Celebrate Non-GMO month!

October has been declared Non-GMO Month. Many people are still unaware of the concerns with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. It's always important to educate consumers about the products they buy, use, and eat on a daily basis. This is especially true because GMO products are often unlabeled. Non-GMO Month's efforts help to raise awareness.

The term "GMO" refers to organisms whose DNA has been artificially engineered or altered to produce a specific effect such as disease resistance, rapid growth, damage resistance, or nutritional enhancement. However, scientists are experimenting with processes whose outcomes they can't always predict: What happens to the food chain if a salmon engineered to grow to maturity at twice the normal rate escapes into the wild?

Many consumers fear that the long-term effects of GMOs on human beings may not be sufficiently researched, but fortunately, food manufacturers are responding to consumers' concerns. Non-GMO certified products have long been a feature of health food stores and are now becoming more mainstream. Dairy products, baby food, orange juice, cereal, and even blue corn tortilla chips all have non-GMO alternatives, as do vitamin and mineral supplements.

GMO research can affect many items on grocery store shelves, even products consumers might not automatically think of, such as household cleaners and bath products. Scour shelves for powders and sprays for the house or shampoos, body washes, and soaps for the bath. All have 100 percent organic, non-GMO alternatives available in stores, and they may be gentler on the environment.