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Which Foods Have Genetically Modified Ingredients

Updated on February 3, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs are increasingly finding their way into common, everyday foods. While most GMOs are plant products, recently domestic salmon has been approved to be modified. Even though the hamburger you ate for lunch probably did not come from a genetically modified cow the cow itself ate feed that included GMO grains.

Currently the United States Department of Agriculture lists about 50 GMO plant species that have completed the government requirements and may now be used commercially

Although there are only 50 plants that are commonly genetically modified there are millions of products that contain ingredients from these plants. In fact, these plants are used in so many products that it is almost impossible to avoid them. Virtually every person in the United States, or who has visited the United States, has been exposed to these controversial products.

Many common foods contain GMO ingredients
Many common foods contain GMO ingredients | Source

Crops Most Likely to Contain GMOs

Some current statistics show the following crops grown in the United States have the highest percentage of GMO use:

  • 75% of corn
  • 88% of cotton
  • 91% of soybeans

These crops are processed and used in several different forms.

  • Canola (rapeseed) oil
  • Corn meal
  • Corn oil
  • Corn starch
  • Corn syrup (including high fructose corn syrup)
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Soy protein

Currently the United States Department of Agriculture does not require genetically modified ingredients to be listed on the label. It is estimated that over 70% of the food eaten in the United States contains some GMO ingredients.

The only foods that may not contain GMOs are organic foods. Organic meat must come from animals that ate a GMO free diet. Organic breads and baked goods cannot contain flours and grains made with GMOs – no organic food can contain any amount of a genetically modified ingredient.

Are you serving GMO foods to your family? If you aren't eating organically the odds are that you are eating these products with every meal.

Animal Products that Likely Contain GMOs

While animals are not yet genetically modified, with the possible exception of domestic salmon, they are fed products that have GMO ingredients. If you can't afford organic meat you can decrease your chances of getting GMO tainted meat by buying grass fed beef, wild caught meat or products labeled "Non-GMO".

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Dairy
  • Domestic Bison
  • Domestic duck and geese
  • Eggs
  • Farm raised fish
  • Gelatin
  • Pork

Any farm raised animal product that is not organic will more than likely have come from an animal fed with GMO products.

High Risk Products

There are thousands of GMO ingredients. It takes longer to list which foods have GMOs than to list those that don't. Remember that no organic food item can contain GMO ingredients so if it is labeled 100% Organic then it is always GMO free.

This should be considered an abbreviated list.

  • Aspartame
  • Baking powder
  • Canola oil
  • Confectioners' sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn starch
  • Corn oil
  • Cornmeal
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Isoflavone
  • Lecithin
  • MSG
  • Glucose
  • Soy meal
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Sugar (any that is not marked "Pure Cane Sugar")
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin E
  • Xanthan gum

What Is GMO Food

Companies and Products That Use GMO Ingredients

Nearly all of the large food companies use GMO ingredients. You may be surprised to know that even some natural foods companies use genetically modified ingredients in their products. Even companies that produce baby formula and baby foods use these products. The following should not be considered a complete list but only an example of the widespread use of genetically modified products. Remember, all domestically raised meat, poultry and fish products should be expected to have been raised on GMO feeds unless the product is labeled as 100% organic or GMO Free.

Infant Formulas and Baby Foods

  • Beech-nut
  • Enfamil
  • Isomil
  • Good Start
  • Similac

Other Products

Some of the other companies that produce GMO products are:

  • Aunt Jemima
  • Betty Crocker
  • Boca
  • Blue Sky
  • Campbells
  • Crisco
  • Coca Cola
  • Dannon
  • Duncan Hines
  • Eggo
  • Frito Lay
  • Heinz
  • Hershey
  • Hostess
  • Kellogg
  • Keebler
  • Kraft
  • Land O Lakes
  • Libbys
  • Lifesavers
  • Marie Callender
  • Morningstar Farms
  • Nabisco
  • Nestle
  • Nature Valley
  • Ocean Spray
  • Pepperidge Farm
  • Peter Pan
  • Procter and Gamble
  • Progresso
  • Quaker
  • Smuckers
  • Skippy
  • Stouffers
  • Yoplait

That is a long list isn't it? Believe it or not, it is nowhere near complete.

Monsanto and GMOs

Keeping Your Family Free of GMO Foods

In this modern age it is virtually impossible to be completely GMO free but you can reduce your family's exposure to genetically modified organisms in foods.

  • Buy only 100% organic
  • Look for foods labeled Non-GMO
  • Most vegetables and fruits sold in the produce section are GMO free
  • Some Papayas that are grown in Hawaii are genetically modified
  • All highly processed and convenience foods should be suspected to contain GMOs – cook from scratch as much as possible

Educate Yourself

Most of all, it is important to educate yourself about the foods you eat. If you don't understand the outcry about GMOs take a few hours and do some Internet research. Read until your questions are answered to your satisfaction.

For more in depth information about GMO products and the companies that use them you will want to bookmark The True Food Network. This website lists foods and companies, and has numerous well written articles to give you all the information you may be looking for.


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    • bohemiotx profile image

      Joffre Meyer 5 years ago from Tyler, TX

      An important article. It's amazing how many GMO's we eat--even a couple of vitamins. I heard Monsanto ran into troubles in Hungary.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      This is a very educational hub. Sad that the lists you named were not exhaustive. That means there are so many more GMO's finding there way around.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Being so passionate about GMI foods and how to avoid them, this hub is a welcomed site. I thought that because I'm a vegetarian I would not have to concern myself with GMI. I am surprised to learn it is even in the greek yogurt, cranberry juice, land-o-lake butter and salmon. Most of the time I purchase my salmon wild at Trader Joe's to be sure it's safe.

      I enjoyed both of the very useful videos and appreciate the lists of GMI foods. I realize there are more and will research products I question.

      Bookmarked the website "True Food" and will look into this. I can't thank you enough Marye for providing this well-written hub.

      Voted up and across (not funny) and will tweet, pin, FB and share with my followers. Thanks!

    • prettynutjob30 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Great hub, I have recently tried to erase as many GMO's and other unnatural ingredients from my food as possible. I was shocked to find out how hard a task this was going to be, almost everything contains some kind of undesirable ingredient. Thanks for the much needed info, voted up and shared.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This informative post is inspiring me to make some changes in my food selection. The more I learn about GMOs the more I suspect why our kids are developing autism and other disorders that were once considered rare. Great hub.

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 5 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      It's hard to stay away from!

    • bizarrett81 profile image

      bizarrett81 5 years ago from Maine

      Great article. I am learning a lot about this lately! It's very hard these days to know whats good and whats bad out there. Its disheartening to see the major brand of baby food that I fed my son on the list of GMO users. Yuck.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      There is so much to learn. What a comprehensive list. Oh, dear - I love wheat...and yes, we do need to read up on what we are consuming into our bodies. Very well done.

    • angel115707 profile image

      Angel Ward 6 years ago from Galveston, TX

      I thought wheat was a top offender??? I am even concerned about some organic seeds coming from GMO's. It may be grown organically, but what if the strain originated as GMO. Wheat has been modified so much in the last 50 years that its not even the same thing my parents ate when they were kids so Gluten intollerance is up big time... I will definately share, people need to read up on this more!

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 6 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      Antibiotic resistance is another of my soapboxes... But, on the GMO subject... The danger here is in the GMO plants mixing with the natural plants (as the big brouhaha in Canada)and humankind losing the natural plants. You are comparing apples to genetically manipulated mouse milk. There are too many unknowns for GMO foods to replace foods that man has been eating for thousands of years... and once it is mixed in to the natural food supply there is no going back.

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Thank you surfgatinho for providing this information.

    • surfgatinho profile image

      Chris Leather 6 years ago from Cornwall UK

      Hi Marye - My point was they are on the same continuum and in some cases it is hard to differentiate. I'm not really for or against GM foods. I've studied it quite a lot at degree level and to a large extent the bacteria are just used as vectors to insert the engineered genes into the plants.

      On the other hand the fact that antibiotics are used wholesale as markers to identify the bacteria that have taken up these particular genes is very alarming. Antibiotic resistance is a real and present danger.

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Mary - you may also enjoy my hub on the The Super Belgian Cow. Now that's something I never want to see, like a purple cow - ooo-eeee. Night night. Deb

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 6 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      Surf - Breeding a bovine to another bovine to get a better bovine is not tampering with DNA... It's all cow... It's called a good breeding program. Taking a bacteria and adding it to the DNA of corn to create a self pesticidal corn is completely different. You can always breed two bovines but it is impossible to cross pollinate corn and bacillus thurnum is impossible without scientific intervention... You may also be interested in this...which as you can see is a bit different than agricultural enhancement.

    • surfgatinho profile image

      Chris Leather 6 years ago from Cornwall UK

      To play Devil's advocate - isn't virtually everything we eat 'genetically modified'? Take dairy cows for example, these have been bred to produce more milk for centuries. Is that not genetic modification? And does that make it bad?

      To push the point, do you think we would be able to sustain a global population of 7 billion if agricultural output had not been 'enhanced'?

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Hello dear Marye ~ I mistakenly posted to Hannah, Oh my goodness! Now I'm mixing up the names of all people on Hubpages. Thank you for differentiating between ORGANIC products and non-organics. I shall check in the grocery. Apologies. Debby P.S. and congratulations on your 100% profile status.

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 6 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      Remember that ORGANIC tempeh and ORGANIC tofu and other organic foods will not have GMOs

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from Summerland

      Wow so pretty much everything I eat in a given day contains GMOs! Yikes...maybe you could do a quick hub on how to avoid the GMOs...or tips. Thanks!

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Hannah ~ Clicked it all the way up, up, up. I was very disappointed to read that 'tempeh' was also GMO. I've been writing about this problem for ages and educating others. Blessings and read the labels [even though they don't tell you on there about GMO] Your list is helpful. Debby P.S. great vids.

    • rsusan profile image

      Rika Susan 6 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for a highly informative hub, Marye. This is such a crucial topic to understand and be aware of. We need to be wide awake these days to avoid all the 'baddies' out there! But I think it is going to become increasingly difficult to keep track of things like GMOs.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for such a great, detailed warning. I always buy organic when it is available.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Thanks for spreading awareness on this topic that is very dear to me.

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      That is shocking. Organics all the way.

    • eye say profile image

      eye say 6 years ago from Canada

      fantastic info and I'm proud to say we only have to cut one more company out of our home that's on your list!

      thanks for this it's hard to do all the research so it's good to get a solid base from you!

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Job well done of showing the scope of GMO foods consumption in this country. I wonder how many families and institutions would have to go completely organic in order to make a significant negative economic impact on GMO foods development and availability. Up and awesome.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, I eat a lot of sugar, this is really disturbing, thanks for the information, I am going to be looking at everything I eat from now on, cheers nell

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Oh no, Ocean Spray Cranberries, too? It's a good thing I make my own cranberry sauce with real cane sugar and organic berries. Thanks for this educational Hub; I've many more brands to stay away from. Rated Up and Awesome.

    • CuriousVagabond profile image

      CuriousVagabond 6 years ago from Tennessee

      What a wonderful post! I've been interested in Monsanto for awhile now, specifically the hype around GMOs. This was very useful, and I'll be coming back to read this. Have a wonderful day!!


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