Risk Level Definition Examples
Animal-Derived Products – HIGH RISK
What Are GMO Foods?
What Foods Are Genetically Modified?
1. Corn (field & sweet) | What are GMO Foods?
The GM version of field corn protects the crop against corn rootworms and the Asian corn borer. Like GM field corn, GM sweet corn also protects the crop against destructive pests.
Corn is one of the larger genetically modified food sources, with the majority of field corn in the US from genetically modified seeds. Recently, sweet corn joined the fray of GMO’s as Monsanto introduced its variety of this American favorite. The two most common varieties of sweet corn that are genetically modified include Syngenta’s Attribute sweet corn and Monsanto’s Performance series. If you want non-GMO corn, look for the label, USDA certified organic, as the only guarantee that your corn is not genetically modified.
2. Soybeans | What are GMO Foods?
The GM soybean plant is resistant to pests and disease as well as being tolerant of herbicides that are most effective, allowing for less herbicide use overall.
As of 2007, 91% of the soy planted in the United States is genetically modified, making soy the largest genetically modified food source in the US. The US is also one of the largest exporters of soy. Soy is used in many ways – from soybeans as a protein source to ingredients like soy lecithin and emulsifiers used to thicken and preserve food and soybean oil for cooking. The health benefits of soy continue to be debated, but the best soy is again labeled clearly that it is organic and is fermented. Choose soy foods like tempeh or tofu and read your edamame labels carefully.
3. Cotton | What are GMO Foods?
GM cotton requires fewer pesticides and protects against the cotton bollworm.
Canola has been modified through biotechnology to make it tolerant to some herbicides. This allows for a reduced amount of chemicals needed for weed control. The modified plant also has resistance to pests and fungus. Almost 93% of canola oil from canola seeds is genetically modified. Canola oil is derived from the rapeseed plant, a plant whose health benefits are contested. Canola oil is a processed oil, going through multiple steps to be shelf stable. It is an oil that can easily become rancid, attracting mold when in baked and processed goods. Avoid canola oil and opt for healthier cooking oils like olive, grapeseed or coconut instead.
5. Alfalfa | What are GMO Foods?
The GM version of alfalfa is tolerant of some herbicides, allowing for a reduced amount of chemicals needed for weed control.
6. Sugar Beets | What are GMO Foods?
The GM sugar beet has increased tolerance to some herbicides, allowing for a reduced amount of chemicals needed for weed control. GM sugar beets also have virus and pest resistance traits.
All sugar beets and sugar beet products are now genetically modified in the United States. Sugar beet farmers voted to adopt GMO beets as a unanimous decision, leaving no non-GMO beet options in the United States. Most beets are grown in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. This decision impacts sugar, as well, since almost 50% of sugar in the United States comes from sugar beets. We will all have to pay attention to labels and buy certified organic sugar and stay away from beets!
7. Papaya | What are GMO Foods?
The GM version of papaya makes the plant resistant to the prevalent Papaya Ringspot Virus. I was disappointed to learn that papaya is genetically modified. Genetically modified papaya trees were introduced to Hawaii in 1999. This healthy fruit also needs to be screened in grocery stores for appropriate labeling and sourcing.
8. Squash | What are GMO Foods?
GMO squash has traits that improve the plant’s defense against viruses.
9. Arctic Apple | What are GMO Foods?
Developed by Okanagan Specialy Fruits of British Columbia, Canada, this new fruit was developed by turning off the enzyme in apples that cause them to brown when cut, bruised or bitten.
10. Potato/Innate Potato | What are GMO Foods?
This new potato (Innate) that resists browning and has fewer unsightly wasteful bruises has been approved by the USDA for commercial planting.
Genetically modified potatoes hit the market in 2015, with the Russet and Atlantic potatoes produced by Simplot the most commonly available varieties. Many food manufacturers are not using GMO potatoes, including Con Agra and McCain. Pick your potatoes wisely, and look for supplier information from your local grocery store.
11. Aquabounty Salmon | What are GMO Foods?
This new salmon is genetically engineered to reach market size more quickly than non-GE farm-raised Atlantic salmon.
Note: Arctic apples, Innate potatoes and Aquabounty Salmon have all been approved but are not yet available to consumers.
14. Milk | What are GMO Foods?
Summary | What Are GMO Foods?
Great to have you here at the Hangout. Please leave your comment below.
Your still here. We love that.
For your convenience we have made available items related to your interests.
Thank you for your purchase.