In an effort to educate consumers on genetically engineered, aka genetically modified (GMO), foods, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has compiled a packet of messages on what GMOs are and where you can find them.
“GMOs are a common part of today’s food supply,” the FDA says on its website. “Most GMO crops are used in food for animals like cows, chickens and fish. They are also used to make ingredients that are then used in food products like cereal, snack chips and vegetable oils.”
This message goes on to say that one of the reasons GMOs are helpful is because they reduce the need for pesticides, yet, in the same paragraph, they admit that sometimes farmers who grow GMOs do end up using more weed killer, not less.
“While this is sometimes the case, EPA regulates the safety of all weed killers that farmers use on GMO crops and non-GMO crops alike, is the FDA’s explanation for this circumstance. “EPA also shares information to help farmers who are concerned about weeds developing resistance to weed killers.”
What GMO crops are out there?
Only a few types of GMO crops are grown in the United States, but some of these GMOs make up a large percentage of the crop grown (e.g., soybeans, corn, sugar beets, canola, and cotton).
In 2018, GMO soybeans made up 94% of all soybeans planted, GMO cotton made up 94% of all cotton planted, and 92% of corn planted was GMO corn.
Most GMO crops are used in food for animals like cows, chickens, and fish. They are also used to make ingredients that are then used in food products like cereal, snack chips, and vegetable oils. Even though you won’t find many GMO fruits or vegetables in the produce section of your grocery store, GMOs are a common part of today’s food supply.