Here’s another reason why GMO labeling is potentially misleading: Like gluten, people don’t seem to actually have any idea what products can contain GMOs, or what can be genetically modified in the first place. Despite the fact that salt is a mineral, and therefore contains no genetic materials, like, say, rocks, Evolution Salt Co. chief executive Hayden Nasir thought it prudent to put a GMO-free label on its Himalayan salt. Nasir says it was smart business decision because, as he tells The Wall Street Journal, if salt on the shelf next to Evolution, “doesn’t say non-GMO on it, chances are somebody will bypass that”. While commercial table salt can contain dextrose, which can be made from GMO corn, that’s only when it’s iodized, which Evolution’s salt is not.
Currently, just eight GMO crops (corn, soybeans, alfalfa, papaya, summer squash, sugar beets, cotton, and canola) are widely produced on a commercial level, but that hasn’t stopped producers of crops with no GMO equivalent, like basil, lettuce, and blueberries, from ponying up for the non-GMO label. Such labels, though, can suggest that competing products are genetically modified, even though that’s impossible.