There are only 10 genetically modified crops available today. They are alfalfa, apples, canola, corn (field and sweet), cotton, papaya, potatoes, soybeans, squash and sugar beets.
These crops have been genetically modified to express a positive characteristic that makes the crop easier to manage. An example of these would be improved insect resistance.
Many of these crops are then used as processed ingredients, like sugar or cornstarch. The sugar or cornstarch might then be included in food products at your local grocery store. The only way to eat a GMO directly would be if your store includes varieties of papaya, potatoes, squash, sweet corn or apples in their produce aisle.
The list below identifies the genetic traits expressed and uses of the 10 GMO crops approved in the U.S.
Although most of these GMO crops are edited for herbicide tolerance and/or insect resistance, this does not mean that the plant cells actually make herbicides or release chemicals.
Many of these crops produce a protein that is indigestible to insects. When an insect feasts on the plant, it cannot digest the protein and it dies. Humans CAN digest this protein, so the genetic mutation has zero impact to humans.