Unlabeled GMO Sugars in Common Foods

Reader Contribution by Aly Van Dyke
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a long tradition of  neglecting to determine the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods, and it appears that tradition is holding strong. According to GM Sugar Beet: Trick or Treat? from Grist, GM beet sugar may begin appearing in the food supply as early as 2009 — combined with non-GM sugar and sold as “sugar” — and without any labeling to indicate that the final products contain any GM ingredients.

According to Grist, “Manufacturers of candy, cereal, granola bars, baby food, breads — anything that contains sugar — would be hard-pressed to avoid using sugar derived from GM beet sugar once it’s introduced into the market. This “no label” policy eliminates food producers’ right to know, choose, or refuse to use non-GM sugar in its products. It also keeps consumers in the dark.”

While Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready sugar beets are being increasingly used as food shortages create a demand for higher yielding crops (Read more about the Millions Against Monsanto at the Organic Consumer Association Web site.), there is some hope for satisfying your sweet tooth without sampling engineered treats. Simply stick to candies that are made with sugar cane, cane juice or certified organic sugar to make sure you’re getting the real deal.