How To Avoid Food Brands Made With Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
 
   

How To Avoid Food Brands Made With
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
Send all comments or additions to:    Frankp@chiro.org
 
   

March 2009 edition

Thanks to the Institute for Responsible Technology for access to this article!

Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM) of food involves the laboratory process of artificially 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.

This Non-GMO Shopping Guide is designed to help reclaim your right to know about the foods you are buying, and help you find and avoid GMO foods and ingredients.

Tips for avoiding GM crops

  • TIP #1: 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 produced from GMOs. For example, products labeled as “made with organic ingredients” only require 70% of the ingredients to be organic, but 100% must be non-GMO.

  • TIP #2: 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.”

  • TIP #3: 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:

    Corn
    Corn flour, meal, oil, starch, gluten, and syrup
    Sweeteners such as fructose, dextrose, and glucose
    Modified food starch*

    Soy
    Soy flour, lecithin, protein, isolate, and isoflavone
    Vegetable oil* and vegetable protein*

    Canola
    Canola oil (also called rapeseed oil)

    Cotton
    Cottonseed oil

    Sugar
    Anything not listed as 100% cane sugar

    *May be derived from other sources

    In addition, GM sugar beet sugar recently entered the food supply. Look for organic and non-GMO sweeteners, candy and chocolate products made with 100% cane sugar, evaporated cane juice or organic sugar, to avoid GM beet sugar.

  • TIP #4: BUY PRODUCTS LISTED IN THIS SHOPPING GUIDE   Keep this Guide with you whenever you shop. Store it inside your reusable shopping bag, put it into your coupon holder or check book, or leave it in your car.


FRUITS & VEGETABLES

Very few fresh fruits and vegetables for sale in the U.S. are genetically modified. Novel products such as seedless watermelons are NOT genetically modified. Small amounts of zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, and sweet corn may be GM. The only commercialized GM fruit is papaya from Hawaii—about half of Hawaii's papayas are GM.



MEAT, FISH & EGGS

No genetically modified fish, fowl, or livestock is yet approved for human consumption. However, plenty of non-organic foods are produced from animals raised on GM feed such as grains. Look for wild rather than farmed fish to avoid fish raised on genetically modified feed, and 100% grass-fed animals.


Meat and Fish: Non-GMO

Vital Choice
Organic Prairie



Eggs: Non-GMO

Egg Innovations Organic
Eggland's Best Organic
Land O'Lakes Organic
Nest Fresh Organic
Organic Valley
Pete and Jerry's Organic Eggs
Wilcox Farms Organic






ALTERNATIVE MEAT PRODUCTS

Many alternative meat products are processed and include ingredients that can be genetically engineered, so give the ingredient lists close attention to avoid the Big Four at-risk ingredients, especially soy.


Non-GMO

365 Brand (Whole Foods)
Amy's
Bountiful Bean
Sunshine Burger
The Simple Soyman
Vitasoy
Wildwood
White Wave


May contain GMO ingredients

Boca, unless labeled organic (Kraft)
Gardenburger
Morningstar Farms, Morningstar Farms Natural Touch, unless labeled organic (Kellogg)



BABY FOODS & INFANT FORMULA

Milk or soy protein is the basis of most infant formulas. The secret ingredients in these products are often soy or milk from cows injected with rbGH. Many brands also add GMO-derived corn syrup, corn syrup solids, or soy lecithin.


Non-GMO

Baby's Only
    (certified organic products)
Earth's Best
Gerber products
HAPPYBABY
Mom Made Meals
Organic Baby
Plum Organics


May contain GMO ingredients

Beech-Nut
Enfamil
Good Start
Nestlé
Similac/Isomil


DAIRY PRODUCTS & ALTERNATIVE DAIRY PRODUCTS

Some U.S. dairy farms inject the genetically engineered hormone rbGH, also called rbST, into their cows to boost milk production. Organic dairy products are rbGH-free and do use GM grains as feed. Products with a label that indicates cows free of rbGH or rbST may come from cows fed GM feed. Many alternative dairy products are made from soybeans and may
contain GM materials.

Dairy Products: Non-GMO

Certified Organic
Alta Dena Organics
Butterworks Farm
Harmony prHills Dairy
Horizon Organic
Morningland Dairy
Natural by Nature
Organic Valley
Radiance Dairy
Safeway Organic Brand
Seven Stars Farm
Straus Family Creamery
Stonyfield Farm
Wisconsin Organics
Nancy's Organics

Produced Without rbGH

National
Nancy's Natural Dairy
Alta Dena
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream
Brown Cow Farm
Crowley Cheese of Vermont
Franklin County Cheese
Grafton Village Cheese
Great Hill Dairy
Lifetime Dairy

West Coast
Alpenrose Dairy
Berkeley Farms
Clover Stornetta Farms
Joseph Farms Cheese
Sunshine Dairy Foods
Tillamook Cheese
Wilcox Family Farms

Midwest and Gulf States
Chippewa Valley Cheese
Erivan Dairy Yogurt
Promised Land Dairy
Westby Cooperative Creamery

East Coast
Blythedale Farm Cheese
Crescent Creamery
Derle Farms (milk with
   “no rbST” label only)
Erivan Dairy Yogurt
Farmland Dairies
Oakhurst Dairy
Wilcox Dairy (rbST-free
   dairy line only)



Alternative Dairy Products: Non-GMO

Belsoy
EdenSoy
Imagine Foods/Soy Dream
Nancy's Cultured Soy
Pacific Soy
Silk
Soy Delicious
Sun Soy
Stonyfield Farm O'Soy
Tofutti
VitaSoy/Nasoya
WestSoy
WholeSoy
Yves The Good Slice
Zen Don


May contain GMO ingredients

Colombo (General Mills)
Dannon
Kemps (aside from
   “Select” brand)
Land O' Lakes
Parmalat
Sorrento
Yoplait (General Mills)





May contain GMO ingredients

8th Continent



GRAINS, BEANS & PASTA

Other than corn, no GM grains are sold on the market. Look for 100-percent wheat pasta, couscous, rice, quinoa, oats, barley, sorghum, and dried beans (except soybeans).


Prepared Meals: Non-GMO

Annie's Natural Pasta
Bob's Red Mill (organic line)
Eden certified organic grains
Kamut
Lundberg Family Farms
Sunridge Farms
Vita-Spelt pasta

Packaged Meals: Non-GMO
Amy's
Annie's Homegrown certified
   organic macaroni & cheese
Casbah (Hain-Celestial)
Dr. McDougall's Right Foods
Fantastic Foods
Ian's Natural Foods
Lotus Foods
Lundberg Farms Rice Sensations
Organic Planet
Seeds of Change certified
   organic boxed meals
May Contain GMO ingredients

Betty Crocker meals (General Mills)
Knorr (Unilever)
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
Lipton meal packets (Unilever)
Near East (Quaker)
Pasta Roni and Rice-a-Roni meals (Quaker)


CEREALS AND BREAKFAST BARS

Cereals and breakfast bars are very likely to include GMO ingredients, because they are often made with corn and soy products.
Non-GMO:

Ambrosial Granola
Barbara's (organic line)
Cascadian Farms
Eden
EnviroKidz
Golden Temple
Grandy Oats
Health Valley (organic line)
Lundberg® Purely Organic
Rice Cereal
Nature's Path
Nonuttin'
Omega Smart Bars
Peace Cereal Organic
Simple Sweets
Sunridge Farms
Ruth¹s

May Contain GMO Ingredients

Betty Crocker meals
   (General Mills)
Knorr (Unilever)
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese meals
Lipton meal packets (Unilever)
Near East (Quaker)
Pasta Roni and Rice-A-Roni 
   meals (Quaker)
General Mills
Kellogg
Post (Kraft)
Quaker



BAKED GOODS

While baking ingredients such as wheat flour, rice, kamut, and oats are not genetically modified, many packaged breads and bakery items contain other GMO ingredients such as corn syrup.
Non-GMO:

Arrowhead Mills (organic line)
Bakery on Main
Bob's Red Mill (organic line)
Dr. McDougall's Right Foods
Dr Oetker Organics
French Meadow
Natural Ovens Bakery
   (organic line)
Nature's Path
Rudi's Organic Bakery
Rumford Baking Powder


May Contain GMO Ingredients

Aunt Jemima (Pinnacle Foods)
Betty Crocker (General Mills)
Calumet Baking Powder (Kraft)
Duncan Hines (Pinnacle Foods)
Hungry Jack (Smucker's)
Pillsbury (Smucker's)



FROZEN FOODS

Many frozen foods are highly processed. Keep an eye out for the Big Four at-risk ingredients and stay away from frozen foods that contain them, unless they are marked organic or non-GM.


Non-GMO:

A.C. LaRocco
Amy's Kitchen
Cascadian Farms Organic frozen
   meals and vegetables
Cedarlane
Helen's Kitchen
Ian's Natural Foods
Linda McCartney frozen meals
Mom Made Meals
Plum Organics Kids
The Simple Soyma
May Contain GMO Ingredients

Boca, unless labeled organic
   (Kraft)
Celeste (Pinnacle Foods)
Eggo Waffles (Kellogg)
Gardenburger
Green Giant frozen meals
   (General Mills)
Healthy Choice (ConAgra)
Kid's Cuisine (ConAgra)
Lean Cuisine (Nestle)
Marie Callender's (ConAgra)
Morningstar Farms, Morningstar
   Farms Natural Touch, unless
   labeled organic (Kellogg)
Rosetto Frozen Pasta (Nestle)
Stouffer's (Nestle)
Swanson (Campbell's)
Tombstone (Kraft)
Totino's (Smucker's)
Voila! (Birds Eye/Unilever)


SOUPS, SAUCES & CANNED FOODS

Many soups and sauces are highly processed, so give the ingredient lists close attention to avoid the Big Four at-risk ingredients.


Soups: Non-GMO

Amy's
Fantastic Foods
Health Valley/Westbrae
Imagine Natural
Natural/Hain
ShariAnn's Organics
Walnut Acres certified organic


 

Sauces/Salsas: Non-GMO

Amy's (organic line)
Annie's Natural
Eden
Emerald Valley Kitchen
Green Mountain Gringo &
   certi?ed-organic salsa
Muir Glen Organic pasta sauce
   & salsa
Seeds of Change certi?ed-
    organic pasta sauce
Walnut Acres certi?ed-organic
    pasta sauce


Canned Food: Non-GMO

Amy's
Annie's Natural
Eden
ShariAnn's certified organic beans
Westbrae certified organic beans
Yves Veggie Cuisine (Hain Celestial)
May Contain GMO Ingredients

Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice
   (ConAgra)
Campbell's products (including
   Healthy Request, Chunky,
   Simply Home, and Pepperidge
   Farm)
Hormel products
Progresso products
   (General Mills)


Sauces/Salsas: May Contain GMO Ingredients

Bertolli (Unilever)
Chi-Chi's (Hormel)
Classico (Heinz)
Del Monte
Healthy Choice (ConAgra)
Hunt's (ConAgra)
Old El Paso (General Mills)
Pace (Campbell's)
Prego (Campbell's)
Ragu (Unilever)



May Contain GMO Ingredients

Chef Boyardee
Dinty Moore, Stagg, Hormel
   (Hormel)
Franco-American (Campbell's)



CONDIMENTS, OILS, DRESSINGS & SPREADS

Unless labeled explicitly, corn, soybean, cottonseed, and canola oils probably contain genetically modified products. Choose pure olive, coconut, sesame, sunflower, safflower, almond, grapeseed, and peanut oils. Also choose preserves, jams, and jellies with cane sugar, not corn syrup.
Non-GMO

Annie's
Bountiful Bean
Bragg's liquid amino
Carrington Farms Flax Seed
Crofter's Organic
Drew's salad dressing
Eden
Emerald Cove
Emerald Valley Kitchen
Emperor's Kitchen
Follow Your Heart
Harvest Moon Mushrooms
Ian's Natural Foods
I.M. Health SoyNut Butters
Maranatha Nut Butters
Miso Master
Muir Glen organic
   tomato ketchup
Nasoya
Newmans Own Organic
Ruth¹s
Spectrum oils and dressings
SushiSonic Asian Condiments
The Simple Soyman
Vegan by Nature Buttery Spreads
Vigoa Cuisine
Wholemato


May Contain GMO Ingredients

Crisco (Smucker's)
Del Monte
Heinz
Hellman's (Unilever)
Kraft condiments and dressings
Mazola
Pam (ConAgra)
Peter Pan (ConAgra)
Skippy (Unilever)
Smucker's (except their “Simply
   100% Fruit” line of preserves)
Wesson (ConAgra)
Wish-Bone (Unilever)


SNACK FOODS

Look for snacks made from wheat, rice, or oats, and ones that use sunflower or safflower oils. There is no GM popcorn on the market, nor is there blue or white GM corn.
Snacks: Non-GMO

Barbara's (organic line)
Bearitos/Little Bear Organics
   (Hain Celestial)
Eco-Planet
Eden
Garden of Eatin'
Grandy Oats
Hain Pure Snax/Hain Pure Foods
Health Valley
Ian's Natural Foods
Kettle Foods
Kopali Organics
Late July Organic Snacks
Mary's Gone Crackers
Nature's Path Organic
Namaste Foods
Newman's Own Organics
   & Newman's Own
   (except salad dressing) 
Simple Sweets
Sunridge Farms



Energy Bars:

Clif Bar    
Genisoy Bars
Lara Bar
Luna Bar                
Macrobars
Nature's Path
Nutiva 
Odwalla
Optimum Energy Bar
Organic Food Bar
Weil by Nature's Path Organic
May Contain GMO Ingredients

FritoLay (Lay's, Ruffles, Doritos,
   Cheetos, Tostitos)
Hostess Products
   (Interstate Brands)
Keebler (Kellogg's)
Kraft (Nabisco, Nilla Wafers,
   Oreos, Ritz, Nutter Butter,
   Honey Maid, SnackWells,
   Teddy Grahams, Wheat
   Thins, Triscuit)
Pepperidge Farm (Campbell's)
Pringles
Quaker Oats Company











May Contain GMO Ingredients

Balance Bar
Nature Valley snack bars and
   granola bars (General Mills)
Nabisco Bars (Kraft)
PowerBar (Nestle)
Quaker Granola Bars



CANDY, CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS, & SWEETENERS

Many sweeteners, and products like candy and chocolate that contain them, can come from GMO sources. Look for organic and non-GMO sweeteners, candy and chocolate products made with 100% cane sugar, evaporated cane juice or organic sugar to avoid GM beet sugar, and watch out for soy lecithin in chocolates and corn syrup in candies.

The sweetener aspartame is derived from GM microorganisms. It is also referred to as NutraSweet® and Equal® and is found in over 6,000 products, including soft drinks, gum, candy, desserts, yogurt, tabletop sweeteners, and some pharmaceuticals such as vitamins and sugar-free cough drops.
Chocolate: Non-GMO

Chocolove
Endangered Species Chocolate
Green & Black's Organic Chocolate
Kopali Organics
Nonuttin'
Newman's Own
Nonuttin'



Candy: Non-GMO

Jelly Belly
Pure Fun Confections
Reed's Crystallized Ginger
   candy (certified organic)

St. Claire Organic
Sunridge Farms



Sweeteners: Non-GMO

Eden
Sweet Cloud
Nonuttin
Newman¹s Own

May Contain GMO Ingredients

Hershey's
Nestlé (Crunch, Kit Kat, Smarties)
Toblerone (Kraft)
Ghiradelli¹s Chocolate



 


May Contain GMO Ingredients

Hershey's
Lifesaver (Kraft)
Nestlé



SODAS, JUICES & OTHER BEVERAGES

Most juices are made from GMO-free fruit (avoid papaya though, as it could be GMO), but the prevalence of corn-based sweeteners—e.g. high-fructose corn syrup—in fruit juices is cause for concern. Many sodas are primarily comprised of water and corn syrup. Look for 100-percent juice blends.
Non-GMO

After the Fall organic juices
Big Island Organics
Blue Sky
Cascadian Farm
Crofters Organic
Eden
Frey Vinyards
Odwalla
Organic Valley
Quinoa Gold
Mixerz All Natural Cocktail Mixers
R.W. Knudsen organic juices
   and spritzers (Smucker's)
Santa Cruz Organic (Smucker's)
Sea20 Organic Energy Drink
Teeccino Herbal Caffe
Walnut Acres Organic Juices


May Contain GMO Ingredients

Coca-Cola (Fruitopia, Minute
   Maid, Hi-C, NESTEA)
Hansen Beverage Company
Hawaiian Punch
   (Procter and Gamble)
Kraft (Country Time, Kool-Aid,
   Crystal Light, Capri Sun, Tang)
Libby's (Nestlé)
Ocean Spray
Pepsi (Tropicana, Frappuccino,
   Gatorade, SoBe, Dole)
Sunny Delight (Procter and
   Gamble)


Special Note:   This guide was compiled based on company statements, not genetic testing. Any product labeled as Non-GMO indicates that its manufacturing process is designed to avoid GMOs, but consumers should be aware that GM contamination is possible due to natural pollen movement, weather events, seed contamination, or human error. Hence there is no guarantee such products are 100% free of GMOs.



INVISIBLE GM INGREDIENTS

Processed foods often have hidden GM sources (unless they are organic or declared non-GMO). The following are ingredients that may be made from GMOs.


Aspartame
baking powder
caramel color
cellulose
citric acid
cobalamin 
   (Vitamin B12)
corn gluten
corn masa
corn oil
corn syrup
cornmeal
cornstarch
cyclodextrin
cystein
dextrin
dextrose
diacetyl
diglyceride
fructose
fructose
   (crystalline)
glucose
glutamate
glutamic acid
gluten
glycerides
glycerin
glycerol
glycerol
   monooleate
glycine
hemicellulose
high fructose
   corn syrup
   (HFCS)
hydrogenated
   starch
hydrolyzed vegetable protein
inositol
invert sugar
   (colorose or inversol)
tamari
isoflavones
lactic acid
lecithin
leucine
lysine
malitol
maltodextrin
maltose
mannitol
methylcellulose
milo starch
modified starch
monosodium
   glutamate MSG
oleic acid
Phenylalanine
phytic acid
sorbitol
soy flour
soy isolates
soy lecithin
soy protein
starch
stearic acid
inverse syrup
tempeh
threonine
tocopherols 
   (Vitamin E)
tofu
trehalose
triglyceride
vegetable fat
vegetable oil
Vitamin B12
Vitamin E
xanthan gum


Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) although usually derived from corn, is probably not GM because it is not likely made in North America.

To learn more about GMOs, consult the books Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods by Jeffrey M. Smith or Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food by Andrew Kimbrell.   Information on GMOs is also available at www.centerforfoodsafety.org and  www.HealthierEating.org.

Copyright 2008 Center for Food Safety and Institute for Responsible Technology. No part of this booklet may be reproduced in any form without written permission from both parties. For large print quantities or electronic distribution requests, contact: info@responsibletechnology.org or info@centerforfoodsafety

March 2009 edition

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