7 everyday items that wouldn't exist as we know them without GMOs

GMOs as we know them today have only been around for a few decades.

But in that time, we’ve taken to using them almost everywhere. Today, GMOs can be found in everything from the cotton in our T-shirts to the soda we sip at the movies.

Here are all the things that likely wouldn’t look anything like they do today without some type of genetic modifications:

In the 1990s, papayas in Hawaii faced extinction without help from GMO technology.

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Papayas in Hawaii were facing destruction from the Ringspot virus, a disease transmitted to the fruit by insects. To fix the problem, scientists added a harmless gene from the virus into the papaya's DNA, giving papayas immunity to the virus. Today, most papayas are produced in Hawaii, though some come from Texas, California, and Florida as well.

Roughly 77% of papayas made in Hawaii are GMO.

The USDA approved GM sugar beets in 2005.

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Most of the sugar we eat comes from one of two sources: sugar cane or sugar beets. The beet plants are resistant to RoundUp. It's key weed-killing ingredent is glyphosate.

Approximately 95% of US sugar beet crops were GMO as of 2010; this accounts for roughly 52% of all the sugar made in the US.

Shortly after its approval, officials predicted that about 50% of alfalfa made in the US will be genetically modified, according to the Wall Street Journal.


Unless you're really into alfalfa sprouts, you're not going to run into much genetically mofidied alfalfa during the course of your day. But it is used to feed livestock, like these cows chowing down on a mix of alfalfa and hay.

Alfalfa, like many other crops, was genetically engineered to resist glyphosate, which is a chemical used to kill weeds, and got FDA approval in 2011.

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