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When were GMOs first introduced to the food supply?

Submitted by: corncake21


Expert response from Community Manager

Moderator for

Tuesday, 12/07/2016 15:20

While nearly all foods today have been genetically modified or altered in some way over thousands of years through selective breeding, there are only nine commercially available GMO crops in the U.S: soybeans, corn (field and sweet), canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets, summer squash, papaya and potatoes.

GMO apples have also been approved to be grown and will be coming to market soon. The chart below explains why each of the nine GMO crops – which are commercially available today – are genetically modified:

When were GMOs first introduced to the food supply?

Below is a table outlining what year the nine crops became commercially available:

Squash 1995

Cotton 1996

Soybean 1995

Corn 1996

Papaya 1997

Alfalfa 2006

Sugar beets 2006

Canola 1999

Potato 2016


These nine are the only GMO crops that are commercially available, but it is also important to note that many of these crops are ingredients in other types of food you may find in your local grocery store.