Vendors at Pittsburgh International averaged 3 critical violations over the last two years vs. 14 when the Post-Gazette checked 4 years ago.
• Certified organic products cannot intentionally include any GMO ingredients. This includes organic packaged products, all grains and cereals (except those containing corn products, most of which are GMO) and virtually all produce (except corn, some zucchini and Hawaiian papaya). Garden seeds are required to be non-GMO. Trader Joe’s house brands, per the company’s claim, are non-GMO, though they are not third-party certified. Whole Foods will begin labeling GMO products in 2018.
• In general look for grass-fed meat, organic poultry and wild-caught fish. If cloned salmon is approved, leading food chains, including Giant Eagle, have pledged not to sell the genetically engineered fish.
• Cheerio’s new GMO-free product: Since oats are already non-GMO you may wonder why Cheerios announced they were removing GMOs from their original recipe only. The culprit in the cereal box was not the oats, but tiny amounts of GMO beet sugar and GMO cornstarch. Cheerios cites consumer demand for the change.
• The Institute for Responsible Technology’s Non-GMO Project is the only organization offering independent verification of testing and GMO controls for products in the U.S. and Canada. Here is its guide: nongmoshoppingguide.com
• Shoppers can pick up this guide at the East End Co-op or get it on-line: Environmental Working Group Shopping Guide: ewg.org/research/shoppers-guide-to-avoiding-ge-food
• “Skeptical about GMOs? We Understand.” Monsanto answers millennials’ questions about GMOs: http://Gmoanswers.com
— Virginia Phillips (email@example.com)