How to avoid genetically engineered food | PCC Natural Markets

How to avoid genetically engineered food

Ways to keep GMOs out of your diet

organic seals

Buy organic

Organic standards prohibit genetic engineering as a method of production. These standards are backed up by independent, third-party inspections, audits, and the statutory weight of law.

At PCC, it’s easy to buy organic. More than 95 percent of PCC’s produce sales are organic and in our bulk section, organic foods are marked with easily identifiable green signs.

Buy fresh, whole foods and cook fresh

Very little fresh produce is genetically engineered — just one fruit and three vegetables.

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is a good way to avoid GMOs and eat a more nutritious diet. Our PCC Cooks classes are a fun way to learn new recipes and broaden your skills.

Non-GMO seal

Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal

The Non-GMO Project is the first independent, third-party certifier to establish Best Practices and testing throughout the supply chain to ensure non-GMO claims. Some other non-GMO label claims may not, be backed up with credible protocols.

Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal of the monarch butterfly on food packages and clearly labeled on the shelf at PCC. PCC buyers give priority to new foods that are Non-GMO Project Verified.

The Non-GMO Project says explicitly its seal does not guarantee a product is 100 percent GMO-free. It says that’s because "GMO free" and similar claims are not legally or scientifically defensible.

Contamination of seeds, crops, ingredients and products has increased steadily since GMOs first were introduced because there have been no standardized Best Practices to stop contamination. The intent behind the Project’s required Best Practices and testing is to identify and stop the source(s) of contamination.

Most contamination occurs at the seed level, but testing is done throughout the supply chain and production — before planting, after harvest, and during processing.

The project’s Product Verification Program requires at least one post-harvest test of each batch of at-risk ingredients, using an action threshold of 0.9 percent. This threshold was set with consideration for EU laws, where any product containing more than 0.9% must be labeled as containing GMOs. Inputs contaminated over the action threshold cannot be used; continuous improvement actions are triggered to address the source of the contamination.

In addition to testing, the project standard requires rigorous traceability and segregation practices are followed to assure integrity in the finished product. An annual audit confirms that every batch of risk ingredient has been tested throughout the year and that all other best practices are maintained.

Non-GMO product search

Our non-GMO shopping database makes it easy to see what favorite PCC products and brands are verified to have Best Practices and testing procedures in place to avoid GMOs.

Search by keyword or browse by category. Add products to your PCC shopping list by clicking "Add" next to any item. Look for the Non-GMO butterfly seal to find verified products in our stores.

Note: Not all products are available at all stores. Please contact your neighborhood PCC to determine availability. Product ingredients are subject to change as manufacturers may change formulations.

For a complete list of products verified to have Best Practices and testing procedures in place, use the search function at right or visit our search page.

More about: GE foods, Non-GMO Project, product standards

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