What is a GMO?

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic, hence they are also known as transgenic organisms.  This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same.

What to learn more about GMO's?
Information referenced from Organic Consumers Organization, Institute for Responsible Technology and Non GMO Project.

What is a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)?

genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified or novel genes. Transgenic organisms, a subset of GMOs, are organisms that have inserted DNA from a different species. GMOs are the constituents of genetically modified foods.

What foods contain GMO's?

  • Cotton - Considered a food because the oil can be consumed.   
  • Sugarbeets - Processed foods containing sugar, unless specified as Cane sugar, may contain sugar from GM sugar beets.  A large percentage of sweeteners used in processed food actually comes from corn, not sugar cane or beets. Products labeled with sugar may contain as much as 80% GM sugar beet sugar.
  • Corn - Corn oil, flour, sugar or syrup. May include snack foods, baked goods, fried foods, edible oil products, confectionery, special purpose foods, and soft drinks  
  • Sweet corn - approved only for use in animal feed thousands of tons have been found in human food supply.   Recently Monsanto, a biotechnology food producer, said that about half of the USA's sweetcorn acreage has been planted with genetically modified seed this year.
  • Canola - Canola oil. May include edible oil products, fried foods, and baked products, snack foods.
  • Soybean - Soy foods include : soy beverages, tofu, soy oil, soy flour, lecithin. Other products may include breads, pastries, snack foods, baked products, fried products, edible oil products and special purpose foods.
  • Papaya - Commercially grown in Hawaii, estimated that 90% of Hawaiian crop is GM.
  • Squash - (yellow crookneck) - Some zucchini and yellow crookneck squash are also GM but they are not popular with farmers.
  •  A large percentage of sweeteners used in processed food actually comes from corn, not sugar cane or beets. Products labeled with sugar may contain as much as 80% GM sugar beet sugar.
  • Alfalfa - Approved in 2011, GM alfalfa contains a gene that makes the plant resistant to the herbicide Roundup.  Alfalfa is grown mostly to make hay fed to dairy cows and horses. More than 20 million acres are grown in the United States.

  • .Honey -  Contaminated by GM crops.
  • Tomatoes - The first genetically food the Flavr Savr tomato was recalled.  Currently there are no genetically modified tomatoes available commercially.
  • Rice - Genetically modified to contain high amounts of Vitamin A, "Golden Rice", has been approved in the Phillipines.  No GMO rice is grown the United States.
  • Rapeseed  "Canola" - Oil, by products used  in animal feed.
  • Flax - Introduced in 2001 in Europe but importers refused to buy it. No genetically modified flax is currently grown in the US.
  • Cotton seed oil - Cottonseed oil and linters. Products may include blended vegetable oils, fried foods, baked foods, snack foods, edible oil                                                                                       products, and smallgoods casings.
  • Tobacco -The company Vector has a GMO tobacco being sold under the brand of Quest® cigarettes in the U.S. It is engineered to produce low or no nicotine.
  • Meat - Meat and dairy products processed from animals that have been feed GM animal feed, such as corn or alflafa.
  • Vegetable Oil - Most generic vegetable oils and margarines used in restaurants and in processed foods in North America are made from soy, corn, canola, or cottonseed. Unless these oils specifically say "Non-GMO" or "Organic," it is probably genetically modified.
  • Dairy Products - About 22 percent of cows in the U.S. are injected with recombinant (genetically modified) bovine growth hormone (rbGH).
  • Vitamins - Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is often made from corn, vitamin E is usually made from soy. Vitamins A, B2, B6, and B12 may be derived from GMOs as well as vitamin D and vitamin K may have "carriers" derived from GM corn sources, such as starch, glucose, and maltodextrin.
  • Rapeseed  "Canadian Canola".

GMO invisible derivative ingredients
  • Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Splenda, Candrel, BeneVia
  • Baking Soda                                                                                                        Milk powder 
  •  Canola Oil                                                                                                          Milo syrup
  • Caramel Coloring                                                                                                Modified food starch
  • Cellulose                                                                                                              Modified starch
  • Citric Acid                                                                                                           Mono and Diglycerides
  • Cobalamin (Vitamin B-12)                                                                                   Monosodium Glutamate
  • Colorose                                                                                                               NutraSweet
  • Condensed milk                                                                                                   Oleic Acid
  • Confectioner's sugar                                                                                             Phenylalanine
  • Corn flour                                                                                                            Phytic Acid
  • Corn Masa                                                                                                           Protein Isolate
  • Corn meal                                                                                                            Shoyu
  • Corn oil                                                                                                               Sorbitol
  • Corn sugar                                                                                                          Soy flour
  • Corn syrup                                                                                                          Soy leclthin
  • Cornstarch                                                                                                          Soy milk
  • Cycloextrin                                                                                                          Soy oil
  • Cystein                                                                                                                Soy protein
  • Dextrin                                                                                                                Soy protein isolate
  • Dextrose                                                                                                              Soy Sauce
  • Diacetyl                                                                                                               Starch
  • Diglyceride                                                                                                          Stearic Acid
  • Erythritol                                                                                                            Sugar (unless cane sugar)
  • Equal                                                                                                                  Tamari
  • Food starch                                                                                                         Tempeh
  • Fructose                                                                                                              Teriyaki
  • Glucose                                                                                                               Textured vegetable protein
  • Glutamate                                                                                                          Threonine
  • Glutamic acid                                                                                                     Tocopherols
  • Glycerides                                                                                                           Tofu
  • Glycerin                                                                                                              Trehalose
  • Glycerol                                                                                                              Triglyceride
  • Glycerol monoleate                                                                                             Vegetable Fat
  • Glycine                                                                                                               Vegetable Oil
  • Hemicellulose                                                                                                      Vitamin B12
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup                                                                                  Vitamin E
  • Hydrogenated starch                                                                                           Whey
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein                                                                              Whey powder
  • Inositol                                                                                                                Xanthum Gum
  • Inverse syrup
  • Inversol
  • Invert sugar
  • Lecithin
  • Lecine
  • Malitol
  • Malt
  • Malt syrup
  • Malt extract
  • Maltose
  • Mannitol
  • methycellulose

Does organic mean GMO free?

Buying 100% Organic, Certified Organic, and USDA Organic labeled products is usually the easiest way to avoid genetically modified
ingredients.  The U.S. and Canada governments do NOT allow companies to label products "100%"/ Certified Organic if they 
contain GMO's.  
Look for the USDA Certified Organic label on purchased foods.
Be aware the "Private Labeling" such as the "Trader Joe's Organic" does NOT mean the products meet USDA organic standards.

Are GMO's common and how do I avoid them?
In the U.S., GMO's are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food. Click here for a current list of GMO risk crops.

Check with you local Farmers Market for Growers with GMO Free produce.   Buy Local, Buy Fresh!

Are GMO's safe?

Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In nearly 50 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment.

What are the impacts of GMO's on the environment?

Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced. GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of “super weeds” and “super bugs:’ which can only be killed with ever more toxic poisons like 2,4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange). GMOs are a direct extension of chemical agriculture, and are developed and sold by the world’s biggest chemical companies. The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment these novel organisms cannot be recalled.

Are GMO's labeled?
Unfortunately, even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs, the powerful biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public.  
The following countries have banned or restricted the import, distribution, sale, utilization, field trails and commercial planting of GMO's:
  • Africa: Algeria, Egypt

  • Asia: Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Japan, Phillipines

  • Europe: The European Union, Norway, Austria, Germany United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Luxembourg, Portugal

  • Latin America: Brazil, Paraguay

  • Middle East: Saudi Arabia

  • North America: Maryland has banned GE (genetically engineered) fish and North Dakota and Montana have filed bans on GE wheat. The Municipalities of Burlington, Vermont (declared a moratorium on GE food), Boulder, Colorado (bans on GE crops) and the City and County of San Francisco (urged the federal government to ban GE food) are the only towns or states to take some sort of stand against plants, animals, foods, crops and body products that are, or contain Genetically Modified Organisms.

    NOTE: The U.S. government, and the FDA do not require anything Genetically Modified to be identified on ingredient lists. Genetically Modified foods and products are in widespread use and distribution throughout the U.S.

  • Pacific: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Australia, New Zealand.

    Where can I buy GMO free food and products locally?

    Natural Grocers

 GMO free Shopping tools:

Pesticide Residue Chart

For more information on Pesticides on your food Visit:



Genetic Roulette The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods 

By Jeffrey M. Smith   May 16, 07

Eating genetically modified food is gambling with every bite.

The biotech industry's claim that genetically modified (GM) foods are safe is shattered in this groundbreaking book. Sixty-five health risks of the foods that Americans eat every day are presented in easy-to-read two-page spreads. The left page is designed for the quick scanning reader; it includes bullets, illustrations, and quotes. The right side offers fully referenced text, describing both research studies and theoretical risks. The second half ofGenetic Roulette shows how safety assessments on GM crops are not competent to identify the health problems presented in the first half. It also exposes how industry research is rigged to avoid finding problems.

This book, prepared in with input by more than 30 scientists, is for anyone wanting to understand GM technology, to learn how to protect themselves, or to share their concerns with others. It is presented in the clear, accessible style that made Jeffrey Smith's Seeds of Deception the world's best-selling book on genetically engineered foods. As the world's most complete reference on the health risks of GM foods, Genetic Roulette is also ideal for schools and libraries.

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth - How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public   

Steven M. Druker -March 20, 2015

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth provides a graphic account of how this elaborate fraud was crafted and how it not only deceived the general public, but Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Barack Obama and a host of other astute and influential individuals as well. The book also exposes how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was induced to become a key accomplice--and how it has broken the law and repeatedly lied in order to usher genetically engineered foods onto the market without the safety testing that's required by federal statute. As a result, for fifteen years America's families have been regularly ingesting a group of novel products that the FDA's own scientific staff had previously determined to be unduly hazardous to human health.

By the time this gripping story comes to a close, it will be clear that the degradation of science it documents has not only been unsavory but unprecedented--and that in no other instance have so many scientists so seriously subverted the standards they were trained to uphold, misled so many people, and imposed such magnitude of risk on both human health and the health of the environment.

Myths of Safe Pesticides 

by Andre Leu - September 15, 2014

The chemical-based conventional agriculture industry claims that the synthesized concoctions they sell as pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides are safe when used as directed, but does the scientific evidence truly support their assertions? Organic agriculturist and lecturer André Leu delves into a wealth of respected scientific journals to present the peer-reviewed evidence that proves the claims of chemical companies and pesticide regulators are not all they seem. Leu translates technical jargon into layman s terms to break down the five most-repeated myths about pesticide safety, refuting them using scientific data. The pesticide industry argues that agriculture, and the global population itself, cannot survive without its products, but Leu warns that we are at risk unless we break free of their toxic hold and turn to more natural methods of pest and weed regulation.

GMO Myths and Truths

Downloadable PDF Version

John Fagan, PhD Michael 

Antoniou, PhD 

Claire Robinson, MPhil

An evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops and foods.

The second edition of GMO Myths and Truths, co-authored by genetic engineers Dr John Fagan and Dr Michael Antoniou and researcher Claire Robinson, was released on 19 May 2014 as a free online download by the sustainability and science policy platform Earth Open Source.

The second edition follows the publication two years ago of the first edition, which was downloaded 120,000 times just a few weeks after publication and was read online by several times that many visitors. At 330 pages, the new edition is nearly three times the length of the original and summarizes many new studies.

Going Against GMOs - The Fast-Growing Movement to Avoid Unnatural Genetically Modified "Foods" to Take Back Our Food and Health  
Melissa Diane Smith
September 25, 2014
The movement of consumers avoiding unnatural genetically modified organisms (GMOs) hidden in foods is growing so swiftly and with such force, it's becoming a revolution. Yet Americans and Canadians have been kept in the dark for so long about genetically modified foods that many people still don't know about them. Going Against GMOs is the definitive consumer's guide to understanding genetically modified foods, the food issue of our time, from the unique perspective of a trailblazing nutritionist. In this book, you'll find: the top 10 reasons to stay away from GMOs; why you have to go against the status quo to avoid GMOs; the Eat GMO-Free Challenge & non-GMO optimal health guidelines; detailed instructions for avoiding GMOs when shopping & eating out; and more than 45 easy-to-make, non-GMO (and gluten-free) recipes.


 Institute for Responsible Technology 

The most comprehensive source of GMO health risk information in the web.

The Institute for Responsible Technology is a world leader in educating policy makers and the public about genetically modified (GM) foods and crops. We investigate and report their risks and impact on health, environment, the economy, and agriculture, as well as the problems associated with current research, regulation, corporate practices, and reporting.

Organic Consumers Association 

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics. We are the only organization in the US focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation's estimated 50 million organic and socially responsible consumers.

Non GMO Project

The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices.

Make a NON GMO product request.

Cornucopia Institute

The Cornucopia Institute, through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, provides needed information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement and to the media. We support economic justice for the family-scale farming community – partnered with consumers – backing ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.


The Center for Food Safety (CFS) is a national non-profit public interest and environmental advocacy organization working to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture. CFS uses legal actions, groundbreaking scientific and policy reports, books and other educational materials, market pressure and grass roots campaigns through our True Food Network. CFS's successful legal cases collectively represent a landmark body of case law on food and agricultural issues.

Food Democracy Now! is a grassroots community dedicated to building a sustainable food system that protects our natural environment, sustains farmers and nourishes families.

Natural News

The NaturalNews Network is a non-profit collection of public education websites covering topics that empower individuals to make positive changes in their health, environmental sensitivity, consumer choices and informed skepticism. The NaturalNews Network is owned and operated by Truth Publishing International, Ltd., a Taiwan corporation. It is notrecognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit in the United States, but it operates without a profit incentive, and its key writer, Mike Adams, receives absolutely no payment for his time, articles or books other than reimbursement for items purchased in order to conduct product reviews.

GMO Awareness

GMO Awareness is uniting everyone in the United States who cares about food quality. We have a unique strategy in place that will empower you to take simple and effective action. "Everyone who cares taking the most effective action"—that's the winning formula that will bring about labeling.

Say No To GMOs

The Say No To GMOs! site offers extensive information on the complex and controversial issue of genetic engineering. The comprehensive collection of documentation spanning over a decade offers a unique opportunity for research that is not found in one place anywhere else online.

Organic Trade Association

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for the organic industry in North America. OTA’s mission is to promote and protect organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public, and the economy. OTA envisions organic products becoming a significant part of everyday life, enhancing people's lives and the environment.  
OTA represents businesses across the organic supply chain and addresses all things organic, including food, fiber/textiles, personal care products, and new sectors as they develop. Over sixty percent of OTA trade members are small businesses. 

GE Food Alert

Reliable source for information and articles on genetically engineered foods.

The six biggest chemical companies and junk food makers lied their way in this round, but we are NOT going away. In fact, their egregiously unethical behavior in this battle has ignited a whole new group of volunteers.  Folks who voted No are already upset now that they are finding out how these companies used blatant mistruths to confuse them to vote against their best interests.