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We know a lot of you are very concerned about GMOs and their current lack of labeling in the US.  Let’s face it, there’s not much information about the possible long-term effects of eating these foods, so a lot of people are wary of putting them on their plates.  The problem: They’re not so easy to spot because the US currently has no regulations about labeling GMOs.  All over the world, lots of other countries have restrictions (and occasionally bans) on GMOs, and other places (namely Europe) require that they be labeled.

Since you live in a country without such requirements, how are you to know?  You can’t.  But you can know which foods are genetically modified most often and go from there.  So, here’s a list!

Corn:  Almost 85% of corn in the US is genetically modified so it’s pretty tough to avoid.  The corn is usually modified to protect itself from a specific herbicide that kills weeds.

Soy:  This is another big offender.  In fact, it’s the biggest.  Soy is the most genetically modified food in the country.  In 2010, a new kind of soybean seed was approved which is supposed to have a high level of oleic acid (naturally found in olive oil), a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid.  If you know anything about oleic acid, then you know that it may lower LDL cholesterol levels when you replace other fats in your diet with it.

Milk:  Cows are often given rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) to increase milk production.  This hormone has been banned in many countries, including Japan, Canada, New Zealand and the European Union, but it’s still legal here.

Canola Oil:  This little doozie is considered one of the most chemically altered oils in America.

Cotton:  I know, I know.  You don’t usually eat your clothes, but this refers more to cotton oil.  Cotton is generally altered to increase yield and to help it resist disease, like most other things.  Cotton oil form India and China are considered the riskiest varieties.

Zucchini and Yellow Squash:  If you’ve ever tried to grow squash, you know that there are some pesky bugs that love it, so scientists have come up with a toxic protein to make it more resistant to pests.   Unfortunately, these proteins have also been found in the blood of humans, so rather than being broken down and excreted, they’re hanging around our bodies. Not so good.

Sugar: Genetically modified sugar beets were introduced to the US market in 2009.

Papaya:  Genetically modified papayas have been grown in Hawaii since 1999.  They were engineered to resist a specific virus, as well as to delay their ripening, so they’ll have more time to make it to market.

These are obviously just some of many genetically modified foods that are commonly part of our lives every day.  Now you know, but still, it’s not always easy to get around their consumption.  Think of the myriad ways corn and soy make their ways into our diets.  If you want to do something about this, consider advocating to have GMOs labeled in the US.  Whole Foods has said that they will have all GMOs labeled in their stores by 2018.  Maybe the rest of the country should follow their lead.  What do you think about GMOs?