For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page, and our California News page.

In the controversial world of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), some business owners prefer using organic, non-GMO ingredients in their products. GMOs are organisms that have been genetically altered in the laboratory. The process often involves inserting genes from completely different species into the DNA, altering the organism’s genetic makeup forever. This means that the genetic changes will be passed on to following generations. This differs from traditional breeding, which only emphasizes organism traits already present in the DNA. GMOs are found in many processed foods, and the USDA has estimated that as much as 90% of corn and soy plants grown in the United States are genetically modified.

Mary Waldner, founder and owner of Mary’s Gone Crackers, is passionate about only using organic, non-GMO ingredients in her gluten-free crackers. She founded the company in 2004 after discovering she had Celiac disease – an extreme allergy to gluten in wheat and other grains – and perfecting a delicious gluten-free cracker recipe. At the time, “there was nothing organic and whole grain in the gluten-free world,” Waldner says, but from the very beginning, she only used organic, GMO-free ingredients. “That’s how I ate and who I am,” she says.

Business owners like Waldner have the option of working with third parties to ensure the integrity of their ingredients. The cracker company works with the Non-GMO Project, a nonprofit organization that tests and certifies non-GMO foods. You’ll find the non-GMO Project label on every box of her crackers and on the company’s website.