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Apr 3, 2013 11:28 AM by Ryan Haarer

Whole Foods promises GMO transparency by 2018

TUCSON- You are what you eat. That old saying lays the foundation for a wholesome diet. But what happens when you don't know what you're eating?

You can read the ingredients label to know what the product is made of, but something that doesn't have to be labeled are genetically modified organisms or GMO's. It's going into many grocery baskets and Whole Foods Markets wants to give you the heads up.

"It's really a radical change in our food. 75 percent of foods in supermarkets are now believed to contain GMO's," said nutritionist, Melissa Diane-Smith.

GMO's are plants and animals created in a lab by gene splicing. Creators say their technique produces a better tasting, longer lasting, pesticide resistant product and no label is required when the mutant fruit hits store shelves.

"Our government has chosen to put this on the market without telling us so we're almost like guinea pigs in an experiment in that we didn't even know was happening to our food," said Melissa.

Some GMO studies on animals have shown serious health risks such as infertility, immune system problems, organ damage and even tumors. No long term human effects have been studied but whole foods consumers have been voicing their concern.

"We are just taking it a step further and requiring our supplier partners to label items that contain GMO's by 2018," said Whole Foods spokesperson, Sara Putnam.

Whole Foods already labels some GMO free foods through the Non-GMO Project. Melissa encourages shoppers to look for the label.

Corn, soybean, sugar beets, canola, and cottonseed oil are the most genetically modified items. You can avoid them by avoiding processed foods and eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, look for USDA organic and that GMO free label.

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