Which one of these four crops is NOT a GMO? The answer may surprise you--it's wheat.
There are 10 genetically modified crops available in the U.S. today--they include: alfalfa, apples, canola, corn (both field and sweet corn), cotton, papaya, potatoes, soybeans, squash and sugar beets.
GMOs are created to achieve a desired trait, such as resistance to a pest or tolerance to drought conditions. In an article on Best Food Facts, Dr. Kevin Folta, PHD--Horticulture, University of Florida, explains some of the desired traits in the following genetically modified crops.
Corn (field & sweet) The genetically modified (GM) version of field corn protects the crop against corn root worms and the Asian corn borer. Like genetically modified field corn, GM sweet corn also protects the crop against destructive pests.
Soybeans The GM soybean plant is resistant to pests and diseases as well as being tolerant of herbicides that are most effective, allowing for less herbicide use overall.
Squash GM squash has traits that improve the plant's defense against viruses.
Artic Apple Developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits of British Columbia, Canada, this new fruit was developed by turning off the enzyme in apples that cause them to brown when cut, bruised or bitten.
Innate Potato This new potato resists browning and has fewer unsightly wasteful bruises. It has been approved by the USDA for commercial planting.
Every genetically modified crop goes through extensive testing to ensure safety and has to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency prior to them being in our food.