NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The battle over genetically modified foods continues, but the number of companies publicly taking a stand against them is growing.
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals that can not occur in natural crossbreeding, according to the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit organization dedication to the education of GMOs and helping consumers find alternatives and considered the main organization used by many companies to verify their non-GMO foods.
GMO-sourced ingredients have been used in our foods for over 20 years -- the major argument for them is offering "increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition" and other consumer benefits. However, there is also an argument against GMOs, noting they cause health problems, environmental damage and violate farmers and consumers rights, the organization says.
As consumers become more health conscious and knowledgeable about what they are eating and where it comes from, more are demanding to know if the food they eat contains GMOs.
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That's resulting in both national and state-specific movements. Roughly 37 states are proposing that food labels contain whether the product contains GMOs, according to Right to Know GMO - A Coalition of States, which of course are meeting resistance from companies like Monsanto (MON), DuPont (DD) and others that create GMO seeds for large commercial crop growing. Many countries already have similar labeling.
We've already seen smaller natural foods and specialized companies move to taking out foods sourced from GMOs from their products - Popcorn Indiana's Fit Popcorn, Trader Joes' health and beauty products and Clif Bars, for instance, but it's notable when a large company moves to making food without GMOs, given that sourcing actual food products not made from GMOs is easier said than done. (The working percentage of corn seeds that are from GMOs, for example, is about 90%.)
Here's a list of some notable companies taking a stand.