Bioengineering and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are creating rapid change in natural skincare products on the market today. Baby care products – especially food and skincare – are at risk of unknown and undisclosed formula changes.
When it comes to plant-based skincare, GMO labeling and the use of genetically modified ingredients is a serious issue.
The potential risks of GMOs are largely unknown – particularly for developing babies. They are an important and rising concern for parents and healthcare providers globally.
Transparency is critical. Most would agree that people have an absolute right to know. And being able to choose what they are putting on and in their bodies – especially when it comes to keeping their babies from harm – is every parent’s right.
GMOs have been in common use for less than 30 years in the US, and the long-term effects are unknown. Consequently, many state governments have outlawed GMO food products when they are not specifically labeled as to which GMO contents the products contain.
Responsible manufacturers of baby products are taking action. In response to fears and uncertainty around the use of genetically modified ingredients in baby care, major manufacturers have recently reformulated many of their food and formula products to be non-GMO.
But for skincare, it is up to companies to voluntarily provide transparency about their ingredient sources.
Neither state nor federal governmental regulations require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered skincare sources. Unlike the EU, the US still doesn’t require GMO disclosure despite the fact that over 90% of US voters are deeply committed to mandatory labeling of genetically engineered products.
The emerging field of genetic engineering has exploded over the past two decades. In the US, many key skincare ingredient crops have now mostly been converted to genetically modified sources.
Between 1996 and 2016, genetically modified corn grew from 1% of planted corn acreage in the US to 89% of planted acreage. Derivatives of corn are some of the most widely used ingredients in skincare, especially for surfactant cleansers like baby wash.
Babies are still developing for many years after birth.
And their genetic code is not fully expressed when they are born. For example, a baby’s brain isn’t fully developed at birth. We simply don’t know what happens when a developing child’s brain is exposed to genetically modified foods and skincare.
Because human studies are rare and limited, the majority of testing has been done on rats, chimps, and rabbits. The scientific community has absolutely no way of knowing the unintended or long-term effects of GMOs on humans.
GMOs are still banned in many parts of the world due to controversy and lack of safety data. In the US, official statements about the safety of GMOs include non-committal language with caveats like they are “generally safe” and there has been “no significant harm” shown in results.
While the jury is still out about the safety of GMOs for humans, companies absolutely must label their products when they contain GMOs.
Non-GMO Project Verified
To protect yourself and your family, look for products that are “Non-GMO Project Verified”, made in pharmaceutical grade labs, and free of harsh and harmful chemicals that can damage and interfere with your baby’s development.
Ideal products are made exclusively from natural, organic, and plant-based ingredients that are ethically and transparently sourced, then formulated into allergy-tested skincare products that heal and protect baby skin.
When you plan your birth, think about non-GMO skincare products – for you and baby – that you can take with you to the hospital or birthing center. When you talk to your healthcare provider about your birth preferences, tell them you’ll be bringing your own skincare products.
Make sure your birth plan states that you want only the products you brought with you to be used on your baby.
And on your hospital bag checklist, be sure those products are listed individually, or have them already packed together so they’re easy to slip into your hospital bag.
 Hartman Group. Organic amp Natural 2014. Released 28 Aug 2014.
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Published: January 14, 2018 | By Kim Walls, CPG Exec, NGO Advocate, Health & Wellness Expert | Reviewed by: The Best Ever Baby Expert Team | Last reviewed: January, 2018