Genetically modified food or Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO as they are called, is probably the most controversial word you’ve been hearing for some decades now. As the word indicates, GMOs are genetically engineered food compared to being grown naturally in the ground. They are engineered because originally, we’d like to improve something about the item or, to make the fruit or vegetable resistant to pests.

GMOs are predominantly from a small number of countries, particularly the US, Brazil, India, and Argentina, while Europe bans their cultivation — as nearly as 40 countries worldwide. And so you may be wondering what has this GMO issue got to do with us then?

Well, the bad news is – we’ve been planting GMO crops here in the country, especially corn, since 2003. In fact, as of this year, the Philippines is the biggest grower of GMOs in Southeast Asia. Philippines is the 12th biggest in the world since last year.

If you remember our article about the connection between GMO and cancer, you realize that we have a lot of GMO crops here in the country, particularly corn. Since we revealed that GMO crops altered DNA because it contains a built-in herbicide inside them, this means they are a “poison” in a vegetable or fruit form (see previous article here: ).

So even though this list might apply more to the US situation, it would be good to know what are the major GMO foods or food ingredients to watch out for. Here is our list:

  • Corn

It has many functions and quite cheap to produce, corn is our number 1 GMO to avoid at all costs. Remember when I said that the Philippines has been producing GMO corn since 2003? Well, guess where it’s going – to the U.S. of course and a great number left here. Unlucky we for getting a great part of that quota here :O.

This GMO corn can come in different forms and names – maltodextrin, modified food starch, high fructose corn syrup, etc.

Likewise, as of 2017, 89% of U.S. corn is made from herbicide-tolerant GMO corn. (BT insecticide-producing GMO corn is also applied here). About 92% of corn now is GMO corn.

  • Soy

Soy contains the second largest concentration of GMOs in the U.S. As much as 94% of soybeans are herbicide (particularly referring to Monsanto’s Roundup) tolerant GMO. This kind of GMO soy you can find in cooking oils, as soy lecithin in packaged foods, etc.

If you have to eat soy, make sure it is fermented and may include miso soup or natto – and they have to be all organic.

  • Canola

Canola oil (formerly rapeseed oil) is also cheap to grow, produce and sell. It is now being sold in different forms of products and also it was is used in soaps, candles, lubricants, lipsticks, biofuels, inks and insecticides.

It is reported to have many side effects. 90% of all canola oil in the country is grown to be GMO. Canola oil is a refined oil that partially hydrogenated to enhance its stability but also increases its negative health effects.

Try shifting to a more organic, healthy coconut oil or organic avocado oil.

  • Sugar Beets

GMO Roundup Ready Sugar Beets occupied a big portion of the U.S. supply. The rise of cane sugar occurred in recent years due to the demand of non-GMOs shoppers

Be careful when seeing the label “sugar” on any package you buy because there’s a 90% chance that it’s GMO. Better avoid as much as possible any GMO sugar beets.

  • Cotton

Cottonseed oil is not just one of the pesticide-laden crops in U.S. now, but also it has many potential side effects. Most of the U.S.’s stock of cotton products now, which I assumed would also include cotton t-shirts and cotton buds, are GMO-laden which means its herbicide tolerant or made of insecticide-resistant BT. Cottonseed oil is also being used in packaged snacks.

End of Part I:  Look for Part II in the next article!

Image by Artist / CC0 1.0