Most Common GMOs

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is one in which the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination. Many people choose to avoid GMOs because of various concerns that they raise. Looking for the USDA Organic or Non-GMO Project Verified labels is the easiest way to avoid buying GMOs, but note that not all companies or farmers can afford to get these certifications – particularly small local farms. Plus, remember that not every crop grown has a genetically modified alternative at this point in time, so many items, such as a locally grown blueberry, has almost no chance of being genetically modified. Kimberton Whole Foods Non-GMO Month

Here is a list of some of the most common GMOs that you might find on grocery store shelves. Some of these find their way into our foods in tricky ways, such as in additives or sweeteners, or they make their way through the food chain as is the case with GMO animal feed. If you are adamant about avoiding GMOs, memorize this list. Remember, if a product is labeled with the Certified Organic seal, it by definition will not contain GMOs.


Much of commercially available alfalfa has been genetically modified to contain a gene that makes it resistant to the herbicide Roundup. This allows farmers to spray roundup over the crop to kill weeds, without directly killing the alfalfa itself. Why is this bad? For one, you can be assured that this crop has been sprayed with Roundup. Alfalfa is a major crop used as livestock feed, which means that unless you are only buying Certified Organic or Non-GMO Verified animal products, this herbicide can make its way into the meat or dairy you consume.


It is estimated that about 90% of US canola crops are genetically modified. Canola oil, like soy, is very prevalent in processed foods; find it in chips, crackers, cereal, snack bars, candy, bread, and more.

Most Common GMOs Kimberton Whole Foods


Most of the conventional (non-organic) corn grown in the United States is genetically modified: from the sweet corn that you eat, to the field corn that is fed to livestock. Modified corn is resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, and traces of this herbicide have been found in items like corn flakes and corn syrup. For a list of foods and additives that contain corn, check out this allergen fact sheet.


Genetically modified cotton produces an insecticide to kill specific pests. Cottonseed oil can be found in packaged foods like potato chips and margarine. Cotton can also make its way into animal feed and food fillers such as cellulose.


About 90% of the papayas grown in Hawaii are genetically modified to be virus-resistant against the ringspot virus. For non-GMO papaya, always look for organic certification.


“Innate” potatoes were approved by the USDA in 2014, developed by J. R. Simplot Company. There are currently five potato varieties in this group of potatoes, including Ranger Russet, Russet Burbank, and Atlantic. They are widely commercially available in the United States.

Most Common GMOs Kimberton Whole Foods


If you choose soy that is not certified organic, you can be fairly sure that it is genetically modified. Soy is the most common genetically modified crop in this country, and can be found in many forms: whole soy beans, oil, and soy lecithin, to name a few. For more hidden names for soy products, check out this soy allergy fact sheet.

Sugar Beet

About 95% of sugar beets grown in the United States are glyphosate-resistant, or “Roundup Ready”, meaning that they are engineered to be resistant to the herbicide Roundup. Sugar beets are, of course, used to produce sugar: if a product is not labeled as containing “cane sugar”, then you can bet the sugar comes from commercial sugar beets.

Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash

Genetically modified and commercially-available zucchini and yellow squash contain protein genes that protect the crops against viruses. Unless you buy certified organic (or from a local farmer that you trust), you will not know whether the squash you buy is genetically modified or not.

Animal Derivatives

You’ve likely heard of rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone), which is used to increase the milk that cows produce. This hormone (which is banned in the EU, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, and Austalia) is made in a lab using genetic technology. Besides causing adverse health affects in cows, it is widely considered to be bad for human consumption, also. In addition, products such as meat, eggs, and milk are considered high-risk because GMOs are commonly found in animal feed. Products of aquaculture, gelatin, hides, and skin would also be included in this category.

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Packaged Products: Asparatame, already widely acknowledged as unhealthy, is manufactured from genetically modified bacteria. Watch out for it in diet sodas, gum, yogurts, and other processed foods. Here are other high-risk ingredients to look out for: amino acids, alcohol, ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, citric acid, sodium citrate, ethanol, flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), high-fructose corn syrup, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, lactic acid, maltodextrins, molasses, monosodium glutamate (MSG), sucrose, textured vegetable protein (TVP), xanthan gum, vitamins, vinegar, yeast products.

Monitored Crops: The Non-GMO Project considers certain crops worth monitoring, as a genetically modified version is either newly available, on its way to being commercially available, or it stands a high chance of cross-pollination from GMOs. Some of these include apples, flax, mushrooms, and bok choy. Read the full list here.

Non-Testable High-Risk Products: According to The Non-GMO Project, “Not all GMOs on the market are detectable by current tests.” These products include canola, potatoes, TALEN soy variety, enzymes, culture and starters using yeast, and algae from aquaculture.

20 thoughts on “Most Common GMOs

  1. Am Clovicr from fortportal city in western Ugsnda. We ate saying no to GMO ,as uganda farmers common voice play form. I represent fsrmerd on the plat form.

  2. Thanks for the info very scary to know the facts about our food also other things, I doubt there is any source that hadnt been touched apart from the seed bank people need to wake up to what is happening and why, agenda 21 horrendous

  3. Here are some peer-reviewed sources that discuss GMO’s. Hopefully some people are interested to read more about them!

    Panchin, A. Y., & Tuzhikov, A. I. (2016). Published GMO studies find no evidence of harm when corrected for multiple comparisons. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, 37(2), 213–217. doi: 10.3109/07388551.2015.1130684

    Mcphetres, J., Rutjens, B. T., Weinstein, N., & Brisson, J. A. (2019). Modifying attitudes about modified foods: Increased knowledge leads to more positive attitudes. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 64, 21–29. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2019.04.012

    American Society of Plant Biologists. (2014). Revised position statement on plant genetic engineering. Retrieved from

    Blancke, S., Van Breusegem, F., De Jaeger, G., Braeckman, J., & Van Montagu, M. (2015). Fatal attraction: the intuitive appeal of GMO opposition. Trends in Plant Science, 20(7), 414–418. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2015.03.011

  4. This is rather annoying, if one is to be honest. Most, if not all studies have shown that GMO foods are not more or less harmful for one to consume, and on top of that, are generally better for the environment as many do not require to use of as many herbicides.

  5. Kroger Co. brand
    I just bought Kroger Co. brand dried beans. I bought pinto beans, red beans, black beans and split peas.
    Do you know if Kroger Co. brand beans are GMO or non-GMO. The packaging doesn’t say whether GMO or not. I called the company phone number on the package and they said they don’t know.

    • Hello Karen, To our knowledge, pinto beans, red beans, black beans, and split peas do not yet have genetically modified versions on the market. So, it is highly likely that what you purchased in non-GMO.

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