Biology in the Laboratory

Biotech Labs and Food

How widespread is the use of GMO crops in the United States?

According to the United States Department of Agricuture (USDA), in 2009, 93 percent of soy, 93 percent of cotton, and 86 percent of corn grown in the U.S. were based on GMOs. It is estimated that over 90 percent of canola grown is genetically modified; sugar beets, squash, and Hawaiian papaya also have GM varieties. Thus it is estimated that GMOs are now present in more than 80 percent of packaged products in the average United States or Canadian grocery store. This means the ingredients made from them— including ingredients you read on a label in a processed food product that may have corn syrup, sugar, or vegetable oil—are also genetically modified. At this time, none of these GM products are required to be labeled as genetically engineered.


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