We here at LifeSource stand strong behind the mission to label foods that are, or contain, genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs). We believe it’s your right to know what’s in your food. If a food contains a pesticide that’s been inserted into its DNA, or a gene that makes it resistant to herbicides, we would like to know that.
To that end we are fully supportive of Oregon Right to Know and the labeling initiative that will be on the ballot in November. As a grocery store with experience, we are certain that labeling GMOs will NOT increase your food cost or cause any small scale family farms to go out of business. Genetic engineering is NOT the same as selective or cross breeding or hybridization. Those techniques have been used for thousands of years by humans and ever since life began by Nature. Genetic engineering takes place in a laboratory, using advanced methods of gene splicing and highly expensive equipment.
Many of our favorite foods—healthy foods we learned to love to eat a long time ago—now have genetically engineered ingredients. They kind of snuck up on us. The producers didn’t tell us that they inserted a pesticide capable of destroying the cell walls of the stomach of insects. It makes me concerned for the cell walls in our stomachs. (http://www.bt.ucsd.edu/how_bt_work.html)
They also didn’t tell us when they decided to make our food resistant to their patented pesticide so the farmers and crop dusters wouldn’t need to spot spray, they’d be able to go ahead and spray the entire crop, including the food part that we eat, with their pesticide. Pesticide use is up, according to various sources, between 39% and 77% over the past decade.
But I digress. So, what are we going to do about it here at LifeSource and how can we, as people who eat food, avoid these adulterated foods?
Although LifeSource does have some foods that contain those GMOs, we are moving in the direction of eliminating them. We won’t bring in any new foods that contain highly at-risk ingredients, currently corn (21 GMO varieties, including the first sweet corn available beginning 2014), soy (3 varieties), canola (11 varieties), summer squash (2 or 3 varieties) cotton (not usually a food product, although often cottonseed oil is used in non-organic food), papaya, alfalfa (we eat the sprouts, cattle eat the mature plant) and sugar made from sugar beets. Sugar beets account for over 55% of the sugar produced here in the US. If the ingredient list just says ‘sugar’ it’s likely from sugar beets, but there’s no guarantee unless the sugar source is specified, as ‘cane sugar’.
GMOs hide in derivatives of those ingredients, too. Fructose and xylitol and citric acid are generally made from corn; lecithin, a common ingredient in chocolate, is made from soy.
When we find a newly-on-the-market non-GMO food that tastes as good as one of the foods we carry that contains GMOs, we’ll replace it. It is great news that many food producers are beginning to recognize that we consumers want our food made with ingredients as nature made them, not as genetic engineers made them. Kind Snacks has chosen to have all of its granolas and granola bars certified through the Non-GMO Project. Barbara’s Bakery has labeled its food as made with Non-GMO ingredients. These changes are a direct result of your buying choices and your vocalizations of desire.
We prioritize organic and locally produced food whenever possible and locally produced organic is top on the list. We try to make it easy for you to choose the kind and quality of foods that you want. Look for the Non-GMO Certified label, the CLose to Home label and, of course, the certified organic label.
Eat Well, Be Happy.
LifeSource’s Policy on GMO Foods
Because of the ubiquity of GMOs in our food system and the lack of any legal labeling requirements, LifeSource Natural Foods does not claim to be GMO-free, but we are moving in that direction. We will not accept any new food products that contain at-risk ingredients (currently corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, and papaya), including derivatives of those ingredients (such as fructose and corn-based xylitol), without meaningful documentation of that ingredient’s non-GMO status. We consider appropriate documentation to be organic certification (either of the final product or the specific at-risk ingredient), verification by the Non-GMO Project, or, in rare and compelling cases, signed affidavits from ingredient suppliers attesting to non-GMO or identity-preserved status of the ingredient. We strongly encourage any manufacturer that is making a non-GMO claim to verify that claim through the Non-GMO Project.