By Dr Allison Bernstein, Dr Layla Katiraee and Dr Anastasia Bodnar –
We are scientists and moms concerned about the health of our children and the planet they will inherit. Last year, we wrote to celebrities campaigning for labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and invited them to talk to scientists and farmers about their concerns. Today, we’re writing about why we avoid Non-GMO and GMO-free labels, especially the Non-GMO Project’s label.
The Non-GMO Project (NGP) offers a voluntary, fee-based system for companies to label their products as non-GMO. Despite the overwhelming scientific consensus on GMO safety, NGP continues to make thoroughly discredited claims about supposed dangers of GMOs. NGP claims to campaign for transparency, openness, and choice in our food supply, but the organization has stated its intent is to eliminate GMOs.
NGP leads consumers to believe that choosing non-GMO is consistent with values that consumers (including ourselves) seek out, such as healthy diets and sustainability. However, choosing non-GMO is often inconsistent with these values and we are concerned about the impact of an expanding non-GMO market share. The financial, environmental and health impacts of adopting non-GMO ingredients include changes in food formulations, reduced nutritional quality, higher prices, increased pesticide use, and reduced food availability. Consequently, we would like companies to know why we and many others actively avoid the Non-GMO Project’s labels.