How many genetically engineered superfoods are there

Which foods can contain genetic engineering?

German consumers view foods modified by genetic engineering largely with skepticism. Not least because of this, there are currently no directly genetically modified foods such as fruit, vegetables or animal products in this country. In the trade there are neither pure so-called “GM vegetables” or “GM meat”, nor are transgenic maize, soy or rapeseed grown on a large scale for food production. If genetically modified food finds its way into meat or dairy products via animal feed, this is not subject to labeling under EU law. Such a dissemination of genetic engineering via detours can, however, be avoided by gradually switching to domestic feed and to certified, more responsible and GM-free soy.

Imported foods such as chocolate, soft drinks or barbecue sauces from the USA as well as soy and spicy sauces from Asian countries can contain ingredients from genetically modified plants. This is because genetically modified soybeans are already being grown on a large scale in the fields in the USA, Argentina and Brazil. When buying imported food you should therefore pay attention to the small print: The German list of ingredients for such products must contain a note such as “made from genetically modified soy [corn, sugar, etc.]”. However, due to the low level of acceptance, such products are almost impossible to find on the German market.

Since 2004, products with genetic engineering content over 0.9 percent have to be labeled accordingly in Germany according to EU law. As a consumer, you must be able to identify foods that are made directly from genetically modified ingredients such as soy or corn after looking at the list of ingredients. The labeling requirement applies to packaged and unpackaged food, as well as products that are offered in canteens and restaurants.

However, the EU law contains a loophole: products that come from animals that are not genetically modified themselves, but have been fed with genetically modified plants, do not yet have to be labeled. Consumers may ignorantly ingest milk or meat from animals that have eaten genetically modified soybeans. Additives that have been produced with the help of genetically modified bacteria are also exempt from the labeling requirement.

Since 2008 there has been a new German "Ohne Gentechnik" ordinance and since 2009 a uniform seal has been used to mark products that are neither manufactured nor used in animal feed. More and more food producers and retailers are using this seal, but because the labeling is voluntary, not all of them are by any means.