First of all, because GMO foods allow farmers to maximize their yields and profits, I think it’s safe to operate under the assumption that if any pet food available today that isn’t labeled as GMO free on their product, it probably uses some form of GMO ingredients in their food. Secondly, everything still boils down to how much trust we place in a manufacturer that claims their food is GMO free. Because of this, I personally would not choose a poor pet food that claims to be GMO free, over a known well balanced and healthy pet food. Just because a pet food is labeled as GMO free, organic, or anything else doesn’t change to fact that you still need to research and determine the quality of the pet food. Simply put from a nutritional standpoint, bad food can be GMO free and good food can contain GMO products.
Since I didn’t know much about how GMO ingredients are being used in pet food, I began to do some research. I came across a project known as the Non-GMO Project which conducts third party verification of the ingredients used in consumer products. I was actually surprised that they also test pet food and treats. While they don’t necessarily test every single ingredient that goes into the final product, they do require testing of products which are considered high risk of being GMO, and ingredients that make up a large percentage of the final product. Testing is conducted quarterly based on the guidelines listed on their site. They also list the product which currently meet their Non-GMO standards.
But my food is labeled as being “All Natural”
The FDA currently does not require GMO food to be labeled as such. So unless a food isn’t specifically labeled and being “non-GMO” or “Organic”, there is no guarantee that it is free from GMO ingredients. But even this can be misleading. Some product promote being organic in big bold letters on the package, but then after reading the fine print on the back label the state that only a percentage of the food is organic. So make sure to read all of the details.
For example, I was looking at the Castor and Pollux Organix cat food which looked to be fully organic at first glance. But after looking at the details a little closer, they promote the organic ingredients they use and don’t mention that there are other non-organic ingredients. The second ingredient listed as “Poultry Meal” is not organic. Because I couldn’t find any other information showing that they use 100% non-GMO ingredients, I had to pass on this one. If some ingredients are listed as organic on the ingredient list, while others are not, that should be an indicator that those items may be suspicious unless explicitly stated elsewhere. But just remember that non-GMO doesn’t necessarily mean it’s organic, but organic should be non-GMO.