Hot Topic: GMO's

What Are Genetically Modified Foods?
Genetically Modified Foods or Genetically Modified Organisms, commonly called GMOs, are plants which have been genetically altered in order to enhance desired characteristics such as nutritional value, pest resistance, growing process, and decrease the need for chemical pesticides.

Are GMOs Harmful?
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Association states, “The U.S. National Research Council determined that there is no difference in risk when crops are modified through modern molecular techniques when compared with those modified by conventional breeding.” February 2006 ● Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Association 293

How Prevalent Are GMOs?
The FDA and USDA have currently approved more than 40 plants for commercialization. However, not all of them have been put in grocery stores. GMOs are commonly seen in many processed foods, while there tend to be very few whole fruits and vegetables that contain them.

Corn and soybeans are the most commonly genetically modified crops; therefore, most products containing these ingredients are considered GMOs. Furthermore, canola, cotton and potatoes top the list of mechanically altered crops right behind corn and soybeans.

Are GMOs labeled?
Today there is no mandatory labeling on GMOs. The FDA does not see a substantial difference in GMO-containing foods and foods that do not have contain them. Therefore, they see no reason to label the products. Furthermore, the American Medical Association (AMA) recently issued this statement, “As of June 2012, there is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods, as a class, and that voluntary labeling is without value unless it is accompanied by focused consumer education.”

If I wanted to avoid GMOs, what type of products should I look for?
All organic products are free of GMOs. In the produce section, look for a 5-digit bar code starting with the number 9, to insure the produce is organic. Furthermore, there are several different brand names whose products are free of GMOs. Among these are:

• Annie’s Naturals
• Arrowhead Mills
• Bob’s Red Mill
• Cascadian Farms
• Clif
• Nature’s Path
• Muir Glen
• Silk

For a full list visit nourishedkitchen.com/gmo-free-food/

For more information regarding non-GMO food choices visit http://www.nongmoproject.org/ . The mission of the Non-GMO Project is stated as, “ …a non-profit organization committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices.”

Look for the “Non-GMO Project Verified Seal” on food choices. The seal indicates products that have gone through the products verification process and have been produced under “consensus-based” practices.

You can also download the Non-GMO Project App for your smartphone: http://www.nongmoproject.org/take-action/search-participating-products/iphone-app-shopping-guide/

The topic of GMOs is controversial. This article was meant to be an unbiased overview of GMOs and not as a position statement of United Supermarkets.

• Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Agricultural and Food Biotechnology // February 2006 Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Supermarket News Article


  1. Wayne G. BrockwellOctober 6, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    I have been a fan of United for it's move to provide quality food and services to us. It was even more refreshing to see them add lines of serious health foods and organics to their inventory. I felt that Untied as a whole has been interested in their family of consumers.
    I have been watching documentaries on Genetically Modified Organisms and I am hoping that United continues to take care of their family and educate if not do what is necessary to prevent consumers from purchasing products that do not fully describe the ingredients contained.
    I am just learning about GMO's and their effects and will continue to research them. I find it very important to know if ANY GMO's are used as ingredients in any food that I consume or that I feed my children.

  2. Hi Wayne. Thanks for leaving a comment. I'm so pleased to hear that you are a United fan! We plan to continue to provide resources for our guests so they can make the best decisions for the health of their family. Check back often for new posts!