredients and farming practices.  Non-GMOs are much more expensive than their common counterparts.  A year ago, non-GMO soy was already $2 more than GMO soy and non-GMO corn was up 75 cents, prices that can only go up as demand continues to grow.   These new non-GMO ingredients not only differ in price, but also in function which can completely throw off product formulas which companies have taken so long to perfect. This is why TruKid does not list itself as Non-GMO.  We could easily claim, like many other companies who take advantage of the lack of accountability, that we are GMO-free.  But TruKid is committed to telling you the truth, and the truth is that being GMO-free, while still creating affordable all natural, vegan, and gluten and chemical free products currently, just isn’t possible.  This is particularly true given the fact that 93% of all U.S. soy, and consequently the byproducts which are in many of our products, is genetically modified. After researching the topic, it also still remains unclear whether moving towards Non-GMO is truly necessary.  In our final post, we’ll examine last but not least the Pros and Cons of Non-GMO.   Sources http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/gmos-and-your-family/ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/27/business/food-companies-seeking-ingredients-that-arent-gene-altered.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&smid=fb-share& http://www.seedsavers.org/site/pdf/HeritageFarmCompanion_BigSix.pdf http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err162/report-summary.aspx#.U5nkfHJdWSo
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