Top Ten Genetically Modified Foods | A Rose in Bloom
Want a list of the top 10 foods you should be on guard for? The Internet makes it easy.  We already avoided most of these anyway, so I just need to find some certain non GMO rice that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.  Sugar and potatoes can be purchased organically at Trader Joe's.

  • Soybeans which are resistant to herbicides. An herbicide resistant gene is taken from bacteria and inserted into the soybean plant. In 2010, data from the USDA showed that 93% of soybeans grown in the US were genetically modified soybeans. The USDA's Economic Research site states that "Processed soybeans are the largest source of protein feed and the second largest source of vegetable oil in the world." Note that most commercial dressings and mayonnaise are made with soybean oil. In 2001, the New York Times carried a story about US soybeans containing some "unexpected DNA" next to its inserted gene, which cast doubts on the biotechnology industry's assertions that its technology is precise and predictable.
    From the NY Times story: "The mysterious DNA was found in the Monsanto Company's Roundup Ready soybeans by Belgian government and university scientists, who described their findings in a paper published yesterday in the journal European Food Research and Technology. Greenpeace called yesterday for countries to re-evaluate the regulatory approvals of the soybeans, saying that Monsanto did not know as much as it should about its product. The unknown DNA could possibly affect the safety of the beans, the group said."
  • Corn which is resistant to certain pesticides. The modification makes them tolerant to huge amounts of crop pesticide spray. In this way a farmer can use amounts of pesticides which would normally kill the plant, (and probably you and me) without harming it. USDA data as of 2010 shows that 86% of the corn crop in the US is biotech corn. Sweet corn is also modified to produce its own insecticide (a toxin to insects, so insect attacks are less likely). The insect-killing gene comes from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis. (You may know the term "Bt corn").
    In May of 1999, the prestigious journal Nature reported a study written by researchers from Cornell University which reported the fate of Monarch caterpillars placed on plants that were dusted with pollen from GM Bt corn. The corn had been modified to produce a insecticide to kill the European corn borer. The pesticide was not supposed to affect other insects. But it did. More than 44% of the butterfly larvae exposed to the GM corn pollen turned black and died. None of the butterfly larvae exposed to natural corn pollen died.
  • Cotton which is pest-resistant. USDA data for 2010 show that about 93% of cotton in the US is genetically modified.
  • Hawaiian Papaya which is resistant to the Papaya Ringspot Virus. More than 50% of the papaya crops in the US are modified.
  • Tomatoes which are resistant to rot. The genetically modified (GM) tomatoes do not produce the substance that normally causes tomatoes to rot and degrade. The first of these came on the market in 1994. It was called the FlavrSavr. It was taken off the market after the scientist who had created it expressed his concerns about its cancerous effects on television. The resulting public outrage resulted in bans on GM foods at the major fast food chains. Other genetically modified tomatoes contained genes that made them resistant to antibiotics. After concern from doctors and the medical community, tomatoes are now genetically modified in an alternative way.
  • Potatoes which are pest-resistant. 10% of the potato crop in the US is modified.
  • Rapeseed (Canola) which is resistant to certain pesticides and able to tolerate heavy pesticide crop spray. 75% of the canola/rapeseed crop in the US is modified.
  • Sugar cane which is resistant to certain pesticides and able to tolerate heavy pesticide crop spray.
  • Sugar beets which are resistant to certain pesticides and able to tolerate heavy pesticide crop sprays.
  • Rice which is genetically modified to contain high amounts of Vitamin A. Three new genes are implanted: two from daffodils and the third from a bacterium. Wikipedia notes that on August 18, 2006, American exports of rice to Europe were interrupted when much of the U.S. crop was confirmed to be contaminated with unapproved engineered genes, possibly due to accidental cross-pollination with conventional crops. The U.S. government has since declared the rice safe for human consumption, and exports to some countries have since resumed, but in the past years more genetically modified crops have started to cross-pollinate which leaves a problem that is yet to be solved.
  • In addition, commercial milk producers inject dairy cattle with recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) which is a genetically modified hormone created to increase each cow's milk production. This hormone is present in the milk that comes from these cows. Not only does it sicken the cows in great numbers, it is linked to cancer in human beings.
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