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For nearly 80 years, the nonprofit Consumer Reports has been a trusted source for consumers, providing product information based on independent reports and results from its in-house testing laboratory and survey research center.

In examining the prevalence of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in packaged foods, Consumer Reports found the Non-GMO Project Verified seal “highly meaningful” and shared its findings in a study that made headlines across North America.

According to previous polls by Consumer Reports (June 2014), MSNBC (2011), ABC News (2011), and Reuters and Washington Post (2010), more than 90 percent of U.S. citizens say they want GMOs labeled on food. However, as the recent Consumer Reports study found, it can be difficult to avoid GMOs when shopping.

As consumers become more adept at reading labels, there are hidden genetically engineered ingredients inside—even on foods labeled “natural.” Because labeling GMOs in the U.S. is not yet required, looking for third-party verification is essential to knowing what’s in your food.

Consumer Reports explained on their website how they tested products for genetically modified corn and soy, the two most widely grown GMOs in the U.S., stating, “To see how many foods have GMOs and whether you can trust the claims you see on food packages, we bought more than 80 different processed foods containing corn or soy between April and July 2014. We tested at least two samples of each product, each sample from a different lot, to measure the GMO content. Then we compared our results with any non-GMO-related claims.”

The report investigated and compared four label claims: “natural,” “organic,” uncertified non-GMO claims, and “Non-GMO Project Verified”—shedding light on which labels tell us about GMO ingredients in food and how we can all make meaningful choices when trying to avoid GMOs for our families.

The study:

Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center wanted to determine the extent of genetically engineered corn and soy in processed foods and whether labels that suggest or claim to be non-GMO were meaningful. According to Consumer Report’s website, the intent of the report was to “provide a market snapshot and recommend labels that consumers could rely on for those who want to avoid GMOs.”

 Download the full report.

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