Green Lifestyle GMOs in cosmetics: why it's important and how to spot them

Published on October 21st, 2014 | by Becky Striepe

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GMOs in Cosmetics: Why it’s Important and How to Spot Them

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GMOs in Cosmetics: Why it's important and how to spot them

Food isn’t the only place where genetically modified organisms may be lurking. We also need to look for GMOs in cosmetics. Time for an ingredients check!

Related: Free Cosmetics Ingredients Guide

Worrying about GMOs in cosmetics might seem silly, right? You’re not eating your concealer or drinking your lotion. What’s a little genetically modified corn or soy? The biggest problem with GMOs – in cosmetics or anywhere else – isn’t with the direct health effects.

I’ve been saying for a long time that we are getting off track in the great GMO debate. We tend to focus on the direct health problems from GMOs, an area where the jury is still out. What we can’t ignore are the indirect health impacts of GMOs. The way the cultivating genetically modified foods is harming our environment and endangering the future of our food supply.

When we shop GMO free, we are saying that we care about clean water, healthy soil, and food security.

GMO Contamination + Cosmetics

by Liz Thompson, Feelgood Style

You may be seeing more info than usual on GMOs this month. That’s because October is Non GMO month, complete with a Non GMO Project, non GMO food retailer listings, and initiatives by healthy food leaders, like Food Babe.

Even though you most likely think of foods when the subject of GMOs come up, cosmetics can contain GMO ingredients too.

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are plants and animals that have had changes made to their DNA through genetic engineering techniques in order to yield higher crop growth or add a particular trait.

Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit. ~Non GMO Project.org

This DNA manipulation is certainly not naturally and our bodies don’t accept them as such. GMO ingredients can disrupt the body’s healthy bacteria, cause the body to produce pesticides from the altered ingredients, and build resistance to bacteria.

It is not always so easy to spot a cosmetic made with GMO contaminated ingredients. Your best course of action in preventing GMO exposure is to check for ingredients that are commonly cross-contaminated. These are: corn, cotton, tomatoes, potatoes, rapeseed (canola), rice, soybeans, sugar cane, and sugar beet.

Many companies use talc, for example, in place of cornstarch in effort to avoid this cross-contamination. While avoiding GMOs may not be a top concern for most consumers shopping beauty or personal care items, there are ways to protect yourself against these ingredients. Choosing organic cosmetics will reduce your risk of using products that contain GMO contaminated ingredients. My best advice? Look for the ingredients mentioned above, read brand ingredient commitments, and, as always, follow brands you can trust.

photo credit: only alice via photopin cc



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About the Author

Hi there! I'm Becky Striepe, a green crafter and vegan foodie living in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and two cats. My mission is to make eco-friendly crafts and vegan food accessible to anyone who wants to give them a go. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



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