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Six Easy Things You Can Do NOW to Avoid GMOs

1)  Avoid foods containing non-organic soy, corn, cottonseed or canola ingredients.  What’s the easiest way to accomplish this?  Avoid the middle aisles of the grocery store!  The majority of the products sold in this section are heavily processed & typically, unless certified organic, are GMO.  Ingredients to specifically avoid include:

  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Soy Protein
  • Textured Vegetable Protein
  • Food Starch
  • Mixed Tocopherols
  • Soybean Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Soy Lecithin

2)  Look at the PLU code on your fruits & vegetables.  Certified organic produce items are labeled with a give-digit PLU that begins with a 9.  It can be safely assumed those products labeled with a PLU beginning with an 8 are GMOs.  Those items bearing a four-digit PLU are considered “conventional,” which means they are not technically GMO, but may still contain pesticides and other toxic residues.  You can visit The Environmental Working Group (EWG) at www.ewg.org to view their shopping guide for purchasing safe produce.

3)  Watch out for added sugar.  Unless added sugar is specifically stated as being “cane sugar” it likely comes from GM sugar beets.  Avoid products with ingredients such as “glucose” and “sucrose”, opting for those with “cane sugar” or, even better, “evaporated cane juice”.  Raw agave nectar, pure stevia extract and palm sugar are other great choices.

4)  Avoid artificial sweeteners.  Aspartame, also known as Equal, Nutrasweet & AminoSweet is produced using GM bacteria.

5)  Avoid additives.  Texturizing agents, flavor enhancers, thickeners, sweeteners & fortifiers are all common GMO ingredients found in today’s food products. Ingredients to specifically avoid include:

  • Xanthan Gum
  • Citric Acid
  • Maltodextrin
  • Lactic Acid
  • Dextrose
  • Caramel Color
  • Baking Powder
  • Malt Syrup
  • Modified Food Starch
  • Monoglycerides
  • Diglycerides
  • Sorbitol
  • Stearic Acid 
  • Triglycerides

Visit The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) at www.responsibletechnology.org for a complete list of “invisible GM ingredients” you can reference while shopping.

6) Avoid Non-Organic Dairy Products.  Unless a dairy product is specifically labeled as certified organic or as not containing the artificial growth hormone rBGH (sometimes labeled rBST), it likely contains GMOs and/or comes from cows fed GM feed.

You can learn more or get involved by visiting www.nongmoproject.org.