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What Does Non-GMO Mean on Packaging?

What Does Non-GMO Mean on Packaging?

Many people read the food labels before they make a purchase. Consumers have become increasingly aware of the ingredients in the products they use and the preferences and standards they hold for the things they use.

The label tells you everything you need to know. You just need to understand how to interpret what’s on the non-GMO label.

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding GMO, non-GMO foods, and organic products. There are common fundamental misunderstandings about what these terms mean and why some may be better than others.

Non-GMO products may not be exactly what you think they are, and it’s essential to learn and make an informed decision before you purchase products based on their labeling.

What Is a GMO?

GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. GMOs are created by introducing new DNA into plants. These plants will produce seeds with different DNA, which results in a modified crop. GMOs are crops designed to yield more at harvest, resist common health conditions, and boast an immunity to the pesticides farmers use to keep unwanted weeds from damaging their crops.

Are GMOs Dangerous?

There are a lot of misunderstandings about GMOs. There’s nothing inherently harmful about a GMO crop, like corn, alfalfa, rapeseed (used to make canola oil), sugar beets, papaya, zucchini, potato, soy, and cotton. The corn itself is safe for consumption. It contains the same vitamins and nutrients as any other type of corn, and your body can use them the same way.

The cause for concern surrounding GMO crops is the way they’re typically grown. Since GMO crops are engineered to be stronger, farmers feel free to use a heavy hand with pesticides. The pesticides will kill most weeds without damaging the fruit or vegetable.

These pesticides come into contact with the plant's exterior. They may be difficult to thoroughly wash away before consuming the resulting fruits or vegetables that grow on the plant. The pesticides also accumulate in the ground and may spread through groundwater, ultimately ending up in intended places where they may harm native plants and animals.

Overall, the problem with GMOs is not the GMOs themselves, but the practices used to grow GMO crops. Many people are concerned with the implications of such gratuitous pesticide use, and they don’t wish to contribute to the method of spreading pesticides or risk accidentally ingesting them.

The Potential Dangers of Glyphosate

When people choose to avoid pesticides, it’s primarily due to one pesticide recognized to cause the most damage to the environment and human health. Glyphosate, sold under the brand name Roundup, is commonly regarded as one of the most dangerous pesticides.

The World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on severe health conditions concluded that the evidence that Roundup increased the risk for the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is credible.

Later on, WHO clarified that the carcinogenic risk was probably not linked to diet.

Whether or not Roundup directly causes severe illness has been subject to debate. The pesticide remains controversial, and different agencies have conflicting findings. Many people feel that the common sense approach to glyphosate is to avoid it until researchers can draw definitive conclusions.

Outside of potential dangers to human health, glyphosate has a significant negative impact on the health of the environment. Glyphosate spreads through groundwater and makes its way to natural bodies of water, where native animals and plants are then exposed to the pesticide.

Do Products With GMOs Have To Be Labeled?

Until recently, companies did not have to disclose if the products they produced contained GMO ingredients. Recent legislation has taken effect, and now companies have to note their packaging if their products include GMO-free ingredients.

Since the term “GMO” has a heavy negative connotation, companies tend to work around it. They use terms like “bioengineered ingredients” to satisfy the requirements without saying “GMO.”

What Does Non-GMO Mean?

Non-GMO means that the ingredients in a product were produced without genetic engineering. These crops aren’t as resistant and durable as GMO crops. Non-GMO crops are comparable to the conventional vegetables you grow from seeds in a home garden.

Non-GMO does not mean that the crops were grown without pesticides. Pesticides are the core problem with GMOs. Even if you buy a non-GMO product, you aren’t avoiding pesticides. There are no restrictions or organic regulations regarding what pesticides can be used to produce a non-GMO product.

Is Non-GMO the Same As Organic?

There is a common misconception that non-GMO products are equivalent to organic food products. Non-GMO is not the same as organic, as non-GMO crops can still be grown with the same pesticides that GMO crops are treated with. If your main goal is to avoid exposure to pesticides, you’ll need to choose an organic or certified pesticide-free product.

What Does Organic Mean?

It’s almost impossible to grow fruits or vegetables without some kind of pesticide. Farmers need a way to protect their crops. If the crops become infested with pests, they’ll become unusable. Pests that find their way into fruits or vegetables may come home with you and spread throughout your kitchen. At the end of the day, protection from pests is a necessity.

Organic products are grown without the use of gmos and chemical pesticides. Organic farmers still use pesticides, but they use naturally-derived pesticides that are generally considered safer when they come into brief contact with humans or animals.

Organic pesticides are derived from plants that naturally repel pests, like chrysanthemum plants. The chrysanthemum plant uses natural compounds pyrethrins to dissuade insects from destroying them.

Pyrethrins have very low toxicity to humans and most animals. These are the same kinds of pesticides that humans use for products like lice shampoo that come into contact with our bodies.

USDA-certified organic products must be grown in soil that has not been exposed to synthetic pesticides for at least three years. Consumers take peace of mind when they see an organic certification because they know pesticides weren’t involved in product production.

What Are Certified Pesticide Free Products?

Even if a product is non-GMO, that doesn’t make it pesticide-free. It isn’t the GMO status of the product but the farming practices surrounding that product that impact pesticide exposure.

USDA-certified organic products aren’t the only products free from residual pesticides. Independent organizations can certify ingredients and products as being pesticide-free. Like the Clean Label Project, these organizations check for the residual presence of all major chemical pesticides.

Almost no product will be completely free from pesticides, including organic products. The long-term use of pesticides has a lasting impact on the soil, where trace amounts undoubtedly remain.

The goal is to assure that the finished product contains no detectable amounts of pesticides, which means that the trace amounts of pesticides are so low that lab tests cannot detect pesticides with standard equipment and testing.

Peels Is Certified Pesticide Free

You should always know what you’re putting into your body. You should only choose products that you’re comfortable with. Many people would prefer to avoid certain ingredients or potential contaminants in their products, and labeling gives you the information to make an informed decision.

Peels orange-derived CBD Oil is Clean Label Project certified pesticide-free and a recipient of the Clean Label Project Purity Award. CBD is a wellness product, and you can’t rightly claim that something promotes wellness if it also exposes you to pesticides.

Peels is also clean label certified THC-free, unlike most types of CBD. CBD is ordinarily derived from hemp, and hemp contains naturally occurring CBD. Because our CBD is made from a proprietary process that turns the aromatic terpenes in orange peels into bioidentical CBD, there is no THC in the resulting CBD oil. Feel good about your CBD with Peels.

Sources:

Pyrethrins General Facts Sheet | National Pesticides Information Center

WHO clarifies glyphosate risks | Business | Chemistry World

Organic 101: What the USDA Organic Label Means | USDA

Pesticide Free Award | Clean Label Project