GMO Quick Facts: What, Why, Where

Genetically Modified Organism = GMO = Genetically Engineered


GMO WHAT = Organisms whose genetic make up (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally.

GMO WHY = Crops are currently modified to survive herbicide treatment, produce their own pesticides and resist certain diseases.

GMO WHERE = In North America, over 70% of our packaged foods contain GMOs.

The 5 most prevalent GMO crops in the US are canola, corn, sugar beets, cotton and soy.

These end up as ingredients in all kinds of packaged foods:

  • Corn = corn syrup, corn starch.
  • Soy = hydrolyzed vegetable protein.
  • Canola = canola oil.
  • Sugar beets = processed sugar.
  • Cotton = cottonseed oil.
  • Various food additives including flavoring agents, nutritional supplementation, thickeners and pH regulators.
  • Meat and dairy animals as well as farmed fish may eat GMO feed since GMOs are prevalent in the commodity grain market.

That means any of these could be GMO if not organic or 3rd party verified as non-GMO:

Ketchup, chewing gum, cooking oil, soda, baking extracts, pickles, brown sugar, salad dressing, fruit juices, yogurt, can soups, pasta sauce, bread, mayonnaise, sugar, infant formula, cereal, hamburgers and hotdogs, margarine, crackers, cookies, chocolate, candy, fried food, chips, veggie burgers, meat substitutes, ice cream, frozen yogurt, soy sauce, soy cheese, tomato sauce, protein powder, baking powder, alcohol, vanilla, powdered sugar, peanut butter, enriched flour and pasta.

And it’s not just what you eat…

Animal feed can be a source of GMOs also. What did that cow, chicken or pig eat? Any of these could be from animals fed GMO feed if not organic or 3rd party verified as non-GMO:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Meat (chicken, pork, beef)
  • Eggs
  • Farmed fish

Learn more in our FAQ on GMOs.