This post was originally published on August 12, 2016 and updated on August 31, 2020.
Soon it may be easier to identify which foods in your grocery cart are made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). President Obama has signed into law a national GMO-labeling bill which requires food companies to identify products which contain genetically modified ingredients. The food industry estimates that 75 to 80 percent of foods contain GMOs, mainly foods with engineered corn or soy products. This may mean more opportunities for Malaysian sustainable palm oil. That’s because palm oil delivers just what consumers desire: It is natural, nutritious and 100 percent non-GMO.
All Malaysian palm oil is non-GMO
Palm oil comes from the fruit of the GMO-free oil palm tree, Elaeis guineensis, which grows in the tropics. These trees grow for nearly 30 years and produce bountiful quantities of oil-rich fruit. Squeezing the fruit releases a pure, red oil brimming with vitamin E tocotrienols and antioxidant-rich carotenoids.
Palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil in the world, and is a popular in many countries which already mandate GMO labeling such as eco-friendly Malaysia and Brazil.
Many common American cooking oils are genetically modified
Genetically engineered oilseed crops have quickly become the norm in the United States. According to USDA data, GMO soybeans went from 17 percent of soybean acreage in 1997 to 94 percent in 2015. Today, more than 90 percent of America’s soybean and corn crops are genetically modified.
Other common genetically modified foods in the United States include sugar beets, rice, rapeseed (canola), alfalfa and peas. These genetically engineering ingredients will now need to be identified on food labels.
Grocery shoppers are looking for products made with natural ingredients
Consumers overwhelming prefer foods made with cleaner ingredients. Nearly nine in ten Americans now support GMO labeling of foods. Manufacturers are trying to meet the demand. Some suppliers are claiming 80 percent growth in non-GMO ingredients.
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