1/14/13

How to avoid buying GMO

A few products now display this certification label.
 After my last post, on GMO info, some readers asked how they can choose products which are non-GMO. In California last November, a ballot proposition which would have required labeling of genetically engineered foods on some fresh produce and processed foods was defeated 53.1% to 46.9%. Shoppers in 61 countries around the world have this "right to know" if their food is genetically altered, but it is not required in the USA. The California campaign in support of labeling - backed by organic food advocates, organic growers and manufacturers, retailers, labor and consumer groups -  spent $9 million on 2 weeks of tv advertising to promote a "YES" vote. The opposition spent $46 million on six weeks of tv commercials, lead by Monsanto, which sells patented seed and spent over $8.1 million itself.

Certified organic products, by definition, do not include GMO ingredients. Beyond this, it's difficult to know if food you buy has altered DNA. But it makes sense to me that if you want to avoid buying GMO products, since they aren't labelled, begin by eliminating products from the companies which spent huge sums to fight California's labelling proposition. In fact, I plan to boycott these companies by not buying their products, and I encourage you to do the same. Below is a company list, published just prior to the November election:

Monsanto $8,112,867
E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co. $5,400,000
Pepsico, Inc. $2,145,400
Grocery Manufacturers Association $2,002,000
DOW Agrisciences $2,000,000
Bayer Cropscience $2,000,000
BASF Plant Science $2,000,000
Syngenta Corporation $2,000,000
Kraft Foods Global $1,950,500
Coca-Cola North America $1,700,500
Nestle USA $1,315,600
Conagra Foods $1,176,700
General Mills $1,135,300
Kellogg Company $790,000
Smithfield Foods $683,900
Del Monte Foods $674,100
Campbell's Soup $500,000
Heinz Foods $500,000
Hershey Company $493,900
The J.M. Smucker Company $485,000
Bimbo Bakeries $422,900
Ocean Spray Cranberries $387,100
Mars Food North America $376,650
Council for Biotechnology Information $375,000
Hormel Foods $374,300
Unilever* $372,100
Bumble Bee Foods $368,500
Sara Lee $343,600
Kraft Food Group $304,500
Pinnacle Foods** $266,100
Dean Foods Company *** $253,950
Biotechnology Industry Organization $252,000
Bunge North America $248,600
McCormick & Company $248,200
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company ‡ $237,664
Abbott Nutrition $234,500
Cargill, Inc. $226,846
Rich Products Corporation $225,537
Flowers Foods ^ $182,000
Dole Packaged Foods $171,261
Knouse Foods Cooperative $164,731

• Unilever includes Liptons, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Knorr, Hellmans, Bertolli, Vaseline, Dove

** Pinnacle includes Duncan Hines, Log Cabin, Mrs Butterworth, Vlasic, Birds Eye, Hungry-man, Van de Kamps, Cascade, Husmans

*** Dean Foods includes Bordens, Pet, Meadow Gold, Oak Farms

^ Flower Foods includes Nature's Own, Cobblestone Mill, Captain John Deere's, TastyKake, Blue Bird, Mi Casa

‡ Wrigley includes Skittles, Orbit, Altoids, chewing gum, Lifesavers
 
Other food companies who contributed to the "no" campaign (but with checks of less than $150,000) included Sunny Delight Beverages, McCain Foods, Tree Top, Idahoan Foods, Richelieu Foods, Land O'Lakes, Hillshire Brands, Morton Salt, Clorox, Goya de Puerto Rico, Sargento and Godiva Chocolatier.

For more info, click here.