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Top 5 Kids’ Foods with GMOs

August 1st, 2014
Center for Food Safety

Do you know what your kids are really eating? Check out our list of some of the most common children’s foods produced using GMOs!

Genetically engineered foods, or GMOs, can be difficult to avoid in the supermarket. Opinion polls show that up to 90 percent of the American public wants GE foods labeled.[1] But despite this overwhelming demand, almost no foods on U.S. grocery shelves reveal their secret: most processed foods are produced using genetic engineering.

Here’s a list of some of the most common children’s foods produced with GMOs, as well as which ingredients to keep an eye out for. As an alternative, choose organic and Non GMO-Project verified brands of these foods which are NOT produced with GMOs.

 

  Cereal: Look out for cereals made with corn, corn syrup, sugar, soy and canola oils, and soy lecithin which may be GMO. Choose ones made with wheat or oats and those that either don’t contain sugar or use 100% cane sugar or evaporated cane sugar. Even flavored oatmeal can contain corn syrup, sugar, or soy.
  Chips: Corn tortilla chips are almost entirely made with corn, one of the major GE crops. Other types of chips are often made with corn, canola or cottonseed oils, and some contain corn starch and corn syrup. Choose organic or non-GMO chips or look for chips with sunflower or safflower oil instead of soy, corn, canola or cottonseed.
  Crackers: Many crackers are loaded with soy and corn ingredients, soybean, canola or cottonseed oil, and corn syrup or sugar which can all be GMO. Cheese crackers can also contain milk from cows fed GE feed or given rbGH.
  Snack bars: We often think of things like granola bars as being simple and healthy, but in reality, snack bars are often made with soybean, cottonseed and canola oils, soy lecithin, corn syrup, sugar, or soy protein which are often GMO.
  Milk, ice cream, yogurt and cheese: Non-organic cows may be fed GE alfalfa or  may given rbGH, and soy beverages contain almost all soy which may be GMO. Flavored milks can often contain sugar or soy products which may be GMO.

 

Want an easy tip? Keep an eye out for the “Big Five” GE ingredients: corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, and sugar beets used in processed foods. To avoid GMOs, check the labels to ensure that these ingredients are organic or Non-GMO Project verified, and look for 100% cane sugar to avoid GE beet sugar. Alfalfa has also been genetically engineered, and many non-organic dairies and cattle operations feed their cows GE alfalfa. Seek out certified organic dairy and meat products to avoid animals fed GE corn, soy or alfalfa.

Your best bet is to have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand for snacks and meals, choose whole-grain foods, and foods that are fresh rather than processed. Fortunately, very few fresh fruits and vegetables for sale in the U.S. are genetically engineered. Papaya is the main exception, but GE sweet corn, zucchini, and some summer squash varieties do occasionally crop up in stores.

Want more? Get our True Food Shoppers Guide to Avoiding Genetically Engineered Foods. You can browse the Guide online, download the free app for iPhone or Android, or download the PDF version.

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[1] US Polls on GE Food Labeling, Center for Food Safety: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/976/ge-food-labeling/us-polls-on-ge-food-labeling