A majority of U.S. packaged foods labeled as “natural” and tested by Consumer Reports actually contained a substantial level of genetically modified ingredients, according to a report issued Tuesday by the non-profit product testing group. Consumers are being misled by the “natural” label, said Urvashi Rangan, executive director of Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability.[Editor’s note: Consumers Reports claim that foods that have been genetically modified by precision technology while foods that have been genetically modified by random controlled breeding—the vast majority of foods consumed today—are not ‘natural’ is a political and ideological position, and not a scientific one]
Consumer Reports said it had conducted a survey of more than 80 different processed foods containing corn or soy, the two most widely grown genetically engineered crops in the United States, to determine whether labeling claims for GMO presence were accurate.
While foods labeled as “non-GMO,” or “organic” were found to be free of genetically modified corn and soy, virtually all of the foods labeled as “natural” or not labeled with any claim related to GMO content contained substantial amounts of GMO ingredients, Consumer Reports said. GMOs were present in breakfast cereals, chips, and infant formula, the group said. The organization said it tested at least two samples of each of the 80 products to measure GMO content. The products were purchased between April and July 2014, the group said.
Products considered to be free of GMOs contained no more than 0.9 percent genetically modified corn or soy.
The report comes as the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents more than 300 food companies, is pushing the federal government to develop a definition of the term “natural” on food packaging, and to allow foods containing GMOs to be labeled as natural.
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