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Wegmans calls for GMO labels

Wegmans weighed in on the controversial topic of genetically modified organisms, encouraging the federal Food and Drug Administration to implement a mandatory approval process for new GMO foods, and label non-GMO foods.

 We think that official approval is important for consumers to know that the FDA has signed on and said this is a safe product, said Jane Andrews, Wegmans nutrition and product labeling manager.

When it comes to genetically modified foods, Andrews said the stores stance on the products is clearGMOs are safe, however not everyone is buying into the food.

Andrews said, Theres concerns that consumers have and some consumers say Id rather be safe than sorry, I want to avoid these.

Over the last 20 years farmers have been increasing the use of GMO seeds which produce larger yields and require less labor. Currently, 80-percent of crop land across the nation is planted in GMO seeds, most in soy and corn. 

They become feed for livestock, and they also become the oils and sugars and starches, protein and fiber additives that go into processed foods, Andrews said. Spreading throughout almost every aisle in the supermarket, its difficult to know what contains GMO and what doesnt, especially when there is no standard label to separate the two groups.

Wellness specialist at Loris Natural Foods Center, Christine Huber said, Its pretty prevalent, unless you specifically look at labels and it says organic then you cant really be guaranteed its not GMO and in the case of soy or corn it probably is. 

While some argue its technology thats necessary to feed the globe and keep food prices down, others say it could be damaging to peoples health.

Huber said, Chemically or in a lab, modified those genetics so you dont have the same plant any longerwhat that means is it grows differently, it reacts differently to however theyve modified it to react.

Huber said there hasnt been enough research done and people still dont know the real impact GMO foods have and consumers should have the right to choose what they buy and put in their bodies.

Its really the bench mark for freedom of choice in stores and in products that youre getting, otherwise you dont know, Huber said.

Wegmans wants to make shopping easier for people with health concerns, while still catering to its other customers.

Andrews said, If you want to pay a little bit more, here are some ways you can avoid GMOs, if youre really not concerned and youre satisfied that the system is working as you hope it would, we have the more affordable choices too. 

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Washington Times