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Put together by Paul Klecha and Herb Farnese
Lack of oversight and government regulation has resulted in many U.S. farmers with contamination from nearby farms growing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). As of 2003 the amount of global land area planted for growing GMOs was 167 million acres and the U.S. comprised 63% of that figure occupying 105 million acres(1). Today with over 60 percent of the processed foods on the U.S. supermarket containing ingredients mostly derived from: alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, flax, papaya, rice, soy, sugar beets, zucchini and yellow summer squash, containment becomes an ever increasing more challenging task especially for organic farmers. One such farmer tested his “organic” corn and found 6% contaminated with a GM strain. After detecting the contamination himself back in 2007, Albert Strauss, owner of the Strauss Creamery and five other natural food producers (including whole Foods) opted to voluntarily test their food and get on the band wagon of the Non-GMO project(2). The Non-GMO Project offers annual testing of the food before it’s processed at critical times along the supply chain. The projects mission brings transparency, reliability, and accountability to growers who want to grow non GMO crops and consumers who want to purchase them. The introduction of labeling a product Non-GMO adds a whole other element to what’s considered “organic” or certified organic. Many products on the market certified organic with a USDA stamp of approval have now come to be questioned whether or not they are compromised with ingredients derived from GMOs. For our service project we want to try and get more retailers on board with the non GMO project and bring awareness to consumers so that they can make a more informed choice.
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