Are you one of the many people that are a tad confused by the differences of USDA Organic labels on food and the claims of non-GMO on the packaging? It may help to start by defining what each of these classifications means.


Farmers grow organic food without the use of synthetic pesticide or anything genetically manufactured. Food labeled as organic has been farmed and produced with adherence to stringent Department of Agriculture guidelines. In addition to artificial pesticides, organic farmers do not use sewage sludge-based or petroleum-based fertilizers. Organic farm livestock is not given growth hormones, animal byproducts, antibiotics, or anything other than organic feed.

There is a possibility that in farming and manufacturing organic products, natural GMO contamination could occur. If that were to happen, it would be due to windborne seeds or cross-pollination. So, in essence, a product with an organic label typically means it is GMO-free, but it is not an absolute guarantee.

Non-GMO & Non-GMO Project Verified

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. A GMO is made artificially by scientists through the manipulation of organisms to create combinations of viral genes, plants, bacteria, and animals that you would not find naturally.

Non-GMO labeled products may not have gotten exposed to herbicides that contain GMOs, but the products may not have been grown organically. Non-organic methods or conventional methods may have been used to produce the product. So, although all organic food may typically be non-GMO, not all non-GMOs are organic.

Nevertheless, without a Non-GMO verification, you cannot be sure that what you are purchasing has not been subject to any contamination. If you are worried about conventional farming or chemicals, your best choice is always to buy organic products. When you question the manufacturing of a product, opt for purchases with the Non-GMO Project Verified label.