GMOs in your cheese? Probably!


DJ, who posts here, is in cheese-making class this week and has learned that most US cheeses are made with GMO rennet.

It’s pretty sad when even the cheese we buy at the store has GMOs in it– and we have no idea. It’s one more argument for buying from a cheese maker you know.

In a few months, DJ plans to be selling his delicious cheeses  online.. We’ll keep you posted.

As soon as I got out of class, I checked my supplier to see whether I use GMO rennet. Fortunately, the rennet I use is vegetarian and also GMO-free.


  • Richard

    GMO’s in the milk via the feed as well I’d imagine. Cheese can also be made with other curdling agents like yogurt culture, kefir culture, lemon juice, and I think non-animal based rennet is available.

  • DJ

    Richard, the GMO-tainted rennet I refered to IS non-animal. They grafted a calf gene into a microbe. There are a handful of non-animal, non-GMO rennets, but don’t expect to find them in industrially made cheese.

    As for feed, I have no idea. It’s been said that ALL corn grown in North America now contains GMOs because pollen from GMO corn got loose and tainted all the other corn. But forage and hay are both still GMO-free.

    • Just doing some research on my own rennet here. Thanks for posting this.

      Watch forages. There is GMO Alfalfa afoot in the U.S. although I believe its growing is on hold at the moment. Alfalfa (both as a hay and pelleted) is a much used feed in home and pastured dairying. Something to be aware of and ask about as you purchase milk.

  • Jacqueline

    Can anyone give me names of non-GMO, non-animal rennet? I have found Valiren on a website, but on another website it says that it is made from cloned chymosin.
    Please help me find a non-GMO, non-animal rennet that I can use.

  • DJ

    DCI offers an organic microbial rennet, which by definition is not permitted to contain GMOs– available online at Dairy Connection. New England Cheesemaking Supply also carries it and says on iots site: “Gluten free, non-GMO, no caramel color.”

    We use the DCI Supreme, which uses the same microbe, also from DCI, and NECS says it is also GMO-free.

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