First, the good news: all ingredients certified organic are non-GMO, not only by derivation but also by law. Regulations carrying out the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 are codified in the National Organic Program (NOP) administered by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and can be found at 7 CFR Part 205.
That NOP’s rules forbid chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers for producing organic food is well known. Less public attention has been given to the ban on bioengineered modifications. Such rules also cover foods and ingredients derived from animals and their feed.
Cropland planted with organic grains and oilseeds has tripled over the past 15 years, according to USDA analysis. Catherine Greene, a senior economist with USDA’s Economic Research Service, said the slowdown for the organic industry during the recession has been reversed. Four crops account for three-quarters of organic plantings: corn, soy, hay and wheat.
Now, the even better news: Teens comprise a hot new market for organic foods. According to an October 2013 survey by Piper Jaffray, Minneapolis, “Teens are increasingly choosing organic food options, with 29% eating organics versus 33% just two years ago.”Millennials — the prime movers driving GMO labeling — also favor organics, with 58% saying they were willing to pay more to buy natural or organic food products, according to a 2012 report by Jeffries-AlixPartners, New York. Of baby boomers, 43% answered the same way to that question.