New Guide IDs GMOs 2.0 in Food and Cosmetics

News Release
For Immediate Release: September 20, 2016

New Guide IDs GMOs 2.0 in Food and Cosmetics

Consumer and Environmental groups release “Shopper’s Guide to Synthetic Biology”

BALTIMORE, MD ­— Consumer and environmental groups today released the Shopper’s Guide to Synthetic Biology to help consumers avoid the new wave of GMOs in food and cosmetics, and find truly natural and sustainable options.

Gene-silenced apples that never look old, synthetic stevia created with genetically engineered yeast — these are just some of the new generation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) making their way into food and consumer products.

“Most people are completely unaware that this new wave of synthetic GMOs, many of which are falsely marketed as ‘natural’ and ‘sustainable,’ are infiltrating food and cosmetics before they’ve been tested for safety or labeled,” said Dana Perls, senior food and technology campaigner with Friends of the Earth. “We hope this guide can shed light on a secretive industry and help consumers find truly natural, sustainable and non-GMO food and products.”

Produced by the ETC Group and Friends of the Earth U.S., and released at Natural Products Expo East, the nation’s largest natural and organic tradeshow, the Shopper’s Guide to Synthetic Biology provides information on:

New GMO 2.0 products in stores now or on their way, including Tom Ford patchouli oil, Biossance squalane moisturizer and cow-free milk made from synthetic biology.
Concerns about GMOs 2.0, including lack of safety assessments and labeling, possible risks to human health and the environment and negative impacts on small farmers.
What consumers can do to avoid GMOs, such as choosing organic food.

“Some of these new synthetic biology ingredients, like synthetic patchouli or synthetic stevia, are a cheating double whammy — they cheat farmers out of a livelihood while cheating consumers by pretending to be something they are not,” said Jim Thomas of ETC Group, which tracks the impact of synthetic biology on tropical farmers.

The 12-page “Shopper’s Guide to Synthetic Biology” is available at

There will be also a free informational webinar on synthetic biology in food and cosmetics on October 5, 2016—more information available at

Environmental, justice and consumer groups are tracking these latest risky developments in GMOs, including synthetic biology products and ingredients, at


Expert Contacts: Jim Thomas, program director, ETC Group,, 514-516-5759;
Dana Perls, food and technology campaigner, Friends of the Earth US,, 510-978-4425; Michael Hansen, PhD, senior scientist, Consumers Union,, 914-378-2452.

Press Contacts: Kate Colwell, (202) 222-0744,; Trudi Zundel, (226) 979-0993,