Thursday, June 19, 2014

Finding Non GMO Vitamins And Supplements

By Ina Hunt

There are several reasons to choose alternative products that are truly natural, without ingredients that have been overly processed or changed in a fundamental way. In this day of genetic tinkering with the plant and even the animal world, it's more important than ever to be an informed consumer. Choosing non GMO vitamins and supplements only makes sense, at least until altered organisms have been around long enough for their effects to be fairly assessed.

Efforts to include GMOs in certified organic or all-natural foods and products have so far been unsuccessful. Actually, there are no binding guidelines for 'natural' products. The food industry has spent millions in an attempt to keep from having to put any information about genetic engineering on labels. It's presently up to the consumer to find out if the products they take are free of this kind of tampering with nature.

It's never wise to depend on information that's really cleverly-disguised advertising. This is why the organic certification is important. It's a third-party seal to assure consumers of a product's quality. An all-natural claim is not the same. There is a push going on to include genetically engineered ingredients in 'natural' products; it has not succeeded as yet but probably will not go away any time soon.

Know your manufacturers. All reputable companies will post purity information on websites and display it on their labels. Never rely on advertisements, no matter how impartial or informational they seem. Few supplements are truly natural, anyway. Vitamins do not usually occur in nature in the concentration we have come to expect from our supplements. An orange contains 60 milligrams of Vitamin C; we want 500 to 1,000 milligrams in a single pill.

Even knowing reputable manufacturers does not mean that you can lower your guard. Many companies that set the standard for the industry in the early days of supplements have been sold. The name might be the same, but the standards are now controlled by the new owners (subject to any agreement made when the sale was finalized). When a company is sold, consumers need to make new assessments.

Many products will have a non-GMO seal on the package. This means that no active ingredient, filler, flavoring, coloring, or capsule should be made of genetically engineered matter. Purists in the health food community hope that growing customer awareness will force even mainstream producers to avoid using modified substances.

Reports of research into the safety of genetic engineering are confusing for many. Industry-backed studies say these altered foods are safe. However, there's a lot of history in the food industry of unhealthy foods being touted as 'good for you.' Think of margarine, for instance. Once acclaimed as heart-healthy, it is now condemned - just as the health food people said all along.

Claims of safety may be premature. GMOs have not been around long enough to really know their effects. To be sure of getting the health benefits you need, choose health aids without genetically engineered ingredients.

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