You want the best for your baby. You don't want to start them off consuming chemicals and additional antibiotics that can ultimately affect their development and behaviors. You also don't want your little one exposed to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) due to the serious health risks that are already prevalent in some studies and require further research to understand its affects to humans.
When you choose an organic lifestyle for your baby, do you also need to check to make sure that it is also non GMO?
In the United States, certified organic foods are regulated by the standards established by the Department of Agriculture (USDA). These guidelines address everything from soil quality to the use of additives. Synthetic substances are strictly prohibited, so there is no harmful herbicides or pesticides that can leach into your food. The dairy cows are raised in pastures rather than contained in barn stalls. The food they consume is 100% organic. The animals are not subjected to antibiotics or hormones that your baby does not need to ingest.
While organic milk or certain fruits and vegetables can be labeled “100% organic”, products made from multiple ingredients cannot always say the same thing. If it is “Made with Organic ___”, then at least 70% of the ingredients are certified organic. That does not mean that the multi-ingredient product itself is certified organic.
Organic products from other countries can be sold in the United States. In fact, the USDA has made arrangements with the European Union in that certified organic products can be sold as organic in both countries. While the standards may vary slightly, both entities must follow the terms of their international trade agreement.
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. The genetic modifications can lead to a number of agriculture advances from seedless watermelons to pest-resistant corn. Research is ongoing to assess the safety of GMOs, particularly in children. This includes toxicology testing and the potential of food allergies. Parents will avoid foods with GMOs so that they do not raise the risk of their child of being negatively impacted by the affects of altering a food's genes.
The USDA and the European Union do not allow the use of GMOs in organic foods. The USDA has it listed in its “Excluded Methods” as the results do not occur under natural conditions or processes. This also includes the use of seeds that are genetically modified. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's division of Organic Farming also states that the use of GMOs are outlawed in their products. Both want to make sure that all organic farms and manufacturers are conscientious about keeping GMO contamination away from their products.
What does this mean for you and your baby? So long as you feed your baby organic baby formula like Hipp, Holle, and Lebenswert, you can be assured that they are not exposed to GMOs. These efforts improve their ability to grow, develop, and thrive right from the first sip.