4 Ways to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods

By Margaret Badore for DietsInReview.com

The FDA says that the health and environmental risks of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are still up for debate, but many people prefer to avoid them whenever possible. Many plants have been genetically engineered to have specific traits, such as frost resistance, a higher yield, or even to produce pesticide. This final trait is perhaps the most upsetting, because this means that the plant essentially produces its own toxins. One study published in Environmental Sciences Europe found that animals fed GM corn and soybeans were significantly more likely to experience organ malfunctions.

In Europe, GMOs either require labeling and in some places are banned, but here in the United States no such label is required. In fact, it’s quite a challenge to find processed foods that don’t contain GMOs. The FDA may even be near to approving the genetically modified salmon, which will be the first GM animal to be marketed for human consumption.

Here are four simple shopping tips to help you avoid GMOs.

1. Buy Organic

Not only are products with a USDA Organic label free from synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge and most pesticides, they also cannot contain GMO ingredients by law.

2. Look for “Non-GMO”

Your safest bet is with products that carry the “Non-GMO Project Verified” logo shown here. In order to receive this seal, foods must be tested the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit organization group dedicated helping consumers find GMO-free foods. However, some companies voluntarily label their products as “Non-GMO,” but consumers should be wary of claims that are unverified by third-party groups.

3. Avoid “At Risk” Ingredients

If you’re looking at a processed food that’s not organic and contains corn, soybeans, canola or cottonseed, the likelihood that it contains GMOs is very high. Most Hawaiian papaya and some zucchini and yellow squash are also genetically modified. Instead of canola oil or a blended oil, buy pure olive oil.

Also, beware of sugar that’s derived from sugar beets. On most non-organic products, “sugar” will be derived from GM sugar beets, unless it is specifically described as pure cane sugar. Lastly, look for dairy products that have no rBGH, rBST or artificial hormones, which means that the cows have not been injected with growth hormone.

4. Use a Shopping Guide

These guides may not have every single product, but they have most major brands of non-GMO products. Try nongmoshoppingguide.com or nongmoproject.org.


Reggie Thomas
Reggie Thomas5 years ago

Another way to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods,is to decommission FDA,EPA & USDA.The American People & Insects can live food free of all Chemicals.After reading that Europe has made a list of GMO Foods it baned from U.S make me wonder about moving to Europe.(0_0)

Deborah D.
Deborah D6 years ago

Sounds like processed foods of any
kind, unless certified organic, are GMO

Fran F.
Fran F6 years ago

This is good information, thanks! The non-GMO shopping guide will come in handy, but unfortunately the second link, to nongmoproject.org, is dead.

Teresa Cowley
Teresa Cowley6 years ago

Thank you for this article--it helps to know what to look for.

Fran Baca
Fran B6 years ago

Informative Info! Thanks for posting.

Iona Kentwell
Iona Kentwell6 years ago

Thanks. Albert GMOs have the potential to completely screw with plants all over the world and therefore the entire ecosystem. Call me a GMOphobe I don't care. They can be harmful to life on this planet and meanwhile there are other ways to feed the population of earth, for example, share! It sounds simple but it works.

Carole K.
Carole K6 years ago

TY, Margaret, for this excellent article which provides exquisitely pure food for thought. Our family's basic strategy for keeping our diet contaminant free has been grow your own (GYO) & buying as much as we can from local farmers; & we thought we were safe, good to go by so doing. This analysis shows me that perhaps these proactive processes are not enough & that we may need to tweek our system further to avoid GMOs. But, "to be forewarned is to be forearmed"; & for that, I thank you. I intend to do more research & practice awareness as I shop ever more diligently! PAY ATTENTION TO LABELS OR LACK THEREOF!!!!

will wizard
wiz wi6 years ago

far to much chemical goes into our food .no wonder kids theses day do harm and riot as like our brain it been poison by harmful chemicals

will wizard
wiz wi6 years ago

far to much chemical goes into our food .no wonder kids theses day do harm and riot as like our brain it been poison by harmful chemicals

dve d.
aa b6 years ago

and to think what goes into all food ugh