The term GM foods or GMOs (genetically-modified organisms) is used to refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption that have been modified in the laboratory to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content. For example, plant geneticists can isolate a gene responsible for drought tolerance and insert that gene into a different plant. The new genetically-modified plant will gain drought tolerance as well. Not only can genes be transferred from one plant to another, but genes from non-plant organisms also can be used. Agribusiness is criticized for pursuing profit without concern for potential hazards of GMOs, and the government for failing to exercise adequate regulatory oversight. It seems that everyone has a strong opinion about GM foods. Even the Vatican and the Prince of Wales have expressed their opinions. Most concerns about GM foods fall into three categories: environmental hazards, human health risks and economic concerns. Genetically Modified foods are finding their way in increasing numbers into the marketplace. Find out how to avoid them here:

1. Watch out for products containing soy, cotton, canola and corn. Also GMOs are in soy, corn, canola or cottonseed oils. Unless the oil specifically says “Non-GMO” or Organic, it is probably genetically modified. Other modified crops include some US zucchini and yellow squash, Hawaiian papaya and some tobacco. There may also be some remaining GM potatoes in the form of starch, but Monsanto is no longer marketing them. The GM tomatoes have similarly been taken off the market. China, however, has commercialized GM tomatoes, as well as cucumbers and a variety of pepper. US Dairy products may contain milk from cows injected with rbGH. And both meat and dairy products usually come from animals that have eaten GM feed. Even honey and bee pollen can contain GM sources.

2. There are genetically modified food additives, enzymes, flavorings, and processing agents in thousands of foods on the grocery shelves as well as health supplements. Aspartame, the diet sweetener, is a product of genetic engineering. And GM bacteria and fungi are used in the production of enzymes, vitamins, and processing aids (xanthan gum, for instance, is a product that may be derived from a GM process).

3. Does Organic Mean Non-GMO? The new rules do not allow a crop to be called organic if it is genetically modified. But organic certification does not require GMO tests.

Read Seeds of Deception by Jeff Smith for complete investigation into the GMO market.