GMOs in Food

In the U.S., three major commodity crops are raised predominantly from GMO seed:  field corn (92%*), soybeans (94%*), and cotton (94%*).  *percentages are based on U.S. acreage as of 2015 (USDA)

Almost 98% of Canadian grown Canola is genetically engineered for herbicide resistance. U.S. sugar beet production is estimated to be over 95% genetically modified for herbicide resistance. 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.

NEW:  ‘White Russet’ brand potatoes, genetically modified to resist bruising were introduced to some grocery stores in 2015, but are not yet widely available.  Genetically engineered non-browning ‘Arctic’ apples have been deregulated by the USDA and are expected to be on the market in 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 and margarines (made with soy, corn, cottonseed, and/or canola)

Ingredients derived from soybeans: Soy flour, soy protein, soy isolates, soy isoflavones, soy lecithin, vegetable proteins, textured vegetable protein (TVP), tofu, tamari, tempeh, and soy protein supplements.

Ingredients derived from corn: Corn flour, corn gluten, corn masa, corn starch, corn syrup, cornmeal, and High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).

Complete List of Invisible Ingredients

Some of the Foods That May Contain GM Ingredients:

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

Non-Food Items That May Contain GM Ingredients:

  • Cosmetics
  • Soaps
  • Detergents
  • Shampoo
  • Bubble bath

References:
Natural Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, US Department of Agriculture: Acreage. Click here to download PDF (2009)

Ruth Winter, A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives: Descriptions in plain English of more than 12,000 ingredients both harmful and desirable found in foods, 6th ed. (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004).

Robert S. Igoe, The Dictionary of Food Ingredients, 2nd ed. (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1989)

Research Triangle Institute, Economic Characterization of the Dietary Supplement Industry, March 1999 Click here to download PDF

Codex General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA) Online Database of the World Health Organization (WHO) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the reports of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). Available at:http://www.codexalimentarius.net/gsfaonline/additives/index.html

The University of Maryland Medical Center database of supplements by name: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/index.htm

Archives of the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/

Reports of the European Commission Scientific Committee for Food: http://ec.europa.eu/food/fs/sc/scf/reports_en.html

Reports of the European Commission Scientific Committee for Food: http://ec.europa.eu/food/fs/sc/scf/reports_en.html