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Are you noticing little butterfly symbol on some of the products you purchase? The symbol looks like this.
It means the product you are about to eat has been verified to contain only non-genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
At the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, non-GMO labeling was the hottest thing since “gluten-free.” At the show, Wholes Foods announced that by 2018, products from all its vendors must indicate if they contain genetically modified organisms. Whole Foods Market is the first national grocery chain to set a deadline for full GMO transparency,” according to their website.
They may be the first, but clearly not the only organization pushing for full disclosure. Dozens of people converged on the state Capitol in Hartford, CT last week to support a measure that would mandate labels on foods made with genetically modified organisms. Similar initiatives are before legislatures in Washington state, Iowa and Colorado. California’s initiative was voted down in the last legislative session.
GMOs are organisms whose genetic material have been altered in ways that would not occur naturally through mating or cell division. The process involves the deliberate modification of the characteristics of an organism by manipulating its genetic material. The five-year lead time is due to the complexities surrounding GMO products, the company says. The prevalence of GMOs in the US, coupled with a lack of labeling guidelines makes it very difficult for grocery stores to source non-GMO choices, according to Whole Foods.
Whole Foods Market currently sells 3,300 Non-GMO Project verified products from 250 brands, more than any other retailer in North America, the company says.
Indications are that consumers are concerned about this issue, too. Many gluten sensitive people tell me they have digestive issues when they eat foods containing GMOs and that the symptoms are similar to those when they eat gluten.
What about you? Do you look for the Non-GMO symbol when you shop? Do you react to foods that are genetically altered?