Labeling

QList of ingredients that have become nonvegetarian after being genetically engineered. for a vegetarian, which foods do I have to buy gmo-free? i can not eat foods that have genes from animals inserted in them. thank you

List of ingredients that have become nonvegetarian after being genetically engineered. for a vegetarian, which foods do I have to buy gmo-free? i can not eat foods that have genes from animals inserted in them. thank you

QList of ingredients that have become nonvegetarian after being genetically engineered. for a vegetarian, which foods do I have to buy gmo-free? i can not eat foods that have genes from animals inserted in them. thank you

List of ingredients that have become nonvegetarian after being genetically engineered. for a vegetarian, which foods do I have to buy gmo-free? i can not eat foods that have genes from animals inserted in them. thank you

By • June 13, 2018

The following is an excerpt of a blog post by Amanda Zaluckyj, on her site The Farmer's Daughter USA, discussing the misinformation behind Kelly Clarkson's non-GMO diet claim.

Kelly Clarkson is making the media rounds to brag about her latest weight loss success.

The first winner of American Idol is super happy because she totally didn’t have to exercise at all to lose weight. In fact, Clarkson told Extra that she managed to lose weight by following the book The Plant Paradox by Steven Gundry. Clarkson said, “It’s basically about how we cook our food, non-GMO, no pesticides, eating really organic.”

I’m not sure how Clarkson defines “cooking,” but I have never sauteed vegetables in pesticides or added GMOs as seasonings.

I asked Dr. Jen Gunter, a San Francisco Bay area OB/GYN, her thoughts about Clarkson’s statements and she was also a bit skeptical. “I’m not aware of any data that links organic foods or GMOs with weight loss,” she explained. “What you eat matters much more than whether you eat conventional or organic.”

If Clarkson really got her information from Steven Gundry’s book, that probably explains why her message doesn’t make any sense. Turns out Dr. Gundry’s claims don’t exactly hold up to scrutiny, and are actually the opposite of healthyThe Plant Paradox is just another book of bad information giving people bad advice.

As she admitted in the interview, Clarkson also has a thyroid issue that was not being properly treated when she gained weight. Once she started therapy for her thyroid levels, and all of her test numbers went back to normal, she started to lose weight. As Lisa Andrews, RD & owner of Sound Bites Nutrition LLC explained to me, treatment for Clarkson’s thyroid level is probably the real reason she managed to slim down.

“While I think it’s great that Kelly Clarkson has lost weight and has her thyroid condition under control, suggesting that clean eating and organic food helped her lose weight is misleading,” Andrews said. “Avoiding foods containing lectins (per The Plant Paradox diet she followed) has not been proven. Non-organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are safe to eat and should be included as part of a healthy diet. Ms Clarkson likely lost weight due to her initial thyroid medication kicking in and the reduction in calories from restricting various foods from her diet.”

“Kelly Clarkson is one of my favorite performers and I admire how she has turned adversity in her personal life into professional success,” commented Leah McGrath, RD LDN of Ingles Market. “That being said, I would hope people with issues with their thyroid would seek medical care from board certified physicians and get assistance on their eating habits from registered dietitians rather than follow advice from a celebrity.”

To read the entire article, please visit The Farmer's Daughter USA.

By • May 28, 2018

The following is an excerpt of an Op-Ed on AGWEEK by staff writer Jenny Schlecht hgihlighting food brand Betty Crocker's recent messaging around the safety of GMOs in their foods. 

Are you #BakingWithBetty? I am.

Granted, Betty Crocker cake mixes (specifically the ones with “pudding in the mix”) always have been my favorite, at the rock-solid recommendation of my mom. But now I have another reason to pick up their products.

On May 16, a Twitter user named Michael Lyons (@lyonsmw) tweeted the following:

“Reading a can of @BettyCrocker frosting this AM, as one does, and learned it’s ‘partially produced with genetic engineering.’ Wait, what? Betty, Betty, Betty … explain yourself, please. #GMO #geneticfrosting #FrankenFood”

So what does Betty have to say for “herself” on the matter of genetic engineering? She’s saying what scientists say:

 

 
 
 
 
 
“GMOs are safe, we would not use them if we thought otherwise. Safe food is, and always has been, our number one priority. Global food and safety regulatory bodies including the FDA and the WHO have also verified their safety.” The tweet from @BettyCrocker ends with a link to a statement on the General Mills’ website about GMOs, explaining why the company considers them safe, the history of the technology and the importance of science in food production.

The General Mills’ statement also explains that they know some people remain uncomfortable with the thought of genetically modified crops, especially because of concerns of over-reliance on herbicides and decreases in biodiversity. The company explains it does have and labels a variety of organic and non-GMO products.

What I love about the Betty Crocker response is that it doesn’t vilify anyone.

I have no problems buying, using and feeding my family with GMO products. I trust science and trust that techniques will continue to improve. But I have no problem with other people having a different way of looking at things. If you want to buy a product that has not used biotechnology, go for it.

Betty Crocker didn’t back away from its way of doing things or try to deflect. It didn’t, in the way of some other food companies (cough, Panera, cough, Chipotle), decide to start badmouthing modern agriculture. Instead, the company presented honest, open information in a non-argumentative way. It stood up for its way of doing things, and thus stood up for the farmers who grow crops that end up in Betty Crocker products.

In doing so, Betty Crocker gained supporters in agriculture, with a number of so-called “Ag Twitter” users announcing their intentions to start #BakingWithBetty.

The one problem I do have with the General Mills’ GMO statement is that it touts the fact that it has enrolled some products in the Non-GMO Project. I hope, as federal biotechnology rules go into effect in the near future, that companies like General Mills will consider dropping that propaganda program in preference to a more honest label. (For those who aren’t aware, the Non-GMO Project labels products as non-GMO even when there are no GMO varieties available for a product, thereby confusing consumers. It also labels products for which there is no genetic material to be modified, like water and salt. Thus, it provides no substantial information but instead exists solely to smear GMOs.)

To read the entire article, please visit AGWEEK .

By • May 28, 2018

The following is an excerpt of an Op-Ed on AGWEEK by staff writer Jonathan Knutson. He discusses non-GMO salt being sold on the market while there is no GM alternative and what he finds concerning in the misinformation. 

There it was on the salt container label, the proud proclamation that the product inside was "non-GMO."

I looked at the label a second time and then a third time, not quite trusting my eyes, before telling myself, "But salt doesn't have genes. Of course it's not genetically modified. Why bother labeling it non-GMO?"

Then I realized why: some consumers will pay extra for anything labeled non-GMO — and some food companies are happy to sell it to them at the higher price. Salt, though an extreme example, reflects this powerful and growing trend that affects both farmers and consumers.

I think again of that experience with "non-GMO" salt after recently writing a short story on U.S. dairy farmers' ongoing campaign to combat what they say are deceptive labels. Dairy officials report seeing some success.

So: Is the non-GMO label on salt deceptive? Well, let's look at the other side of the issue.

The website of Non-GMO Project — which describes itself as dedicated to preserving and identifying non-GMO products — says "most table salt or sea salt on the market today has minor amounts of other ingredients such as the anti‑caking agent dextrose, which are very likely to be derived from genetically modified corn."

The web site also says, "Verifying only high-risk products puts a burden on consumers to know what crops are currently being genetically engineered and which ingredients are derived from these GMOs."

Maybe you find those arguments convincing. I do not. Genetically modified corn — or any other food — doesn't concern me; a comprehensive 2016 report from the National Academy of Sciences finds that GMO foods are as safe to eat as their non-GMO counterparts. Nor can I fathom the logic of lumping salt with crops, or plants cultivated for food; I also fail to see how it's "a burden on consumers" to figure that out.

It's a stretch, I think, to say that non-GMO salt labels are downright deceptive. But they're a meaningless distinction at best, misleading at worst.

I believe strongly in choice, both for consumers and farmers. I'll never try to tell you what food to eat or what crops to raise. We live in a free country, thank goodness.

If you've studied the evidence carefully and decided to buy non-GMO salt and other products, good for you. It's your money, your decision.

If you've evaluated your farming operation and marketing opportunities and decided to raise non-GMO crops, good for you. It's your farm or ranch, your decision.

And because it's a free country, farmers and farm groups who support GMOs should publicize their cause, just as dairy farmers are doing.

My concerns

Though I'm not interested in telling farmers or consumers what to do, I have two concerns.

The first is the impact of higher-priced, non-GMO food on people, especially families, with modest incomes. One recent study found that non-GMO food products can cost 10 percent to 62 percent more than comparable products containing GMO ingredients.

The study, released this spring by Jayson Lusk, Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes and Alexandre Magnier, found, among other things, that non-GMO ice cream costs 10 percent more, non-GMO breakfast cereal 26 percent more and non-GMO salad and cooking oils 62 percent more.

If you're an affluent American, that's no big deal. If you're living on a tight budget, it is. So I'm no fan of well-heeled celebrities who tout non-GMOs on social media and elsewhere; maybe they really believe what they say, but they seem oblivious to how people with limited financial resources are affected.

To read the entire article, please visit AGWEEK.

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