GMOs in Food

The Main Sources of GMOs

In the U.S., three major commodity crops are raised predominantly from GMO seed:  field corn (92%*), soybeans (94%*), and cotton (98%*). [1]

Almost 95% of Canadian grown Canola is genetically engineered for herbicide resistance. [2]

U.S. sugar beet production is estimated to be over 95% genetically modified for herbicide resistance.  [3]

GMO sweet corn, papaya, zucchini, and yellow summer squash are also for sale in grocery stores, but in far lesser amounts. Genetically modified alfalfa is grown for use as hay and forage for animals.

Currently, the GMO potato is being marketed under the Simplot Innate brand, found under the trademark White Russet. It was introduced to grocery stores in 2015. In late 2018, the scientist who developed the GMO potato renounced his work calling the potatoes a health risk.

Genetically engineered non-browning ‘Arctic’ apples have been deregulated by the USDA and have been on the market since 2016.

Other Sources of GMOs:

  • Dairy products from cows injected with the GM hormone rbGH
  • Food additives, enzymes, flavorings, and processing agents, including the sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet) and rennet used to make hard cheeses
  • Meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals that have eaten GM feed
  • Honey and bee pollen that may have GM sources of pollen
  • Contamination or pollination caused by GM seeds or pollen

Some of the Ingredients That May Be Genetically Modified:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Vegetable fat
  • Margarines (made with soy, corn, cottonseed, and/or canola)

Ingredients derived from soybeans:

Soy flour Textured vegetable protein Soy protein
Tofu Soy isolates Tamari
Soy isoflavones Tempeh Soy lecithin
Soy protein supplements Vegetable proteins

Ingredients derived from corn: 

Corn flour Corn mesa Corn starch
Corn gluten Corn syrup/high-fructose corn syrup Cornmeal

Invisible Ingredients

Processed foods often have hidden GM sources (unless they are organic or declared non-GMO). Follow the link for a complete list of Invisible Ingredients.

Some of the Foods That May Contain GM Ingredients:

Infant formula Ice cream Pasta Malt
Salad dressing Frozen yogurt White vinegar Hot dogs
Bread Veggie burgers Baking powder Enriched flour
Cereal Chips Protein powder Peanut butter
Cookies Chocolate Tofu Confectioner’s glaze
Margarine Fried food Tomato sauce Hamburgers
Crackers Candy Soy cheese Alcohol
Meat substitutes Tamari & soy sauce Vanilla (may contain corn syrup Any sugar not 100% cane

The Best Way to Avoid GMOs

For health and environmental reasons, IRT strongly recommends you buy organic food.

USDA organic standards do not allow the intentional use of GMOs, Roundup or other synthetic toxic chemicals. We have advocated for many years that manufacturers label products as non-GMO. But this is not enough if you are looking to avoid Roundup as well.

To find out more, check out our GMO v Organic page.

Sources:

  1. Recent Trends in GE Adoption. Retrieved from: https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us/recent-trends-in-ge-adoption.aspx
  2. (2018) Genetically Modified (GM) Crops in Canada – Statistics & Facts. Retrieved from: https://www.statista.com/topics/3013/genetically-modified-gm-crops-in-canada/
  3. The Adoption of Genetically  Engineered Alfalfa, Canola, and Sugarbeets in the United States. Retrieved from: https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/81176/eib-163_summary.pdf?v=0