I bet you were like most people when Pepsi unveiled it's awesome tasting and seemingly natural soda a few years ago called Sierra Mist Natural. Gleaming with it's natural ingredients and such a clear look and clean taste. A detailed look at the ingredients label showed that health conscious consumers had nothing to worry about. Most notably, the use of real sugar over high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Finally a mainstream soda company had delivered a product that was geared towards the ever growing population of those that wanted non genetically modified (GMO) foods as their diet.
Surprise! According to The Healthy Home Economist online, in an article dated August 23, Pepsi Company recently announced that it has been using GMO sugar beets as their source of "real sugar" for ALL their "natural" beverages. "Since its introduction to the market in 2008, Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GMO sugar beets have completely taken over the market. At least 95% of the sugar beets grown in the United States are now genetically modified and the FDA encouraged this trend to continue with complete deregulation of GMO sugar beets in July 2012."
When Sierra Mist Natural first came into the public eye, we health conscious, anti-GMO watchers went straight to the ingredients list. Seeing that most all the "bad stuff" had been removed for this beverage and real sugar used in place of the genetically modified HFCS, it sounded great. Tasted great too. But when you use beet sugar in place of real sugar cane you are about 95 percent sure to get GMO beet sugar. Because of their recent statement that they derive their sugar in their "natural" drinks from GMO beets, it's just a lie and false advertisement to make a claim of natural when using GMOs.
Consumers say, Pepsi Co. deserves to get what ever comes from this. Are you sure you are not eating GMO beet sugar? Only real way to be sure, unfortunately at this point, is only to use a product that contains organic sugar or real sugar cane, as sugar cane is not yet GMO. According to the healthy home economist, "What does this mean for those so called “throwback” sodas that use “old fashioned”, “real sugar” instead of high fructose corn syrup? Nothing more than a marketing ploy. Throwback or “natural” sodas are not the healthier, old fashioned choice that food manufacturers would have you believe."
So be aware, do not be taken advantage of, if you are trying to ban all GMOs in your life, as many are now, stay away from anything listing real sugar but with no clear explanation as to where that sugar came from. Organic or real cane sugar is all we can trust. With the relaxed rules of the FDA, companies can place the term natural on their products and get away with false advertisement, nothing is natural if it is created in a laboratory! According to the article with the healthy home economist, "Pepsi Co., manufacturer of Naked Juice and Sierra Mist has already been sued once for abusing the “natural” label. The company recently settled a lawsuit for $9 million that alleged that some of the ingredients in Naked Juice, a brand of fruit and veggie drinks, aren’t “natural” at all, with the vitamins synthetic, an artificial fiber manufactured by Archer Daniels Midland, and GMOs."
What about those other natural sodas by the company Blue Sky from Hansen's? The sugar used in the Blue Sky Organic soda's is pure cane sugar. You will also see four non-organic sodas are listed on the Hansen’s Natural website as containing pure cane sugar as well. For the rest of the Blue Sky drinks, their label does not say organic or pure cane sugar. It just says “real sugar” which is a red flag. What I have found is if you call these companies to inquire about whether or not their products contain GMOs, usually they have no idea. So it is best to just stick with the organic or pure cane sugar drinks.