GMOs or genetically modified organisms refer to any organism whose genetic material has been altered by using genetic engineering. The technique is used to make plants and crops resistant to pests, diseases, and environmental conditions. Other purposes are to enhance the nutritional value of a crop and to increase its yield. This kind of technique is not allowed in organic farming, which advocates the use of natural ways to cultivate plants and rear animals.
Why Is GMO Not Allowed in Organic Farming?
Most GMO products contain unnatural materials. This means that these products have been genetically altered to produce more yield and contain more nutritional values. Though the purposes are supposed to benefit the consumers, these have been highly controversial for years. Some said that GMOs increase the risks of several health diseases because of the unnatural substances found in the produce.
These materials are prohibited from organic products, as with all materials that are not naturally produced by the environment. An organic farmer cannot use GMO seeds, GMO feeds, and GMO ingredients. The use of these materials is prohibited in all phases and levels of growing organic products.
Organic farmers must meet the United States’ Department of Agriculture’s regulations on organic products. An organic farmer cannot classify his products as organic without prior testing and approval from the USDA. One of the requirements of the USDA is for organic products to be free from GMOs.
These farmers and processors must be able to show the USDA that they aren’t using GMOs in any of their products, as well as their processes. They should also show proof that they are protecting their products from any kind of contact with prohibited substances listed by the USDA.
This certification and approval from the USDA are important if organic farming will thrive. The USDA has strict implementing guidelines when classifying organic products. For example, an organic cow cannot eat GMO corn or alfalfa. An organic farmer cannot plant GMO seeds. And an organic food producer cannot use GMO ingredients in any phase of food production.
If you are an organic product consumer, make sure to read the labels correctly. Truly organic products have labels on them. These labels are proof that these products are free from chemical substances and GMOs that can prove harmful to your health. They ensure that you are consuming the most natural food products available in the market. These labels aren’t there for show.