High Risk Category: Crops

Zucchini & Yellow Squash

Green zucchini and yellow summer squash are the same species, Cucurbita pepo. There are two genetically modified varieties that are resistant to certain viruses that affect squash[note]Komata, Jamie, Michael Melzer, and Scot Nelson. "Zucchini Yellow Mosaic."Westcott's Plant Disease Handbook (2008): 680. College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. University of Hawaii at Manoa, Aug. 2014. Web.[/note]. Genetically modified squash can be grown only in the United States, but it can be sold ... Read more

Sugar Beets

Half of the sugar produced in the United States is derived from sugar beet, a yellowish-white root crop related to red table beets and chard[note]"Information for Consumers." Sugar Industry Biotech Council Information for Consumers Comments. Sugar Industry Biotech Council, n.d. Web.[/note]. Sugar beets are generally grown in cooler, temperate climates. On average, sugar beets have a higher sugar content (16%) than sugar cane (13%), though growing conditions can affect the sugar content of both c... Read more


Soybean, also called soya bean, is the number one genetically modified crop in the world, representing half of all worldwide biotech crop acreage with an 82% adoption rate among soy farmers[note]James, Clive. 2014. Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2014. ISAAA Brief  No. 49. ISAAA: Ithaca, NY. 72. Print.[/note][note]"Biotech Crop Annual Update: Soybean." (n.d.): n. pag. International Service for the Acquisition Of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA). Web.[/note]. Due to its high ... Read more


Papaya is native to Central America and was the first genetically modified fruit to be grown in commercial production. The genetically modified varieties, known as Rainbow and SunUp or Sunrise, were developed in Hawaii to resist the papaya ringspot virus. In 2014, Hawaiian farmers harvested more than 23 million pounds of papaya and nearly all of that was sold as fresh fruit[note]"2014 STATE AGRICULTURE OVERVIEW." USDA/NASS 2014 State Agriculture Overview for Hawaii. United States Department of A... Read more


Cotton is the primary crop for producing textiles around the world. As such, it was targeted early on by biotech companies and there are now 56 events (types) of genetically modified cotton, the second most behind corn (maize)[note] "GM Approval Database: Cotton." GM Approval Database. International Service for the Acquisition Of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), n.d. Web.[/note]. Though cotton fiber is not common in consumer packaged goods, cottonseed oil is becoming more so as prices drop. ... Read more


Corn, also called maize, is native to Mexico and has become one of the most widely grown crops in the world. There are 142 different events (types) of genetically modified corn, the most of any plant species. Almost 90% of the corn grown in the United States goes into animal feed and biofuels, while the remainder is processed down into various ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup and corn starch, or used as the source material to make ingredients such as alcohol and citric acid.[note]... Read more


Canola was developed in the 1970s through conventional breeding of the rapeseed plant. Genetically modified versions of canola became available in the late 1990s. The plant is primarily insect pollinated, though canola pollen can travel great distances by wind. Canola seed contains about 45% oil content and that is the primary market for canola growers[note]"Seed, Meal and Oil." Canola. U.S. Canola Association, n.d. Web. [/note]. Once the oil is pressed from the seed, the remaining canola me... Read more


Alfalfa is a legume grown primarily for animal feed in the domestic market[note] Putnam, Daniel H., Bill Matthews, and Daniel A. Summer. "Alfalfa and Grass Hay Exports Decline after Seven Years of Dramatic Growth." Alfalfa and Forage News. University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 28 Apr. 2015. Web. [/note]. Since alfalfa requires bees for pollination, there is concern about the effect that genetically modified varieties will have on insect populations that are alr... Read more