If there’s ever news in the yogurt world, this is it: Whole Foods Market plans to stop selling Chobani Greek yogurt in 2014 because the product contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
GMOs are a result of a crop’s DNA being altered by scientists to protect it from various environmental threats, according to the National Institutes of Health. They get a bad rap because these combinations of genes can't occur in nature, and they contain compounds not yet tested for human consumption.
While Chobani markets its products as containing only natural ingredients, the company's use of milk comes from dairy cows fed GMO animal feed.
Whole Foods says they're making way for more exclusive, local brands, especially those that are organic, according to the announcement. (Here are more foods with amazing—and scientifically proven—health benefits: Check out the 50 Foods with Superpowers.)
It’s difficult to say definitively that you should avoid GMOs, Alan Aragon, Men's Health's nutrition advisor, said. There is some research that demonstrates their downsides, though: The latest animal studies indicate that genetically modified foods have toxic effects on the digestive and reproductive systems.
They have also been linked to many food allergies, according to the University of Medical Sciences in Poland. However, "for anything to be reasonably deemed dangerous, you'd need abundant and consistent evidence in both animal and human trials," Aragon said. "In this case, the findings just aren't there."
If you want to avoid them, you’re likely safe with organic products—which are not allowed to contain GMOs. But when it comes to your yogurt, stick with your Chobani if you like it, Aragon said. If you want to try something GMO-free, go for it, he adds. Brown Cow Greek Yogurt and Straus Organic Yogurts are both organic and non-GMO verified. (For more smart power food suggestions, restock your kitchen with the 125 Healthiest Foods.)