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The Non-GMO Project

GMO 101

Test Your GMO Knowledge

We are hearing a lot about GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and GE (Genetic Engineering) these days, but how much do you know about what this all really means? If you’re confused, you’re not alone.


What does GMO mean?

The U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) considers GMOs to be organisms “that have been created through the gene-splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering). This allows DNA from one species to be injected into another species in a laboratory, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.”

This is different from the natural selection, crossbreeding and hybridization that humans have engaged in for thousands of years in a couple of ways – one, it takes place in a lab; and two, genes from an entirely different kind of organism can be inserted into the organism being modified.


Which GMO crops are currently approved in the United States?

Here are the crops currently approved by the FDA for production in the U.S., with thanks to the Non-GMO Project and the FDA:

• Alfalfa • Papaya

• Canola • Soy

• Corn • Sugar Beets

• Cotton • Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash


Does Organic Mean Non-GMO?

Yes, all certified organic products are required by law to be grown and processed without GMOs. USDA organic regulations also require growers and handlers to protect their crops and products from cross-contamination from farm to shelf.

Of course, organic also means more than just non-GMO. Organic products must also be grown and processed without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, synthetic growth hormones, antibiotics, sewage sludge, irradiation, and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.


Excerpted from an article by Monika Heinbaugh, Presence Marketing-Rocky Mountains




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