What does GMO mean? by Nature’s Nutritionist Bahar Mahmoudi

By: Bahar Mahmoudi, International Pharmacy Graduate, Registered Iridologist and Natural Health Practitioner at Nature’s Emporium Newmarket!

GMO means genetically modified organism, which is a novel organism created by scientists when they genetically modify or engineer food plants.

What are genetically modified foods (GMO)?

In genetic modification (or engineering) of food plants, scientists remove one or more genes from the DNA of another organism, such as a bacterium, virus, or animal, and “recombine” them into the DNA of the plant they want to alter. By adding these new genes, genetic engineers hope the plant will express the traits associated with the genes. For example, genetic engineers have transferred genes from a bacterium known as Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt into the DNA of corn. Bt genes express a protein that kills insects, and transferring the genes allows the corn to produce its own pesticide.

What are some examples of GMO products?

The products listed below are examples of food types for which GMO variants have been created. The good news? By choosing Organic, you can safely avoid GMO’s altogether!

Tomatoes – Made for a longer shelf life and to prevent a substance that causes tomatoes to rot and degrade.

Sweet corn – genetically modified to produces its own insecticide. Officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have said that thousands of tones of genetically engineered sweet corn have made their way into the human food supply chain, even though the produce has been approved only for use in animal feed.

Canola – Canola oil is in edible oil products such as fried foods, baked products, and snack foods.

Potatoes – May include snack foods, processed potato products and other processed foods containing potatoes.

Papaya – The first virus resistant papayas were commercially grown in Hawaii in 1999. Transgenic papayas now cover about one thousand hectares, or three quarters of the total Hawaiian papaya crop.

Squash – (yellow crookneck) – Some zucchini and yellow crookneck squash are also GM, but they are not popular with farmers.

Meat – Conventional meat and dairy products usually come from animals that have eaten GM feed.

Peas – Genetically modified (GM) peas created immune responses in mice, suggesting that they may also create serious allergic reactions in people. The peas had been inserted with a gene from kidney beans, which creates a protein that acts as a pesticide.

Vegetable Oil – Most generic vegetable oils and margarines used in restaurants and in processed foods in North America are made from soy, corn, canola, or cottonseed. Unless these oils specifically say “Non-GMO” or “Organic,” it is probably genetically modified.

Sugar beets – May include any processed foods containing sugar.

Dairy Products – a large percentage of cows in the north America  are injected with recombinant (genetically modified) bovine growth hormone (rbGH).

Soy93 percent of soy is genetically modified. Soy is a staple of processed foods under various names including hydrogenated oils, lecithin, emulsifiers, tocopherol (a vitamin E supplement) and proteins.

Alfalfa– Farmers feed alfalfa to dairy cows, the source of milk, butter, yogurt, meat and so much more. Alfalfa is the fourth largest crop grown in the U.S.

Vitamins – Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is often made from corn, while vitamin E is usually made from soy. Vitamins A, B2, B6, and B12 may be derived from GMOs as well as vitamin D and vitamin K may have “carriers” derived from GM corn sources, such as starch, glucose, and maltodextrin.

AquAdvantage salmon- This is the trade name for a genetically modified Atlantic salmon developed by AquaBounty Technologies. A growth hormone-regulating gene from a Pacific Chinook salmon and a promoter from an ocean pout were added to the Atlantic’s 40,000 genes. These genes enable it to grow year-round instead of only during spring and summer. The purpose of the modifications is to increase the speed at which the fish grows, without affecting its ultimate size or other qualities. Conventional salmon growers publicly challenged the claimed growth rates. The fish grows to market size in 16 to 18 months rather than three years.

Fortunately there are some well known supplements companies which are using only non GMO ingredients.

My List of Non GMO Supplement Picks:

Bahar's Non GMO Supplement Picks - Nature's Emporium-01

New Chapter Wholemega Fish Oil


This is the first and only fish oil recommended by Ocean Wise. New Chapter is proud to offer a whole omega fish oil that is an alternative to the fractionated, high-heat purified oils on the market today, from the pristine waters of Alaska.  Wholemega contains 100% wild-caught salmon oil delivering the whole profile of vital fatty acids and beneficial nutrients found naturally in Wild Alaskan Salmon.

Wholemega delivers Nature’s profile of 17 Omega fatty acids from Wild Salmon, including Omega 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9’s. They play an important role in many human cells. Specifically, Wholemega supports cognitive health and brain function. It also supports the development of the brain, eyes, and nerves in children and adolescents.

Bahar's Non GMO Supplement Picks - Nature's Emporium-02

Natural Factors Whole Earth & Sea Men’s and Women’s Multivitamin & Mineral


This is a bioenergetic formula that contains optimum levels of over 20 vitamins and minerals, along with the added benefit of a wide array of enzymes, antioxidants, and polyphenols from Farm Fresh Factors™ and other whole food sources. It is made from the highest quality organic ingredients and contains the proper ratios of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to energize, provide relief from stress, protect against organ degeneration, and aid in the prevention of chronic disease that commonly affect men and women.

Bahar's Non GMO Supplement Picks - Nature's Emporium-03

Mega Food Tension Release


This combination of anti stress supplement promotes a sense of relaxation and releases tension associated with stress. It has ensoril which is an extract of ashwagandha, helps to inhibit fatigue and physical tension from everyday stress. It contains Purple reishi antler, a rare functional food mushroom, provides superior antioxidants to combat oxidative stress. Combination of skullcap and lemon balm are cooling herbs traditionally used to soothe nervousness.

Bahar's Non GMO Supplement Picks - Nature's Emporium-04

Garden of Life RAW Protein


Featuring 13 RAW and organic sprouts, RAW Protein is an excellent source of complete protein, providing 17 grams, or 33% of the Daily Value, plus all essential amino acids. RAW Protein contains Vitamin Code® fat-soluble vitamins and supports digestive health and function with live protein-digesting enzymes and powerful Probiotics.

Bahar's Non GMO Supplement Picks - Nature's Emporium-05

Hero Yummi Bears Organics Gummy Vitamins for Children


Hero Nutritionals is committed to delivering the highest quality, all-natural vitamins and minerals that help your kids get the nutrition they need every day. Yummi Bears Multi-Vitamin & Mineral has 16 essential vitamins and minerals that contain the proper amount of nutrients important for your children’s growth and development.

Bahar's Non GMO Supplement Picks - Nature's Emporium-06

IPhone App for non GMO Shopping Guide:


You can download the non GMO project app to your smart phone. This app is designed to support consumers in knowing what’s in our food and avoiding GMOs, this app features a list of the brands and products that are enrolled in the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program. The Non-GMO Project’s program is the ONLY third-party non-GMO verification program in North America, and “Non-GMO Project Verified” is the only non-GMO claim backed by transparent and rigorous standards. The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization originally founded by retailers committed to providing consumers with reliable non-GMO choices.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Nature’s Emporium, its employees, its partners or its representatives. The opinions expressed in this article are intended to be used solely for educational purposes and are not intended to be used for the diagnosis, or treatment, of any disease or health condition. Please consult your primary health care practitioner at the first sign of illness!