The debate over the true danger of GMOs — genetically modified organisms — continues, but with a new year comes new opportunity for change, and some companies are now making the vow to increase their GMO-free efforts in 2014. Among those serious about removing GMOs from their food products include Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM), Chipotle (NYSE:CMG), and most recently General Mills (NYSE:GIS), but the food industry still has a long way to go before it can completely rid itself of the organisms that have caused such widespread controversy over the last few years.
According to the Non GMO Project, genetically modified organisms are plants or animals with genetic material that have been altered using genetic engineering techniques. More evidence has been cropping up concerning the health risk that foods containing GMOs pose to consumer health, as genetic engineering technology combines DNA from different species and creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial, and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. However, it is still up for debate whether GMOs in food are environmentally safe and safe for human consumption in the long term.
Whether you’re in the pro- or anti-GMO camp, though, it is likely that you are consuming GMOs in at least one form or another — it is significantly difficult to avoid genetically modified foods altogether. According to Bill Freese at the Center for Food Safety, who spoke to Mother Jones, GMOs are present in 60 to 70 percent of foods on U.S. supermarket shelves, and processed foods are the most popular vehicles for them.
That’s why those who actively work to avoid GMOs typically stick to fresh fruits and vegetables. Most produce you can find in grocery stores is not genetically modified. However, there are still a few examples of food that are genetically modified that may surprise you, and (hint, hint) you can find them in the produce aisle. With the help of Mother Jones along with the Non GMO Project, we rounded up six examples of genetically modified food products that may surprise you. Click through to see the list.