We are proud to announce that 3rd party certifier, Non-GMO Project, has finished their evaluation and come to the conclusion that, drum roll please…all Amrita Bars are free of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)! This comes as no surprise to us since we had previously done the due diligence when researching suppliers who offer non-GMO certified ingredients. Nonetheless, we felt it necessary to still go through the certification process for transparency reasons. Why? Because, as a company, we are dedicated to bringing our customers high-quality plant-based nutritional snacks. We believe avoiding GMOs and sticking with organic and trulynatural ingredients is the best way to do so.
Now, there is a lot of confusion and questions when it comes to understanding what GMOs are, how they affect the environment and how to avoid them, so the rest of this post will discuss this.
What is a GMO?
A GMO is a living organism whose genetics have been artificially manipulated through a process called Genetic Engineering (GE). This is not to be confused with selective or crossbreeding, which humans have been practicing for hundreds of years. The difference between the two is that genetic engineering takes the gene from one species and injects is into a completely different species that would never reproduce in nature, while selective breeding alters genetics by allowing traits to be masked or bolstered through natural mating. For instance, GE would be taking a temperature control gene from a cold-water fish and injecting it into the genetic code of a corn stalk so it won’t freeze in cold conditions. Selective breeding, on the other hand, would be strategically pollinating seedless grapes with other grapes so the offspring are also seedless.
Are there places in the world against GMOs?
Many people are concerned with the potential health risks involved with GMOs. In fact, more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and the entire European Union, have significant restrictions or complete bans on the production and sale of GMOs. The most basic of which is required labeling for all products containing GMOs. Despite a few states efforts, mainly California’s Proposition 37 and Vermont’s currently litigated H.112 bill, the US still has yet to follow the precedence set by these other developed nations. We decided to get non-GMO certified so that we can join and contribute to the rapidly growing pressure of regulating and labeling GMO inclusive products.
Are there health and environmental risks involved in consuming GMOs?
Yes, there is a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights. Some of the health problems are associated with allergic reactions, infertility, immune problems, insulin regulation and more. Environmentally, herbicide use has grown an insane 15 times more prevalent since genetically modified herbicide tolerant crops were introduced. As a result, “super-weeds” and “super-bugs” have emerged in the world. These are weeds and insects which can only be killed using more toxic pesticides on our foods.
How can I avoid GMOs?
It’s not as easy as you would think,estimates range from 70-80% of US packaged goods include GMOs. However, there are certification seals that let the consumer know which products are non-GMO. The most obvious is the Non-GMO Project seal we have on our bars. What you might not know is that the green USDA Organic standards prohibit the use of GMOs.