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a tomato with a GMO sticker stuck to a fork

1.  Avoid “At Risk” Ingredients

The commonest crops that are genetically modified are Soy (91%) Canola (88%) Corn (85%) Cotton (71%) Sugar Beets (90%) and Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%). So in general, avoid foods with ingredients derived from corn or soybeans. Fortunately there is no GM popcorn or blue or white corn.

2. Avoid Processed foods in general

This is the most reliable way to prevent purchasing GM foods as most processed foods have GMO ingredients in them. Processed foods using products made from corn and soybeans contain the most GM ingredients.

3. Buy Organic

Organic foods can be labeled in 3 different ways:

a) “100% organic” – all ingredients are organic.

b) “organic”- at least 95% of ingredients are organic. The remaining 5% has to be non-GMO.

c) “made with organic (name of ingredient)”- 70% of ingredients are organic. The remaining 30% has to be non-GMO.

A helpful resource is “What is Organic.”

4. Look for “non-GMO” Labels

Companies may voluntarily choose to label their products as “non-GMO”.

Some labels are non specific and just state “non-GMO” while others are more specific and spell out “made without genetically modified ingredients.”

Some products may specify a particular “At Risk” ingredient and list it as “non-GMO.”

5. Use shopping guides

Download these non-GMO shopping guide which provides information directly from food producers.

nonGMO shopping guide

6. Avoid Factory-farmed Animal Products

Most factory farmed animals and fish are fed GM feed. Buy “organic”, “wild caught” (fish) or meatand dairy from 100% grass –fed animals. Do not buy dairy products from cows injected with GM bovine growth hormone (rbGH or rbST).

Visit for brands.

7. Avoid the Sweetener Aspartame

Also called Nutrasweet® and Equal®, it is a GMO derivative and is found in over 6000 products including soft drinks, gum, candy, desserts, mixes, yoghurt, tabletop sweeteners and some pharmaceuticals such as vitamins and sugar-free cough drops.

8. When Eating in Restaurants

Try to go to restaurants that prepare foods from fresh whole ingredients rather than from packaged processed mixes that more than likely will contain GM ingredients. Try to find out what kind of oil the restaurant cooks with.

Many cook with vegetable oil which is usually made from GM soy, corn, cottonseed and canola. If that is the case, then ask if your food can be prepared without oil or if a non-GMO oil like olive, sunflower of safflower oil can be used instead. Make sure the olive oil is not blended with canola oil which is common in restaurants.

If you are not sure which items on the menu are GM, ask your server or the chef. GM foods may include salad dressings, bread, mayonnaise and sugar from GM sugar beets. In addition, when ordering a dairy item, find out if the dairy is organic or rbGH free. Bottom line, don’t be shy to ask questions!

These have been adapted from a few sources, the main one

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