“Organic” Doesn’t Mean GMO-Free

Do you care about GMOs in your food? Did you know that being “certified organic” does not guarantee the food is not contaminated with GMOs? Contamination has been found in certified organic foods since 2002. That’s not a typo, folks. It’s horrifying to see how long we’ve been a part of the largest experiment in human history.

Let the food companies you support know you don’t want GMOs in your food. Write them a sample letter, like the one below. If you are in the US or Canada, suggest food companies become a part of the Non-GMO Project.

The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization performing independent testing of food products for GMOs. You can search for foods they’ve certified are free of GMOs. Please note, a company being listed as a member does not mean all their products have been tested yet. The process takes time. However, each brand has a list of products showing which are certified GMO free. The site also has an iPhone app for finding those products while shopping. Major and minor brands are members – Eden, Annie’s, Nature’s Path, bionaturae, SAN-J, and Westsoy, to name a few. Currently, most members would fall under the “natural foods” category. Not surprisingly, the list doesn’t appear to have any major mainstream producers, like Dole, Kraft, Nestle, or General Mills, or even their affiliated “natural” labels.

Our efforts at labeling aren’t enough on their own. I know, I was a signature collector on the first GMO-labeling ballot initiative in the United States – in 2002! It’s been almost ten years, and we still have no labeling in the US. The food supply is already contaminated, and the major conventional food producers don’t care or are already financially involved in the GMO industry. If we want to stop GMOs and keep them out of our bodies, we have to let the food companies know it really matters to us. We have to tell them with our pocketbooks and our voices.

Below is a sample email to send a message to food producers:



My whole family loves your products, but is very concerned about ingesting GMOs. We’ve decided to eliminate genetically modified foods from our diets — even products that are listed as certified organic, but untested for GMO contamination. I know this is a huge request to you, and I very much want your company to be successful and your great products to stay affordable. But we are deeply concerned about GMOs, and will have no more exposure to them. More and more people are learning about GMOs, and as consumer knowledge increases, ensuring your products are GMO-free will become an asset.

Please consider joining the non-GMO project (http://www.nongmoproject.org). We’re using their iPhone app while shopping to help us find foods that are certified free of GMOs, to help us keep all genetically modified products out of our diets.

Thank you,


Where do we send these letters? Click here for links to natural food companies and who owns them. We need to let them know we don’t support GMOs!



13 thoughts on ““Organic” Doesn’t Mean GMO-Free

  1. I’m very much in support of organic and permaculture farming. I’ve been involved in research to improve germplasm for drought tolerance. The research was designed to increase the yields of poor farmers in South Africa. This approach has serious limitations from a humanitarian standpoint, but fear over GMOs has created a diatribe and left people helpless to think for themselves, to understand the basic science. I’m a molecular biologist as well as a vegan. So, I’m very concerned about food. However, there is nothing harmful about “GMOs” per se. Organic and permaculture farming needs to adjust its definitions if it wants to meet its true goals of feeding more people in more ecological ways, instead of just catering to ignorance and fear.

    1. you cant adapt a seed to regional conditions through a lab process, i have heard so many good people advocating gmos as a solution to serious issues in ag, but i have a hard time imagining solutions from tech world being anything other than short term (a tool to use in transition?) i dont think its ignorant to beleive in a germplasm future that requires no labratory, we can do most of the things gene modifying is trying to accompish through mass selection breeding (maybe no fish genes in tomatos), and if all the lab money was directed as an incentive for farmers breeding and adapting to their specific bioregion we would see big changes in what was available for quality seed… genetically modifying is definitly a product of monocrop thinking and farming, we need simple solutions that we can adapt ourselves without labs. if its not something folks can do on a home or small farm scale its not really a solution.

    2. You are right in that there is nothing inherently harmful about GMOs. but there definitely IS something harmful about how the possibilities have all been bent towards making a profit and the devil take the consequences.

      Permaculture farming has not yet been perverted into a sort of Alice In Wonderland doublespeak in which “organic means what I want it to mean, nothing more and nothing less” .Permaculture is proven already to be able to feed more people in more ecological ways; unlike GMO agriculture which has been proven to do entirely the opposite. The only increase of food with GMOs after the first couple of years, is of the bank balance of companies such as Monsanto. Monsanto caters to ignorance and fear and does so all too well, if it didn’t it wouldn’t require farmers to sign legal agreements that they will not themselves nor help anyone else do independent testing on their crops. What sort of science is that supposed to be? How exactly does that counter ignorance, again?
      Basic science says that we cannot reduce an astronomically complicated system to rearranging a few bits here and there and expect there not to be repercussions. Are you familiar with the old saying, For want of a nail the shoe was lost, For want of a shoe the horse was lost, For want of a horse the rider was lost, For want of a rider the battle was lost, For want of a battle the kingdom was lost, And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.” We have no idea whatever what the “horsehoe nail” equivilant might be and GMO technology ASSUMES it doesn’t matter. SCIENCE tries to learn the truth, not to bend the truth to fit human desires as to outcome, and hubris has had some rather dramatic failures…remember the unsinkable Titanic? Only GMOs have the potential to cause suffering on an unprecedented scale, indeed there are signs it is already doing so with the reseach indicating strong implications of GMO agriculture leading to cancers. (Now the #1 killer of children in the US), fertility issues, diabeties and a host of immune disorders, including arthritis, When companies are force not only to be subject to rigorous independent studies and to be held accountable for the harm they do, and to LABEL their products so people who care truly have a choice; then perhaps science will again enter the picture. Right now it’s all just money and profiteering.

  2. GMO in a perfect world may not be an issue as they will be created to solve real issues not just to make them roundup resistant . There is (or more exactly was) lots of varieties of plants / seeds which were adapte to a lot of very different conditions and we have destroyed them to replace them by the one size fit all concept of industrial production. Can we do without GMO , i think the answer is yes but we need to change the current model of production back to smaller localised production.

  3. Actually recombinant technologies have the ability to allow farmers to grow more diverse crops when local varieties are enhanced with disease and stress resistance. I suggest you all read a book called Tomorrow’s Table. The problem is not the technology itself, it is the opaque and monopolistic business practices. At its root though it’s not even the business practices it’s the IP system that drives this harmful behavior. If you all are truly interested in helping poor people eat though, you need to look beyond the purview of agriculture and IP itself, and instead look at land tenure and the tax system. All the fertile land is taken and economic rent is co-opted by individual landlords. This forces rents to increase and poor people to occupy poorer farmland on which to subsist.

    The techno-utopian approach, among the plant molecular sciences has been to attempt to create crops that can withstand various stresses, including drought, to increase yield and or prevent famine. This ignores the fact that the number of obese and overweight people people in the world is on the rise, 543 million and counting. ”65% of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight” (WHO, 2011). Despite the health threat caused by people eating too much, an estimated f 925 million people do not have enough to eat (FAO, 2010). Obviously, the problem with feeding people is not that there is not enough food being produced, fixable given more sophisticated technological applications, the problem results from assymetric distribution of food and the means to produce it. While it may be true that research done to improve gerplasm for agriculture purposes, whether to increase drought tolerance, or improve any other trait, can increase global food production, this however does not mean that the disadvantaged will necessarily have greater food security. This is due to the nature of rent and wage’s dependence on rent. See the Law of Rent (Ricardo, 1817) and The Law of Wages (George, 1879). In other words, if feeding people is the goal, what is in greater need is access to rent free fertile land and genetic resources, not patented germplasm/ plants with the ability to withstand extreme conditions. With this economic caveat in mind, improvement of germplasm affords the opportunity, if given the proper economic incentives, to produce diverse and nutritious food crops, more food in total, and to adopt more sustainable means for doing so (Ronald & Adamchak, 2010).

  4. Gene Ethics is in the process of starting up a GM certification and verification project in Australia. We are talking with the Non-GMO Project about how we can use their system and tailor-make it to suit Australian circumstances. Once certified, businesses will be able to use the logo on their products, making it easier for shoppers to identify foods that avoid GM.

    Certification may involve on-site inspections, and we will have inspectors already in the industry trained up to strict GM contamination specifications.

    We encourage any interested producers or retails to contact us and help get this system off the ground as soon as possible. Email Vivienne on [email protected].

  5. People can’t think for themselves because of fear and ignorance, jacob? Fear is what monsanto uses to make people believe in gmo’s. A core tenet of the psychology of manipulation is this: give people a fear and they are likely to follow your proposed solution. For example: World population is increasing, while resources are dwindling. According to monsanto scientists, “gmo’s increase yields.” Side note, margaret miller worked as a monsanto scientist. She did “long-term,” up to six whole weeks, studies on the health risks of gmo’s. Before she submitted it to the fda for review, she got a job-transfer – to review her work for approval at the fda. Surprisingly, she found no flaw in her work, announced the safety of gmo’s and got a raise. So, gmo’s will solve world hunger. If monsanto is concerned with hunger, why do they burn fields of natural food that were unintentionally cross-pollinated with gmo’s? And how many decades’ worth of gmo-crop harvesting are required to feed the hungry? More people, even Americans, are hungrier than ever! Are people aware, or ignorant, of the fact that transgenes are inaccurately and randomly forced into host dna? monsanto has zero control over where the transgenes will fuse to the host dna. And, to activate the transgenes, promoter genes are attached to and sent with the transgenes. Besides affecting the transgenes, the promoter genes affect the host dna. Depending upon where transgenes were randomly fused, the host dna is randomly affected also. Randomly activating dna elicits random protein-growths. Cancer is characterized by irregular cell-division. Might random protein-growth activations cause irregular cell-division? These variables are out of monsanto’s control. To be science, variables must be controlled. monsanto does not engage in science, they engage in the monopolization of life through the us patent laws. clarence thomas was placed by monsanto into the supreme court to “rule” that gmo’s (LIFE) may be patented. monsanto bought blackwater (former marines turned mercenaries) to enforce this worldwide. $ will not save people when it’s attained through destruction of resources – Dirty $. Clean $ – creating resources without destroying (e.g. using carcinogenic, toxic chemicals like roundup, etc.) could, if people worked together. gmo’s necessitate the use of toxic chemicals, even Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) crops, then people get sick, go to the doctor and get a prescription. This is called creating markets. Advertisers, monsanto, and etcetera make dirty $ by telling you otherwise, i don’t – i’m just poor, somewhat educated and considerate. Don’t be fearful to expose ignorance, that is how it’s overcome!

  6. Jerome, there is no reliable evidence for a link between cancer and the degree of randomness in the insertion. That statement really needs to be qualified as a possibility un-backed by any real empirical evidence. Furthermore, is it likely that the degree of risk is as high with traditional fertilizer, fully acknowledged as carcinogenic?

    I fully agree with you though that the intellectual property surrounding the subject is far too pervasive.

    The problem that you all should seek to tackle is not own over plants but over the means to produce them, the land. With low taxes on land values, and high taxes on labor, people are incentivized to take a lot of land and not to use it very intensively. Permaculture could become a very profitable and utilized practice if taxes were removed from production and placed on land values. People would take the least land possible and do the most with it. Then, there would be less need to spray any artificial agent on crops over large surface areas, and permaculture would reveal itself as a more economically viable option.

    1. Actually a link was established between the use of glyphosates and cancers such as prostate cancer by a joint university research project in Ontario at least 10 years ago, and what they found alarmed them so much they called for a world wide ban on chemical concoctions based on glyphosate such as RoundUp, something most of the GMO crops are designed around.

      There is more recently evidence to show that these chemicals may even be directly responsible for the obesity epidemic and diabetes by changing the flora in the gut, something also established years ago, but now we have much better knowledge about what that actually ends up doing.

      http://www.ted.com/talks/rob_knight_how_our_microbes_make_us_who_we_are is the sort of science leading to better understanding. As for the pesticide sprays, talk to the farmers in the US who are abandoning farms now because the RoundUp ready crops are infested with RoundUp Ready Amaranth which apparently has indeed crossed into the world of thriving when sprayed with RoundUp…or the cornborer now happilly living on corn modified to kill it. If ti worked, then why did Monsanto et al have to ask for an increase in the amount of chemical residues allowed in food products last year? Shouldn’t they beable, by now, to DEcrease them? But of course that way is less profit…

      Aside from that, there is this: https://vimeo.com/22997532 Dr Huber is Professor Emeritus at Perdue University and has spent nearly 40 years working for the US government in the area of biosecurity, so hardly an innocent to the world of science.

  7. What “real empirical evidence” is available to support the safety of gmo’s? The “long-term” six-week studies conducted by monsanto scientists support this? Isn’t that a conflict of interest? A real scientific study would compare three groups: organic diet, conventional non-gmo diet and gmo diet. They would be compared throughout their lifespan. If monsanto really cared about the safety of their food over profits, that’s what they’d do before flooding the market with unhealthy round-up-poisoned foods. If a scientist’s findings show possible health consequences from ingesting gmo’s, they’re intimidated, fired and their research is ignored and/or destroyed. Do you really wonder why there’s no “real empirical evidence” released to the public in the USA? And what’re you doing spouting pro-gmo rhetoric on anti-gmo websites? Isn’t that called “Trolling?” I should go trolling on monsanto’s forums. huh? Fair taxation would help, to bad tax laws, and laws in general, are regulated by the rich through their lobbyists. If the USA were a democracy, gmo labeling would be mandatory, as over 90% of Americans support this. You, Jacob, are in the definite minority here. Change food and you change life. After grasses’ evolutionary manifestation, life that could survive by eating grass evolved into new life. A new, genetically varied food manifested new genetically varied life. Genetically alter our food and we genetically alter ourselves. The question is: what will we mutate into?

  8. GMO food is not harmful per se? What about the results from the French experiment which fed the rats gmo only corn ? Coincidence ?

  9. Looks like someone has shares in Monsanto. It’s simple mess with nature and its now a chemical storm we are eating. Trying to convince people to eat gmo food is absurd and by nothing less than an educated idiot.

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