Monday, September 15, 2014

Alcoholic Beverages Made From Non-GMO Grains

A leading manufacturer of distilled alcohol products has announced that it will begin manufacturing a line of neutral grain spirits from non-GMO grain, in addition to its traditional products made from genetically modified grains. The company says that it’s a market-driven decision, based on consumer perceptions that GMO foods may pose “unknown safety risks”.

If you oppose the development and planting of GMO plants because you think they might be bad for the environment, then you can rightfully cheer this decision. But if you think that drinking a distilled alcohol product made from GMO grains might be more harmful to drink than alcohol made from non-GMO grain, you’re misguided. Although the grain from GMO plants would contain a foreign protein or two, proteins are destroyed by the heat of the distillation process. And even if proteins weren’t destroyed by heat, they don’t vaporize and then condense again, so they wouldn’t end up in the final distillation product anyway. The final distillation product is essentially just alcohol and water.

The bottom line is that there aren’t any GMO proteins in distilled alcohol, even when it’s made from GMO grain. By making distilled alcohol products from non-GMO grain, the manufacturer is responding to the perception of a health risk by its potential customers, not the actual reality.

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