CBAN’s Guide to GMOs

Thursday October 11, 2018

Produce at s5

Genetic Modification (GM) is when new traits are introduced to an organism when it’s DNA is changed at a molecular level. With Genetic Modification, scientists can remove, change or swap DNA in organisms and introduce genetic material to silence the genes. Genetic Modification is done within a laboratory and uses technology to alter organisms’ genes and directly transfer these genes to another organisms from a different species that would not generally breed naturally.

There are 5 GM crops grown in Canada: alfalfa (small amounts), canola, corn, soy and white sugar beet. These are frequently found in processed foods and often used to feed farm animals that then produce eggs, milk and meat. GM food to watch for that are grown in the US but imported to Canada include cotton-seed oil, papaya, squash and milk products which have a bovine growth hormone.

Here’s how you can avoid GM Foods
1. Buy Organic: GM is prohibited in organic farming. We’ve made it easy for you at Community Natural Foods – 99% of our produce is organic and when it’s not organic, it is Non-GMO.
2. Avoid processed food with corn, canola and soy: If you must buy these products, ensure you are buying organic. All of these products at Community Natural Foods are organic, so they are GM free.
3. Cane or Organic Sugar: to avoid sugar from the white sugar beet.
4. Non GMO Project Verified: products with this label mean that the company has gone through a rigorous process to verified by a third-party to be non-GMO. Find out more about the Non GMO Project here.
5. Avoid farmed salmon: look for wide caught salmon. All salmon and other fish at Community Natural Foods are Oceanwise certified and sustainable. Find out more about Oceanwise here.
6. Buy local: support local farmers who do not plant GM corn, canola or soy and that use Non-GMO grains for their meat, egg and dairy production.

Interested in learning more about Non-GMO? Join us on October 25 for a screening of the documentary, Modified. Following the movie we will have a panel discussion including Frank Sarro, produce category manager at Community Natural Foods; Deane Parkes, ISURA; Debbie Miller, Organic Alberta; and Paul Hughes, Grow Calgary. Click here to register for the free event!

Information provided by Canadian Biotechnology Action Network. Find more on