This October is the tenth year of Non-GMO month in North America! We’re celebrating by informing consumers, and recognizing their right to choose Non-GMO products.

What is a GMO?

Let’s begin with the definition of a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO). According to the Non-GMO Project website: “Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. This creates combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.”

When the word “GMO” is mentioned, many people will think only of food. However, as stated in the definition above, it encompasses all living things including bacteria and animals. GMOs have existed for years before being officially named. The first notable example is the “Flavr Savr” tomato in the 1990s. This tomato was modified to stay riper longer. Despite its initial success, the demand for this new innovation did not last.

“Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe,” according to the Non-GMO Project. “In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs”. The Hartman Organic and Natural Report (2018) reports that “46% of shoppers deliberately avoid GMOs when shopping.” (source).

StarLite Cuisine & Non-GMO Ingredients

Our products have always been created with non-GMO ingredients.  We received our Non-GMO Project certification for our Taquitos and Rolled Tacos in 2017.  Our Enchiladas are also made with non-GMO ingredients. They are in progress of receiving their official verification from the Non-GMO Project.

Interview with StarLite Cuisine President June Lim

Q: What does the non-GMO Project Verification mean to you?
A: It means that our products have met the standard set by the Non-GMO Project. This is the highest level of certification available. As far as we know we are the only company with taquitos and rolled tacos that have been verified.
Q: What do you think the growing industry of GMO crops for consumption means for the future of food?
A: I understand why the industry came about. I feel that they need to examine the long terms costs and benefits to our health. It’s important to look for alternative ways to feed our population.

Q: Do you have plans for future StarLite Cuisine products to be created with non-GMO ingredients?
A: Yes. We have to meet additional supply chain cooperation for a product to be verified which can take time. In the future if we are unable to find a non-GMO source for our new product(s) we will purchase organic. Our high-risk ingredients will always be non-GMO.
Q: Do you think all products should be non-GMO Project Verified?
A: No, not necessarily. If products are organic, they don’t need to be NonGMO Project Verified. If a product is organic, it is already automatically nonGMO.

What is your stance on non-GMO products and ingredients? Comment below and let us know! You can also read more thought provoking stances from both sides on whether we should be consuming GMO foods here.