Typical Genetically Modified Foods Almost every area in the food production market is using genetic modification to produce foods that taste better, grow faster, resist disease and improve the amount of nutrients found in the food. At times, the genetic modification helps to save natural resources because the “new” food does not need as much water or energy to be processed. Many crops, dairy farmers and meat producers have been genetically altered.
Corn in many areas of the country has been altered to include an insect killing gene. Because the corn has this, farmers do not have to spray pesticides that can be harmful to the environment and those farm workers who spray it. Most American families are eating corn that has been genetically altered.
Soy is used in the production of many items that we use every day, such as cereal, chocolate, ice cream and baked goods. Because 85% of soybeans are altered, nearly everyone is consuming altered soybeans in some way. Most soybeans are used for livestock and not for humans.
One of the latest crops to be genetically altered is the sugar beet. Production of a modified beet began in 2008, but was banned in 2010 because the USDA failed to provide an environmental impact statement. Beets usually grow very slowly so the modification was made to encourage faster growth.
Genetically modified potatoes were created to be very resistant to diseases, such as Phytophthora Infestans, that can spread quickly and kill entire fields of potatoes. A disease like this caused the potato famine in the 1840s. Only 25% of the potatoes grow today are eaten by people. The other 75% is used in feeding livestock and in the starch industry. Scientists want to use the potato more in the glue and lubricant industry so they are trying to develop a potato that is even more modified that cannot be eaten by people.
The first food to reach American markets that had been genetically modified was tomatoes. Many changes have been made since those first tomatoes were raised and now tomatoes are modified only to help them last longer so they can be transported for longer periods of time.
Squash were modified because they are especially susceptible to some viral diseases. The altered squash were more disease resistant, but beetles who love to eat squash carry bacterial wilt disease. The squash are less resistant to this disease. Scientists are also concerned that the altered squash may be growing wild in some areas and not in controlled fields. If squash grow wild, this could cause serious environments issues.
Oils are used for more than cooking and flavoring. They are also an ingredient in many foods we consume. Modified oils can be sold as cooking oils, but are also used for making snacks such as potato chips. Margarine is also made by using oil. Modifications include oils losing the bitter taste they once had and making the plants more resistant to herbicides.
Vitamin A deficiency is a serious problem for over 250 million people around the world. It may cause blindness or death for those affected with it. Because nearly half of the population of the world lives on one bowl of rice each day, rice was chosen to be genetically altered to have vitamin A supplements added to it. This new rice is called golden rice. Experts also want to create rice with an iron supplement to combat the iron deficiencies many people have. Rice cannot be altered to have both an iron and a vitamin A supplement together, but it may happen sometime in the future.
Salmon that has been genetically altered may be available for purchase soon. These fish will be grown only on fish farms and will be nearly twice the size of unaltered salmon. They will also grow faster. Experts say this will help the environment and protect the wild salmon. A big concern is that, although these salmon should be sterile, nature will find a way to mutate the DNA so that these altered salmon can have babies.
List of Genetically Modified Foods Genetically Modified Foods
Rapeseed has been made to be more resistant to pesticides and also to be erucic acid-free.
Some honey comes from bees collecting nectar near fields with modified foods growing in them.
Because the oil can be consumed, cotton is considered a food. It has been altered to produce a chemical that kills many pests.
Sugar cane has been altered to be resistant to pesticides. Modified sugar cane cannot be marketed successfully as the public has such a low opinion of it.
Canola oil was altered to be resistant to pesticides and may be in oil products, baked goods and snacks.
Altered to resist herbicides, flax is in many products that contain flax oil and seed.
Papayas have been modified to be more virus resistant.
Cotton Seed Oil
Cotton seed oil can be in vegetable oils, fried foods, and oil products that can be consumed.
A tobacco has been altered that contains very little nicotine.
Meat is considered altered because it comes from animals that have eaten modified foods.
Modified peas produced an allergic reaction in mice that could also happen in humans. They had been altered to make them produce a pesticide.
Because most foods that are used to make vegetable oil are modified, vegetable oil is an altered food. To avoid this, buy only a product that is labeled organic.
Many cows have been given a growth hormone that can be found in their milk.
Vitamins are produced from foods that have been altered, such as corn and soybeans.