Many of us are concerned about the effects genetically modified foods have on our health. And for good reason: we also do not have information conclusively proving that GMOs are safe.
The challenge is figuring out how to avoid GMOs, since they are not required by law to be labeled.
Here are some helpful hints to keep in mind as you scan store shelves for products made without the use of GMOs.
Look for the USDA organic label.
By law, organic products must be made without the use of GMOs.
Look at PLU (price look-up) codes on produce items.
Five-digit PLU codes beginning with “8” indicate that produce is genetically modified. Be aware, though, that many genetically modified produce items are not labeled.
Five-digit PLU codes beginning with “9” indicate that produce is organic and not genetically modified.
Be aware of crops that are often genetically modified in the U.S. – as well as the ingredients made from them.
• Sugar beets
Remember: just because you don’t consume these crops by themselves doesn’t mean you’re avoiding GMOs. If you see any of the following ingredients on the labels of products you consume, and the ingredient is not labeled as non-GMO or organic, it is likely genetically modified.
• Corn syrup, starch, oil, meal, gluten
• Soy lecithin, protein, flour, isolate and isoflavone
• Sugar (unless it is made from cane)
• Vegetable oil
• Cottonseed oil