According to a recent study by Consumer Reports, the majority of the packaged food in the United States that’s labeled as “natural” actually contains substantial amounts of genetically modified ingredients, prompting many concerned consumers to call upon food manufacturers to be honest about the contents of their products.
Urvashi Rangan, executive director of Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability, say that American consumers are being misled by the reassuring “natural” label, with almost two thirds of Americans who were surveyed saying that they were under the impression that foods with the “natural” label didn’t contain any GMOs.
Consumer Reports conducted a survey of more than 80 different processed foods in the United States that contained either corn or soy, the two most widely grown genetically modified crops in America, to determine whether or not the claims for GMO presence were accurate.
While food that were labeled as “non-GMO” or “organic” were found to be free of genetically modified corn and soy, the vast majority of the foods that were either labeled as “natural” or not labeled at all were found to contain substantial amounts of GMOs, including breakfast cereals, snack chips, and even baby formula.
There are numerous genetically modified crops on the markets which have been altered from their natural state in order to repel insects or resist diseases. The companies that develop these crops claim that they’re safe, and there are many scientific studies that back these claims.
However, many critics point to other studies which link environmental damage and health problems in both humans and animals to the use of genetically modified crops. An international coalition of scientists said last October that there is a disturbing lack of consensus in the scientific community about the safety of GMOs.
Vermont has found a happy middle ground by requiring foods which contain GMO ingredients to be labeled as such, but not banning or limiting their use. Numerous other states are considering taking this approach as well, with Colorado and Oregon already having this issue on the ballot for the November election.
Read more about the story at The Huffington Post.