GMOs: What's the Big Deal?

The GMO debate is becoming significantly more relevant in the light of recent health trends such as gluten-free or vegan dietary restrictions. You may have overheard a discussion on the use of GMOs, or started to notice non-GMO labels on products at the grocery store.

GMO stands for “genetically modified organism,” and refers to a plant whose DNA has been strategically engineered in the lab. These manipulations enable crops to resist disease, drought, and insects—also, to speed up production and increase supply. GMOs are common in processed foods such as cookies, cereal, and potato chips.

GMOs are a fairly recent development in U.S. commercial production, arriving just 20 years ago. Although popular in the United States, these crops are strictly banned in the European Union, which consists of a sizable 28 nations. This ban is mainly due to a lack of understanding in regard to long-term health implications, given the novelty of this agricultural technology. However, several recent studies, as well as the Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization, have said that genetically modified foods are in fact safe for human consumption for the time being.  

Many researchers feel that genetic engineering of foods only provides a slight increase in supply. Several crops designed to resist disease, droughts, and insects have only done so in modest percentages. The question remains, should America risk unknown long-term health implications for such a slender reward? Until the federal government seriously addresses the issue, the choice of eating genetically modified food products is entirely up to the consumer. However, it may be harder than you think to avoid GMOs.

A movement requiring the labeling of GMOs is gaining traction in recent months. The United States’ largest natural foods grocer, Whole Foods Market, announced last year that it would label all products that contain or may contain GMOs by 2018. Following the lead of Whole Foods, the states of Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont have enacted laws that require mandatory labeling of GMOs by retailers and suppliers. Currently, 26 states are taking steps towards labeling laws or considering the banning of GMOs in totality. Accordingly, many grocers are taking a firmer stance on labeling, as many shoppers are beginning to request non-GMO products.

At POP! Gourmet, we believe in using the highest quality, all natural ingredients. Our products are completely free of GMOs, and are labeled accordingly. Regardless of where you stand on the GMO debate, trust that POP! Gourmet stands behind the use of natural products that have not been genetically modified.