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What is Non-GMO?

What is Non-GMO?

With all the talk about GMOs these days, you may wonder what they are. GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plants or animals created through gene splicing. In this process, genes from one species are inserted into another to obtain a desired trait or characteristic. 

What's a GMO?

A GMO is an organism whose genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. For instance, scientists may modify the genes of crops to make them resistant to herbicides or pests. The alteration of the genetic material may be done in several ways, such as:

  • The introduction of a foreign gene from another species (transgenesis)
  • The deletion or modification of a gene
  • The introduction of a piece of DNA from another species (gene targeting)

Today, GMOs are found in many items in grocery stores, such as corn, soybeans, canola, and cotton. GMOs are also present in many processed foods containing GM crops ingredients. These ingredients may include:

  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Soy lecithin 
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Canola oil

Genetically modified foods

Risks of GMOs

Several risks are associated with GM crops, including the possibility of negative consequences for human health, the environment, and farmers. 

For example, GMO crops may increase herbicide use, which may lead to environmental damage and health problems for humans and animals.* 

Moreover, GMO crops can cross-pollinate with non-GMO crops, contaminating them and making it difficult for farmers to grow non-GMO crops. Finally, GMO crops can create "superweeds" and "superbugs" resistant to herbicides and pesticides, making them difficult to control.*

There may be several risks associated with GMOs that have led many countries to outlaw their use. 

Non-GMO supplements

GMOs in the United States

The United States has a specific approach to GMOs. In general, the regulator considers that certain GMOs are usually regarded as safe and that there may be no difference between GM foods and traditional foods in these cases. However, some argue that specific testing processes are inadequate and that more independent research should be done on GM foods.

GMOs in the European Union (EU)

The European Union has taken a precautionary approach to GMOs. It has banned many GM crops from being grown within its borders. In addition, the EU requires strict labeling of all food products that contain GM ingredients. 

Risks of GMOs

Non-GMO supplements

Non-GMO is an abbreviation for a non-genetically modified organism. Non-GMO means that the organism has not been altered in a laboratory using genetic engineering. 

A non-GMO supplement offers a formula with ingredients that have not been genetically modified. When using or selecting a vitamin formula or supplement product, you may want to search for non-GMO supplements. You may also want to look for paleo-friendly supplements.

The same reasoning can apply to non-GMO foods. You may want to look for products that are "non-GMO." Alternatively, you can also purchase organic products, as organic standards do not allow using GM ingredients.

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