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What are GMO foods: list of examples

Genetically modified organisms are those organisms that have some modification in their genetic material, either by inclusion of genes from other species, cutting and elimination of some genes or silencing of some sequences. These organisms are used for various purposes, such as the manufacture of vaccines, the production of antibiotics, hormones or food.

At AgroCorrn we explain in detail what transgenic foods are and we present a list of current examples , so that you are informed and can choose which foods you eat more easily.

You may also be interested in: Advantages and disadvantages of transgenic foods
  1. What are transgenic foods
  2. List of examples of transgenic foods
  3. Current production of transgenic food in the world

What are transgenic foods

Within genetically modified organisms , we speak of transgenics when they incorporate genetic material from other species, whether animal or plant, into their DNA, and if they are used for food purposes, we speak of transgenic foods . The process by which these organisms are obtained is called genetic engineering and its objective is to take the gene of interest from a plant or animal and introduce it into another animal or plant cell, all this through the application of a series of laboratory techniques.

In the past, when genetic techniques were not so advanced, selective breeding of species was used, which consisted of crossing two species with the desired trait and thus obtaining offspring with these characters. However, this was not certain, since other unwanted traits were also included in those crosses. As science advanced, genetic engineering allowed it to be done only with those genes of interest.

Through this process, improved food can be obtained , with better appearance, more nutritious, with greater resistance to pests, diseases, droughts, increased growth or more production.

List of examples of transgenic foods

Among the most common transgenic or genetically modified foods we find the following:


It is estimated that in the US, 85% of the corn grown is transgenic. The reason why this genetically modified corn is produced is because it reduces production costs and makes them more resistant to glyphosate, which is a herbicide used to kill weeds, but which can deteriorate production. From this corn, many other products are made.


One of the processes used on some dairy farms is feeding cows with bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to improve milk production. This is a recombinant hormone, which is obtained through genetic engineering. In countries of the European Union, Japan, Canada, New Zealand or Australia, this is prohibited.


Soy is one of the main foods produced by genetic engineering throughout the world, particularly in the US and Argentina. In 2010, an American company created a genetically modified soybean that is characterized by high levels of oleic acid, which helps reduce the so-called bad cholesterol.


Tomato is one of the most consumed foods in the world today in its many variants. To meet these high global demands, genetic engineering helps us to increase the production of tomatoes, which are more nutritious and more resistant to their transport and storage processes, as well as to pests.

Sugar beet

Sugar beet is another of the products with high demand worldwide, because it is important for the production of sugar. Since 2005 a genetically modified sugar beet has already been approved and it is estimated that in the US it already represents up to 50% of sugar production.

Potato or potato

Another food in high demand worldwide and that with genetic engineering, its production can be increased or made more resistant and nutritious. Therefore, it is another food to which these techniques are applied in order to feed more of the world’s population.


Since 2011, a genetically modified variety of alfalfa resistant to the herbicide Roundup has been produced, allowing farmers to spray the field with this herbicide without damaging the alfalfa production.


The bread is not modified directly, but its raw materials, such as wheat or different cereals. This is done by different companies to meet the great global demand for bread.

Pumpkin and zucchini

In the US, genetically modified varieties of zucchini and squash are produced to make them more resistant to different types of viruses, among other aspects.

Current production of transgenic food in the world

Currently, around 95% of the transgenic foods produced in the world come from five countries: Argentina, Brazil, the US, Canada and China . In Spain and other European countries there are some experimental productions, since European legislation is very restrictive in this regard.

Although the majority of transgenic foods are not produced in the EU, they are present due to the commercial relations between the different countries.

To read more articles like What are GM foods: list of examples , we recommend you enter our category of Transgenic .

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