In the United States, genetically modified crops have become very widespread.
More than 93 percent of the corn and soy planted in the United States is genetically modified in some way. Most of that ends up as animal feed, ethanol, or corn syrup — and corn syrup gets into lots of foods. Cotton, sugar beets, and canola are also common genetically modified crops. Roughly 60 to 70 percent of processed foods in grocery stores contain at least some genetically modified ingredients.
Animals are a slightly different story. There are currently no genetically modified animals that have been approved for use as food in the United States, although there’s a type of GM salmon that’s currently awaiting regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Companies have also used genetic engineering to create certain enzymes and hormones for cheese and milkproduction.
Around the world, the vast majority of GM crops are grown in just five countries: the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and India. In 2013, more than 12 percent of global farmland (175 million hectares) was given over to GM crops, although growth appears to be slowing:
Here’s a full list of the countries that are planting genetically modified crops around the world.