I know in the past I have found it all a bit confusing with Genetically Modified (GM) foods. What are they? How do I know what foods are GM?
Because of the questions I had, I did a bit of research that I thought I would share and hopefully answer some of the questions about GM foods to try and help others get some understanding about it all.
In Australia, GM crops are strictly regulated by National Schemes called The Gene Technology Act 2000 and The Gene Technology Regulations 2001. These were bought into effect to protect the health and safety of people and the environment, by identifying and managing the risks found in gene technology.
Currently there are only 3 main GM crops grown in Australia which are: cotton, canola and safflower. There are also some experimental crops of banana, barley, ryegrass, mustard, sugarcane and wheat.
Cotton is grown commercially in several inland areas of New South Wales, central and southern Queensland. The reasons GM cotton is grown is to protect against insect attack and against certain herbicides used in the growing process. Generally, cotton is grown for textiles, however cottonseed is used in a wide range of foods including certain spreads and oils. Cottonseed is also used to feed livestock.
Canola is grown all around Australia for its seed which is crushed for the oil used in margarine, cooking oils, salad oils and edible oil blends. Once the oil is extracted the left-over protein rich meal is then used to feed livestock. The types of GM Canola grown in Australia are resistant to glyphosate and glufosinate herbicides.
Safflower is a minor crop grown predominantly in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. It is grown for the edible and industrial oil markets. Once the oil is extracted from the seed the remaining meal is then used for livestock feed. Whole safflower seeds are also used for birdseed.
So, even though GM crops are actually quite minimal in Australia at the moment, it still raises concerns about how we protect ourselves and our families from GM foods and the associated risks that come with them.
Whole Foods in America has been under scrutiny lately for misleading consumers around their promise to ensure all their foods are clearly labelled with the GMO contents by the end of 2018. There are various articles relating to this, one of them is from Natural News which you can find here.
So, what can we do about ensuring the foods we buy are Non-GMO? One of the easiest ways to get around this is to only buy 100% Certified Organic produce and meat. That way you know that the produce and meat has been grown and cared for without the use of toxic chemicals and GMO’s.
I hope you found this useful and please do get in touch with us if you would like to know more about our 100% Certified Organic members service.