My goodness, I can’t believe I haven’t posted onto my blog for a year. It’s not that I haven’t been busy writing and posting on different platforms, but time sure does fly! So it’s time to get back to it.
Today I’ve got a bug to share since I’ve been educating one of our distributors on genetic modification and labelling. For those who have followed me for some time, you know that I prefer to stay off of bandwagons and educate instead. While it may shoot me in the foot in the short term, I’m looking for the long term benefit for all. So is the case with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
I have been getting pressure from stores and distributors to put the non-GMO Verification Project label on my products and I have resisted. Don’t get me wrong, I personally believe that consumers should know what’s in their food so that they can make their own personal choice. Our family chooses to avoid GMOs and I’ve chosen to not allow any genetically modified ingredients into our Libre Naturals facility. I’ve even looked into what it would take to apply for the non-GMO Verification Project for our products.
So why have I resisted when I agree with the aims of labelling GMOs? It’s like this gluten free example: In Canada, we are not allowed to put a gluten free claim on a product that is inherently gluten free (such as milk) because it is confusing and deceptive to consumers because it suggests that other milks are not gluten free. And, of course, they are all gluten free.
So if the non-GMO Verification Project label is on salt, which is a mineral and can’t ever be genetically modified, does that mean we confuse consumers? Absolutely, in my opinion. Because now you wonder, why doesn’t the other brand of salt have a non-GMO label on it? Maybe you think that the non-GMO labeled salt is healthier for you too (which, of course, it is not). And now you’ve just been led right down a path of label confusion which I abhor. You’re not helped by this kind of labeling and in some cases (as per Canadian regulators for the gluten free example), it might be considered by some to be deceptive.
So when all of our ingredients are non-GMO and we’re even switching our non-GM canola oil to sunflower oil with our Nonuttin’ rebrand to Libre Naturals to avoid GMO misunderstandings, I would feel deceptive by putting on a big icon saying Non-GMO. Each of our products has a manufacturing statement on its packaging stating that our dedicated facility is free of: all top 11 allergens (which are then listed), gluten, preservatives, colors, artificial flavors and GMOs and I think that’s enough. If you’d like to know more about our position on genetic modification, please check out our FAQs under the genetic modification question: http://librenaturals.com/faq-USA/
So let’s educate instead; sharing information to let people know what genetic modification is and how it’s different than traditional farming methods. We can also be clear on what ingredients are on the market this are actually genetically modified because the vast majority of ingredients are not. And then you can then choose to individually make the decision about whether you’d like to avoid them and read ingredients with the facts in mind without depending on an icon on the front of a salt or milk package.
If you’d like to know more, here are two sites I’d suggest:
Genetic Modification vs Cross Breeding: http://www.planetnatural.com/hybrid-gmo/
Lists and charts of genetically modified crops and which ones are in our North American markets/foods from Time Magazine: http://time.com/3840073/gmo-food-charts/