What is the truth about GMOs? Where can you turn for information you can trust? And is it something you need to worry about anyway?
We could just tell you that we don’t use any genetically modified organisms in Earth Mama® products. But should you believe us? Label claims and supply chains are not scrutinized by any third party, unless the individual company pays to have them scrutinized. Since Earth Mama is committed to honest, clear, and transparent labeling, as well as consumer education about product labeling, we want you to know the truth. So we sent our USDA Certified 100% organic teas, organic Natural Nipple Butter — not a food, but close! — Angel Baby Bath Blossoms, and a growing list of products for Non-GMO Project Verification.
What is a GMO?
A GMO is a genetically modified organism, or basically any plant or animal whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. The original DNA of these organisms has been changed, often using genetic material from another organism. Unlike with traditional crossbreeding, GMOs could not occur naturally.
Most GMOs have been engineered to make specific, valuable crops resistant to herbicides, or able to produce their own pesticides, though the promises of drought tolerance, increased yield, and enhanced nutrition have been widely touted as ways the world could potentially benefit from genetically modified organisms.
Crops that are most likely to be genetically modified are: Alfalfa, Canola, Corn, Cotton, Papaya, Soy, Sugar Beets, Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash. And here are some common ingredients derived from those crops: Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.
Does Earth Mama use those crops or ingredients?
The truth is that most of the herbs in Earth Mama teas, Natural Nipple Butter, and personal care products are unlikely to be genetically modified. Monsanto isn’t going to try to manipulate Nettles — it’s just not cost-effective. However, two of Earth Mama’s teas do contain organic alfalfa, so we want to have documentation and confirmation, just like we do with our organic certification. We believe in third party verification.
Should I worry?
Part of the concern from consumers is that something unknown is going into our food supply. We get it! As responsible producers we want to make sure our products are safe too.
Earth Mama is going through an extensive process to have our products certified Non-GMO Project Verified. The Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program certification process is complex and expensive. Every Earth Mama tea, including the French versions (which are the exact same teas, by the way), had to be verified and evaluated. FoodChain Global Advisors scrutinize every Earth Mama ingredient, from soil to seed, to plant. One by one, each Earth Mama product will be documented to be Non-GMO Project Verified.
You may be wondering why our USDA NOP Organic certification doesn’t cover GMOs? Certified Organic means no GMOs, as current organic standards do not leave room for genetically modified organisms, but they also do not test for or certify to that standard. The Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program is extra assurance for Earth Mama consumers, and furthers our mission to be honestly labeled.
Who can I trust?
We are not experts on GMOs, we are experts in organic products and labeling, and we don’t hang out in canola fields much. So we aren’t worried about Earth Mama products being GMO-free. But we wanted to make sure mamas aren’t worried, and the best way we know to do that is to get certified! Your trust means everything to us, and we will always do our best to make sure we’ve earned it.