Look for this label in a baby food aisle near you. Here’s what it means.
As a mom, I know that food labels are our lifeline. They tell us what ingredients are present (e.g., a serving of veggies) or missing (no artificial colors or flavors). They communicate how much calcium (e.g., an excellent source or as % Daily Value) and other key nutrients that a serving provides. And they can assure us that a product is indeed organic when it displays the USDA Seal.
But GMOs are a newer part of the story. Are they a good thing? Insignificant? Or something to be avoided? Here’s what, as a registered dietitian and a mom of two children raised on Earth’s Best® foods, I believe you need to know.
What are GMO’s? First, the basics. GMO is short for “genetically modified organism”, also defined as genetic engineering or biotechnology, refers to any organism whose DNA has been specifically modified so that it will exhibit a desired trait by use of recombinant DNA techniques. How do they do this? Unlike, say, peas or cattle which have been bred selectively over centuries to carry certain characteristics (a process known as traditional crossbreeding), when it comes to GMOs, the modifications are made by taking the DNA from one organism and inserting them into a completely different species in order to change the characteristics of that species.
Through this gene splicing, GMOs create fresh genetic combinations that do not occur naturally. Instead, these are often done across completely different species-such as combining plant DNA with an animal, or inserting bacterial DNA into a plant.
The Non-GMO Verified Label. This seal indicates that the product bearing the seal has gone through the verification process of the Non-GMO Project, a voluntary initiative requiring rigorous independent, 3rd party verification as an assurance that the product has been produced according to best practices for GMO avoidance. Earth’s Best is a proud supporter of the Non-GMO Project. Look for the Non GMO Project verified seal on Earth’s Best packaging.
Certified Organic Label. Did you know that if it’s Certified Organic, it’s non-GMO? That’s right-the USDA National Organic Program prohibits the intentional use of any GMOs in Organic products. Good to know.
The food label is one of the best tools we have as parents to make informed choices. And one of its strengths is that it continues to evolve to keep pace with consumer interest.
Look for the Non-GMO Project verified seal across the Earth's Best® family of products. With nearly 70 organic and natural products verified as Non-GMO, the Earth’s Best® brand is proud supporter of the Non-GMO Project and a Platinum Sponsor of Non-GMO Month in October.
For a complete listing of Non-GMO Project verified products visit www.nongmoproject.com
Kate Geagan, MS, RD