May 302013

Anna Maria Tremonti interviewed an entomologist who explained the mechanics by which the insectides engineered into GMO plants (food grains) kill the insect pest.  2013-05-29  Rootworms and the Future of Genetically Modified Farming.  Anna Maria Tremonti, CBC Radio, The Current.

In eating the plant (corn, for example), the larvae ingests the built-in insectide which then kills the insect from inside;  the plant being eaten (the root of the corn plant in this example) makes holes in the digestive system of the larvae.

Independent of the entomologist, Dr. Elaine Ingham explains “the how” of GMO plants  ( 2013-05-19  Getting to the Root of how GMO Plants harm food production and Your Health):

. . . There’s very clear evidence of harm in animals that consume Bt plant material.  They end up with severe ulceration, starting in the digestive system. . ..” 

Dr. Ingham is saying what the entomologist said.

I recall listening to a video-taped interview with a farmer.  His livestock herd was decimated.  He figured out it was the GMO corn he was feeding to them – – same story as the entomologist and Dr. Ingham.  (The link is on this blog somewhere – I’ll try to find it.)

Why do we think that GMO ingredients will be health-giving to human beings?  when we know they kill other organisms?

If the average American eats 25 pounds of GMO corn a year (see below), I wonder if that’s enough to affect the internal workings of a human being?

The industry, its credentialing agency (the University) and the Governments deny that GMO foods have adverse health effects, in spite of research that says otherwise.

I think the gig is up.



Boycott food with GMO content, yes.

But you will simultaneously be eating food that provides your body with nutrients, instead of food that eats you!  (assuming that if GMO food eats holes in the inside of the larvae, it will do something similar to you, in sufficient quantity, and especially if your immune system is dealing with numerous toxins.)

The creators of the list of food producers to avoid (scroll down to the bottom of this posting) don’t explain how the list was compiled.  But I think you can figure it out:  the list is obviously of food producers that buy large volumes of GMO ingredients.   So,

  1. what are the largest volume GMO crops?
  2. what foodstuffs are made with those grains?

You know that large corporate producers of those foodstuffs will be using GMO ingredients.

People who live in North America would not know that those foodstuffs contain GMO ingredients, simply because GM food is not required to be labelled in Canada or in the USA.   (Labelling IS required in Europe.)

To answer question #1 (the largest volume GMO crops?), I found U.S. information easily.  It is useable for our purposes (Canadian) – most of these store-bought foods are imported into Canada.

When you look at the foods that contain GMO ingredients (question #2, what foodstuffs are made with those grains?), it is easy to see that yes, the list of food producers to boycott makes sense.



Two sources combined:

yield these results:


Corn is the No. 1 crop grown in the U.S. and nearly all of it — 88 percent — is genetically modified. In addition to being added to innumerable processed foods, genetically modified corn is a staple of animal feed.

The National Corn Growers Association reports that each  American consumes 25 pounds of corn annually. The crop is fed as ground grain,  silage, high-moisture, and high-oil corn. About 12% of the U.S. corn crop ends  up in foods that are either consumed directly (e.g. corn chips) or indirectly  (e.g. high fructose corn syrup).


93 percent of soy is genetically modified. Soy is a staple of processed foods under various names including hydrogenated oils, lecithin, emulsifiers, tocopherol (a vitamin E supplement), and proteins.

Soybeans rank second, after corn,  among the most-planted field crops in the U.S. Over 279,110 (2007 Census of Agriculture) farms in the U.S. produce soybeans  making the U.S. the largest producer and exporter of soybeans, accounting for  over 50% of the world’s soybean production and $3-4 billion in soybean and  product exports in the late 2000s. Soybeans represent 50 percent of world  oilseed production.

Soybeans are used to create a variety of products,  the most basic of which are soybean oil, meal, and hulls. According to the  United Soybean Board, soybean oil, used in both food manufacturing and frying  and sautéing, is the number one edible oil in the U.S.  Currently, soybean oil represents  approximately 65 percent of all edible oil consumed in the United States, down  from about 79 percent in 2000 due to controversy over trans-fat.


NOTE:  The list of foods that contain soy at the link above and

the list of foods that contain canola oil (below)

have both been constructed for people

who have severe allergies to soy / canola.

Which is interpreted:  they are allergic  to GMO soy and GMO canola because that’s what it is.

Makes you wonder how many people are not well, maybe because they don’t know they are allergic to these ingredients in their food.  They might also be allergic to GMO corn.

The over-arching statement might be:  GMO food makes people sick.


  • Are people “allergic to” canola and soy (see below)  – – which implies that THEY have a problem   OR
  • Do GMO canola and GMO soy (and GMO corn?) make people sick? – – that is, the problem is THE FOOD, not the people.

But back to the point:



About 90 percent of the U.S. canola crop is genetically modified. Canola oil is used in cooking, as well as biofuels.

Canola oil is used in the fast food industry for deep frying (MacDonald’s, etc.)




(In my books, “allergic to” means that the food makes them sick. )

Some foods almost always contain canola oil, and some foods seem like they wouldn’t have any oil at all, yet contain canola. For example:

  • Peanut butter. Unless it’s “natural,” it will almost always contain canola oil (usually labeled as “rapeseed oil”). Some safe brands: Adam’s, Laura Scudder’s, Safeway’s O Organics, and Skippy Natural.
  • Frozen French fries/tater tots/onion rings . Everything that falls near the “frozen potato” category almost always contains canola. Ore-Ida onion rings, however, are safe, and all frozen potato products from the 365 Everyday Value brand at Whole Foods are also canola-free.
  • Salad Dressing. I would estimate that 50-75% of all salad dressings on the market contain canola oil. Just a guess, but it is awfully common in salad dressings. Even the fat free ones. Some safe brands: We recommend that you start your label reading at either Kraft or the Safeway store brand, or just make your own salad dressing. Those are the two that rarely use canola. Everyone else is even more of a gamble.
  • Salsa. Salsa is one of those that shouldn’t have any oil, one would think, but make sure you read the labels, because a couple of brands do actually contain canola oil.
  • Chocolate syrup. Seriously, some syrup brands contain “vegetable oil.” Be careful.
  • Rye bread. I don’t know why almost every brand of rye bread in the world is made with canola oil, but it’s really hard to find one that isn’t.
  • Citrus-flavored soda. “Bromiated vegetable oil.” Beware the Dew. And many other sodas that have a citrus flavor.
  • Oreos. Here’s an interesting one: if the Oreos are chocolate coated, or white fudge coated, or basically dipped in anything, they do not contain canola oil. All other Oreo varieties have canola. And while we’re at it, remember to stay away from all things Nutter Butter.
  • Pretzels. I don’t know why so many hard pretzel brands contain canola, but they do. Read labels carefully.
  • Mayonnaise. “Canola mayo” is the hot new trend in mayonnaise. I would guess that half of the brands of mayo out there use canola. Best Foods and Kraft don’t use canola.
  • Bread and butter pickles. We’ve never encountered a dill pickle that had canola, but sometimes the bread and butter pickles do. Watch out.
  • Mustard. Very, very, very rare to see one with canola oil, but it does happen. I think I’ve seen more salsas that contained oil than I have mustards, but read the labels, just in case.
  • Birdseed. If you have birds, read the labels for their food very carefully, as some of them contain “rapeseed,” and the rapeseed can get all over your house and in the air. As a general rule: don’t buy birdseed at a grocery store. Go to Petsmart for the least chance of rapeseed, and Petco for another low chance.
  • Granola bars/cereal bars, etc: It’s hard to find these without canola/rapeseed, etc. Quaker 90 calorie chewy chocolate chunk granola bars are safe, as are Zone Perfect fudge graham bars, 100 calorie Chips Ahoy bars, and Odwalla Super Protein bars. There are probably other safe ones, but reading all of the labels gets a little tiring, so those are the few that we currently stick to.
  • Cereal: Another product that’s very hit-or-miss. Probably a solid 75% of all cereals out there have canola/rapeseed, etc. If you’ve known about this allergy for any length of time, you’ve probably already said goodbye to Honey Bunches of Oats. As to other cereals, though: if a generic one that you like has canola, try the name brand, and if the name brand has canola, try the generic. They rarely both do. If you’re in a situation such as a hotel breakfast bar, however, where you can’t read labels, just stick to fruit.
  • Vegetarian foods: Thank you to Alison for pointing out that most, if not all Amy’s frozen foods are canola-free. Of course, Morning Star is usually chock-full of canola, though Alison points out that the Chik-n nuggets are not. She also says that most Cedar Lane products have canola, but the quesadillas do not. Boca’s a better bet than Morning Star for most meatless things, as Morning Star has canola in probably 90% of their foods, while I’d guess Boca is closer to two-thirds or so.
  • Chips/crackers: A lot of these have canola. The best way to know which ones is simply to read the labels. Kettle Chips are generally okay, as are many, if not most Lay’s. Most Cheez-its contain canola except usually the child-oriented ones, such as Spongebob-shaped cheez-its, possibly because they have stricter ingredient standards for food marketed to children. In these sorts of foods, there are usually huge variations in ingredients within the same brand, in their different varities – one flavor of a brand of cracker will have canola, but a different flavor of the same brand won’t. So you have situations where some Wheat Thins are okay, while others aren’t, and you simply have to read the labels. And also, saltines can be surprisingly difficult to find without canola.
  • Bread: I would say that most bread you buy in a store will not have canola, provided that it is not rye bread, which strangely almost always has canola. That is not to say that no other bread will have canola, though. It does happen, and you need to read labels. One brand that has been consistenly safe for years now is Sara Lee. I don’t know that I’ve ever come across a loaf of Sara Lee that had canola. If I’m in a hurry at the store, that’s where I begin my label-reading, and it always works out. King’s Hawaiian, Milton’s, and Wonder Bread are usually pretty safe, too.
  • Pizza: When it comes to frozen pizza, I know that Red Baron varieties almost never, if not never ever, contain canola. And honestly, I can’t tell you much about the others, because frozen pizza isn’t exactly a meal that you buy when you’re in the mood to sit around and read a bunch of packages. We head straight to the Red Baron, find something, and skedaddle. We’ve glanced at Totino’s and CPK long enough to know that you have to read through those brands pretty carefully. Safeway’s O Organics line also seems to be canola-free. And, as long as we’re on the topic of pizza, ordering a pizza is usually pretty dangerous. Canola is often in the crust. If it’s not from a chain that specifically names their ingredients, it’s probably best to avoid the pizza. Stick to the big names.
  • Tortillas: Thank you so much to Alison for pointing out tortillas as another tricky food! I do need to thank her for pointing out all of these new foods, in fact, but tortillas are one I find especially aggravating, and I can’t believe I forgot about them, with as much as I complain about them! The only advice I have here is to read every label, every time.
  • Bakery foods: My advice on this is to avoid the bakery section in the grocery store. Everything from cookies to baguettes are likely to contain canola, and I’m pretty sure that the tastier something looks, the more canola it will contain.
  • Margarine: Blue Bonnet and Imperial 1/3 Less Fat are two that we know to be safe.
  • Lunch meat: It’s relatively rare for lunch meat to contain canola, in the sense that it happens much less frequently than it does in, say, peanut butter, but more often than it does in mustard or salsa. And of course the one time you don’t read labels will be the time it happens to you, so be careful!
  • Diet / nutritional shakes / bars: Read labels carefully. Almost every single one of these contains canola oil.
  • Garlic salt: Why, I don’t know, but it’s very difficult to find garlic salt that is canola-free.
  • Movie theater food: Just avoid it. Especially the popcorn. Reactions have been known to happen just by walking past the concession stand.



More than half — 54 percent — of sugar sold in America comes from sugar beets. Genetically modified sugar beets account for 90 percent of the crop; however, that percentage is expected to increase after a USDA’s decision last year gave the green light to sugar beet planting before an environmental impact statement was completed.




In light of the recent public anger over the Monsanto Protection Act, here’s a simple, printable lis…

(Or, on facebook):   Printable List of Monsanto Owned “Food” Producers



  2 Responses to “A closer look at GMO ingredients in store-bought food”

  1. Hi Sandra,
    Thank you for your e-mail. I just wanted to print the printable list of Monsanto Owned “Food” Producers but I am not in Facebook.
    Is there another site I could get this list from?
    I appreciate your help.
    Love & Light,

  2. Hi Birgit,

    Click on this, you should be able to print off from here. And thanks – I’ll change the posting to include this. Take care!


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