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02:46 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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Genetically Modified Foods

US Food Producers Turning GMO-Free with Little to No Advertising

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US food producers have been eliminating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from their products without any special announcements, NPR reported.

MOSCOW, July 29 (RIA Novosti) - US food producers have been eliminating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from their products without any special announcements, NPR reported.

While some companies, like ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s, are advertising their healthy switch as loudly as possible, others are experimenting with the elimination of GMO “cautiously and quietly.”

“A lot of exciting cool things that are happening that for whatever strategic reasons get kept pretty quiet,” NPR quoted Megan Westgate of the Non-GMO Project, a North American non-profit organization committed to verifying and labeling Non-GMO food and care products, as saying.

The newly GMO-free products include the original plain variety of General Mill’s breakfast cereal Cheerios. The company has only announced its switch in its official blog and did not add any special labels to its box. US retail giant Target now produces about 80 GMO-free products under its house brand – and stays quiet about it as well. The reason behind such modesty, according to NPR, is that companies do not want to give any promises that they will not be able to keep.

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GMO: Biological freedom or hazard?

The major challenge that the food manufacturers are facing is the low availability of GMO-free food sources, as according to data provided by the US Center for Food Safety, about 85 percent of corn, 91 percent of soybeans and 88 percent of cotton produced in the United States in 2013 were genetically modified.

On May 2014 Vermont became the first US state to adopt a law, requiring food manufacturers to label the products made with genetically modified organisms. The law is scheduled to take effect in July, 2016. Maine and Connecticut have adopted their labeling legislation later this year and Oregon is expected to put this issue on a statewide vote on November.

Labeling measures in California and Washington failed in recent years.

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GMO, healthcare, genetically modified food, Vermont, Connecticut, Oregon, Maine, California, Washington