For those who have become more alert of what goes into what they consume, the positive news is that an increasing amount of food manufacturers are proposing organic options, making organic food one of the quickest-growing divisions of food production in the United States. The negative news is that all of those options can be uncertain, especially when accounting for food made without GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. Some people could be trying to eat an all-organic diet, and others may simply be trying to duck GMOs. Though foods might be labeled as USDA-certified organic or Non-GMO, consumers may not recognize the difference. In some cases, there is an intersection between the USDA Organic and Non-GMO labels, but there are some key differences consumers should be aware of when trying to make the distinction between organic foods and foods made without GMOs.
Normally, foods with the USDA Organic label have been manufactured without the use of GMOs as well as other standards that certify that the food has been produced with at least 95% organic ingredients. Foods that have been labeled as Non-GMO, on the other hand, only need to meet the standards that they contain less than 1% of GMO content. Foods qualified as Non-GMO may have been exposed to fertilizers or chemical pesticides, animals may have been subjected to antibiotics or hormones, and livestock may not have been fed using 100% organic feed. In brief, all USDA Organic certified foods are Non-GMO, but not all Non-GMO certified foods are organic.
The increased choices available at the grocery store today may be more confusing, but anyone who is aware about what goes into their favorite organic chocolate brands will need to know the difference between the labeling and what the labels mean. The following infographic helps summarize the differences between USDA Organic and Non-GMO labels, so check it out the next time you check the labels on your favorite foods.
Check out the useful infographic PacMoore has constructed below: