Genetic modification is a modern technology that involves transferring genes across species to alter or control specific traits in ways that could not happen naturally or through traditional plant-breeding techniques. In the US, many conventionally grown foods are now genetically modified; this means that those plants and animals have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that aren't theirs naturally.
At Earthbound Farm, we feel strongly that consumers have the right to know how their food is grown and what it contains, so they can make informed decisions about the foods they purchase and consume. We also believe that it’s imperative to understand the potential impacts of new technologies before their use becomes widespread.
We believe that genetically modified food has not yet been proven safe, and that it presents the possibility of long-term risks to the environment and to humans — yet there is no legislation that requires the labeling of genetically modified foods. We believe that this lack of labeling denies consumers their basic right to know what is in their food. Currently, consumers’ only assurance that their food has not been genetically modified is buying food that is grown and processed organically. For this reason, we support the continued prohibition of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in organic foods.
Earthbound Farm supports legislation to require both labeling and extensive testing of GMOs, because we believe that agriculture should sustain the health of people and the planet. We view GMOs as a probable threat to the integrity of organic agriculture, primarily due to the potential for cross-pollination from conventional farms using GMOs and contamination of seed supplies with genetically modified products. In addition, widespread cultivation of some genetically modified crops could disrupt some of the natural checks and balances that organic agriculture relies on to control pests and disease. Only if we protect organic food production, and require that all foods be accurately labeled, will consumers be able to have confidence in the purity of the foods they buy.
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Irradiation is exposing something (in this case, produce) to radiation to kill bacteria. We're aware that the Food & Drug Administration has approved a petition to allow producers to irradiate spinach and iceberg lettuce.
All Earthbound Farm products are certified organic in accordance with the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) standards, which specifically prohibit the use of irradiation.
Our commitment to organic production methods and principles is part of the foundation of Earthbound Farm, and we strongly support the NOP's carefully developed organic standards.
At the same time, food safety and public health are also a top priority for us. To that end, we've implemented an extremely robust, multi-hurdle preventative approach to food safety that identifies and addresses potential risks all the way from ranch selection to finished product testing. Our program is designed to maximize product safety without utilizing protocols whose long-term effects are unknown.