Genetically modified ingredients have invaded gummy bears. You may have noticed in my last post about my fabulous Harris Teeter Super Doubles haul I purchased 3 packs of Black Forest gummy candy for free. Two of the packs were organic and one was not. I only bought the non-organic pack because there were only 2 organic packs left on the shelf. Well, halfway through gorging on the bag of nonorganic gummies I turn the bag over and see this:
Produced with Genetic Engineering. It’s stamped right on the crease of the bag so it’s hard to notice right away. I was surprised because #1 this is the first time I have seen the genetic engineering labeling. And #2 I failed to realize they contained artificial flavors also. But common sense should have told me a little green bear cannot naturally taste just like an apple or a pineapple. I wish it stated which ingredients were produced with genetic engineering but I am assuming it’s the corn in the corn syrup. I am usually an avid label reader but I think my excitement for a good deal distracted me this time.
After this experience I threw the bag of gummies away and did a little research. I looked up the use of genetic engineering in foods and the labeling of genetically engineered foods. According to the FDA website, products containing genetic engineered ingredients only need to be labeled if the genetically engineered plant is compositionally different that it’s traditional counterpart (http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodScienceResearch/GEPlants/ucm346858.htm). So if the new plant has a higher sugar content or lower fiber content for example than the original plant it needs to be labelled as such. But if it’s identical chemically to the original no labelling is required.
Eating GMOs make me nervous because there’s no research on the long-term effects of them on our bodies. In reality we all have been eating foods GMOs for years without knowing it. About 85% of the corn produced in the US is genetically modified. Corn is in a ton of foods. Not just as a whole corn kernel but also in the form of corn oil and cornstarch. If you would like to know more about genetically modified foods check out the documentary Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs. The full documentary is available on YouTube.
There is a bright side to this story. The two packs of organic gummy worms do not contain any ingredients produced with genetic engineering and no artificial flavors. And I learned a good lesson to read labels more carefully, even during Super Doubles.
Are you concerned about eating foods containing genetically modified ingredients?