Genetically Modified Ingredients and Cosmetics

Genetically Modified Ingredients and Cosmetics

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The meat and dairy sections of your local supermarket are not the only places GMO (genetically modified) ingredients show up. Beauty products often contain plant or animal ingredients with GMO derivatives.

Genetically modified organisms are plants and animals that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA through genetic engineering techniques. These modifications serve to yield higher crops or growth, or to insert a certain trait, like natural pesticide.

Still, the future results of manipulating nature are yet to be seen. Eating GMO foods have been known to disrupt the healthy bacteria in our intestines. These tiny bacteria are part of our immune system and help to protect us from disease. Even after we digest the contaminated food our bodies continue to produce pesticides from the altered food. The antibiotics in GM foods have the potential to build resistance to bacteria and could be responsible for the onset of superbugs.

While the verdict on the health and environmental risks from GMO crops is still out, avoiding GMO foods seems like a move in the right direction. Cosmetics products made with ingredients from GM crops are also good to steer clear of, but this is easier said than done.

Organic crops in the US are consistently testing positive for GMO cross-contamination. Cross-pollination from neighboring farms, GMO seed mixed in with organic seed, and misrepresentation of GMO products for organic to warrant higher prices are all to blame for the problem of cross-contamination. The most common GMO-grown crops are: Soybeans, Corn, Cotton, Hawaiian Papaya, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Rapeseed (Canola), Sugar cane, Sugar beet, Sweet corn, Rice.

Currently in Europe the only GMO crop grown is maize, approved in 1998 to be used as feed for livestock. No new GM crops have been approved for cultivation in Europe since then. Europe is not united on GMO acceptance, with several countries (France, Austria, Poland, Hungary, and Greece) banning the practice.

There is currently no law set in the US to test for GMO in organic crops and end products. The USDA has taken a position of non-accountability where GMO contamination is concerned, yet they certify organic cosmetics with the Certified Organic seal.

Because of cross-contamination of corn crops, some companies like Lavera, choose to use talc rather than cornstarch. Pure talc is a safe, naturally-occurring, nontoxic mineral that causes no skin reactions or irritations. Low-grade talc used in some cosmetics products came to light as an ingredient of concern due to asbestos contamination. All talc used in Lavera products are pharmaceutical grade, considered the purest form of talc, and asbestos free. In accordance to BDIH certification requirements, all of our products such as our natural makeup and organic skin care products are GMO free.

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