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I doubt that this product contains no genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Humans have been breeding plants according to their useful functions – cold-weather resistance, nutrition, disease-resistance – for thousands of years. It was only when Gregor Mendel illuminated the laws of genetics that we learned how to control this in meaningful ways and generate intentional benefits in plants on shorter timescales. With the discovery of DNA as the source of genetic information we learned to speed the design of biological improvements even more. The point is, like all other plants, black beans (a Meso-American crop) have been bred into many varieties and it’s pretty much impossible to have non-GMO beans these days. Marketing a product in this way caters to the lack of science literacy in our country, taking advantage of people who mean well but totally misunderstand what is means to genetically modify anything. ALL things are genetically modified.

Author’s comment: Thanks to R. Scalise for sending this my way after the original post: http://science.psu.edu/journal/Spring2007/GMOFeature.htm

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