How to Avoid Brands Made with GMOs

Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM) is the laboratory process of artificially manipulating or inserting genes into the DNA of food crops or animals. The result is called a genetically modified organism or GMO. GMOs can be engineered with genes from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Most Americans say they would not eat GMOs if labeled, but unlike most other industrialized countries, the U.S. does not require labeling.

  • Buy organic
    Certified organic products are not allowed to contain any GMOs. Therefore, when you purchase products labeled “100% organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic” ingredients, all ingredients in these products are not allowed to be GMO. (For example, products labeled as “made with organic ingredients” only require 70% of the ingredients to be organic, but 100% must be non-GMO.)
  • Look for “non-GMO” labels
    Companies may voluntarily label products as “non-GMO.” Some labels state “non-GMO” while others spell out “Made Without Genetically Modified Ingredients.” Some products limit their claim to only one particular “At-Risk” ingredient such as soy lecithin, listing it as “non-GMO.”
  • Avoid at risk ingredients
    Avoid products made with any of the crops that are GM. Most GM ingredients are products made from the “Big Four:” corn, soybeans, canola, and cottonseed, used in processed foods.

Some of the most common genetically engineered Big Four ingredients in processed foods are:
Soy Soy flour, lecithin, protein isolate, isoflavone vegetable oil and vegetable protein, modified food starch

Corn Corn flour, meal, oil, starch, gluten and syrup sweeteners such as fructose, dextrose and glucose modified food starch

Canola Canola oil (also called rapeseed oil)

Cotton Cottonseed oil

In addition, GM sugar beets may soon enter the food supply. To avoid products containing GM beet sugar, look for products labeled as containing 100% cane sugar, evaporated cane juice or products made with organic sugar.

This information has been excerpted from the Non-GMO Shopping Guide by the Center for Food Safety. Reclaim your right to know about the foods you are buying. Find and avoid GMO foods and ingredients.

Download complete pdf guide.