10 GMOs You Should REALLY Avoid

Genetically modified crops have overtaken the modern agricultural industry, especially in developed countries (yeah I’m talking about you, North America). According to the Center for Food Safety, about 70% of the food in N. America contains GMOs. “100% organic” foods are non-GMO by law but not all food labeled “organic” is non-GMO.

Here are TEN of the most common GMO foods:

  1. Corn
    Corn crops and corn-derivatives (like high fructose corn syrup) are almost always genetically modified. They are injected with a pesticide called Bt (bacillus thuringiensis). When consumed, this poisonous protein wrecks insects’ digestive tract and kills them. GMO corn is also sprayed with herbicide resistant chemicals (Roundup Ready). About 88% of the corn grown in North America are GMOs.
  1. Soybeans and soy products
    Also modified to resist herbicides. Approximately 90% of soybeans in the U.S. are produced by Monsanto to be Roundup Ready. About 93% of all soybeans are GMOs.
  1. Canola oil
    Do you know where canola oil comes from? Canola oil is developed from the genetically modified rapeseed plant. Rapeseed oil is actually poisonous to living things and serves as a great insect repellent! Before it was “canola”, this kind of oil was only used for industrial purposes.
  2. Sugar
    Much of our manufactured sugar comes from the sugar beet plant. It accounts for 45% of the world’s sugar production. They’ve been modified to be herbicide resistant (Roundup Ready), virus, fungal, and nematode resistant. About 95% are GMOs.
  3. Papaya
    The U.S. and Canada imports almost all of its papayas from Hawaii, 77% of which are genetically modified. In the early 1990s, Hawaiian papayas were plagued with ringspot virus. This led scientists to inject a gene of the ringspot virus to create a kind of papayas, called Rainbow papayas, to be virus resistant.
  4. Dairy
    Almost 40% of cows in the U.S. are injected with RGBH, a recombinant bovine growth hormone, to increase milk production. The use of this hormone is banned in 27 countries, including the EU, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, but most cows are still fed GMO corn, grains, and hay. A lot of cheese is also made using a type of genetically modified fungi that can produce chymosin, an enzyme in calf stomachs that breaks down milk.
  1. Alfalfa (aka lucerne)
    Scientists have engineered alfalfa to be herbicide resistant (Roundup Ready) by injecting the alfalfa’s genes with e.coli bacteria. Alfalfa is the 4th most cultivated plant in North America and most commonly used as fodder for cows. Almost all alfalfa planted after 2011 are GMOs.
  1. Cotton
    Not just used for making textiles, cotton is also used in animal feed and other processed foods. Most cotton is grown in India and the U.S., with production in China on the rise. 70-90% of cotton grown in these countries are genetically modified to contain the Bt poison. They’re also Roundup Ready.
  1. Zucchini
    Zucchinis from the U.S. are engineered to be fungal and virus resistant. There are about 25,000 acres of GMO zucchini planted.
  1. Yellow Summer Squash
    Like zucchinis, this variety of squash is also modified to be fungal and virus resistant.

Thankfully, many European countries, including France, Germany, and Italy, have already placed bans on genetically modified crops because the people are aware of the dangers to human health and our environment (the amount of pesticides used is a huge issue!). It’s time for North America to do the same! Agricultural corporations (ahem Monsanto) have infiltrated our political systems, perpetuated our society’s dependency on subpar produce, and sucked up our money. Let’s take it back from them.

Know where your food comes from. Be conscious of what you put in your body. Support your local independent farmers. And if you’re ambitious, grow your own food.

3 thoughts on “10 GMOs You Should REALLY Avoid”

  1. Okay how exactly is it possible that you avoid Corn as a GMO? It’s literally in everything lol. Boric acid is poisonous to roaches yet in small doses in beneficial as an antibacterial agent in humans. Almost all these things and in widespread use; they have been for decades. I understand the dangers of not knowing what you’re putting into your body but come on, there is no evidence in this article to support why these are actually bad for you. You also forgot tomatoes, which have fish geones to keep them from freezing (gmo’ed since like, the 90s.) Tell me why exactly these additives are bad for me? I only see the effects of what they’re doing to the yield of plants themselves, which in american society is a neccessary evil for convenience and demand. Quite a sub par article; no studies or sources, No info on the author. I can’t accept this as a viable resource. Also where are the actual GMOs I should be avoiding? Because all I see are lists of foods. Not the genetic modification itself, which will be present in other foods as well. Also most Canola Oil is actuallythese days because it’s cheaper to use the byproducts and unedible soybeans from other productions.

    Sources: Culinary and Agricultural Degree, independant research and references from local farmers. The documentary Corn Nation and several professors at my university

    • My understanding is that the GMO tomatoes have a synthesized version of the flounder gene, rather than the tomatoes being cultivated via an actual splicing of animal and plant DNA.

  2. I apologize that I did not include my sources in the writing of the article. If you are still interested, here is some of the research I came across that points to the health concerns of certain GMOs.

    According to a study by G. Kleter and A. Peijnenburg, “Screening of transgenic
    proteins expressed in transgenic food crops for the presence of short
    amino acid sequences identical to potential, IgE-binding linear epitopes
    of allergens.” -published in BioMed Central Structural Biology 2002,
    2, 8-19.

    You can definitely take this info with a grain of salt in terms of its health effects. However, the contamination & patent of GMO papaya has had a negative effect on papaya farmers who plant organic or heirloom seeds (business/industry-related). Currently, Monsanto owns the patent to SunUp/Rainbow Papayas and so they can bring lawsuits/demolish independent farmers who are found to have those varieties planted. Considering the fact that Valhalla wants to promote as much independent gardening and food-growing as possible, this legal issue is a concern for me.

    The dangers of the BT-toxin:
    A study sponsored by Monsanto: http://www.rapaluruguay.org/transgenicos/Maiz/Genetically_Maize.pdf

    The isolated BT-protein dangerous to mammalian blood. The BT-protein is a natural pesticide and indeed it has been used for many many years as an external/topical pesticide. However, when injected into the genes of a plant, you never know how quickly the pests will become resistant to the protein. In very small doses, natural BT is not a problem — but with most of our foods genetically modified to express those genes, we are ingesting a LOT more than would ever be considered “healthy”, resulting in hematoxicity and potential health problems.

    Aside from being injected with BT-proteins, many GMO crops are sprayed with an herbicide called Roundup Ready, whose main ingredient glysophate is “responsible for fuelling breast cancer by increasing the number of breast cancer cells through cell growth and cell division.”

    In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine:

    “Glyphosate exerted proliferative effects only in human hormone-dependent
    breast cancer. We found that glyphosate exhibited a weaker estrogenic
    activity than estradiol. Furthermore, this study demonstrated the
    additive estrogenic effects of glyphosate and genisein which implied
    that the use of glyphosate-contaminated soybean products as dietary
    supplements may pose a risk of breast cancer because of their potential
    additive estrogenicity.”

    You can find evidence and theories for or against anything — these are just some of the finds that have led me to be skeptical of genetically modified foods. Granted, GMOs have only become widespread in the past 100 years and so there are not a lot of conclusive research/studies that proves one side or the other. At least for myself, I don’t like to take those chances, especially if I know that there are safer local alternatives to the supermarket produce that has become so big and cheap.

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