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Popcorn is Never a GMO

At the Seeds of Doubt conference recently, Jeffery Smith, epopcornxecutive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology and GMO expert, assured us that even though almost 90% of the corn grown and eaten in this country is GMO corn, popcorn comes from a different seed and has not been genetically modified.

So, while you should assume that your Doritos brand corn chips and those sweet corn cobs on sale at the grocery store are Genetically Modified even though they are not labeled as such, you’ll never have to worry about your popcorn being GMO. Makes you feel a little bit better about ordering that large tub at the movie theater!

49 Comments on “Popcorn is Never a GMO

  1. popcorn remains unchanged genetically. So, while you should assume that your Doritos brand corn chips and those sweet corn cobs on sale at the grocery store are Genetically Modified even though they are not labeled as such, you’ll never have to worry about your popcorn being GMO.

  2. What is Non-GMO Popcorn?
    GMO means genetically modified organism, which is a novel organism created by scientists when they genetically modify or engineer food plants.

    In genetic modification (or engineering) of food plants, scientists remove one or more genes from the DNA of another organism, such as a bacterium, virus, or animal, and “recombine” them into the DNA of the plant they want to alter. By adding these new genes, genetic engineers hope the plant will express the traits associated with the genes. For example, genetic engineers have transferred genes from a bacterium known as Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt into the DNA of corn. Bt genes express a protein that kills insects, and transferring the genes allows the corn to produce its own pesticide.

  3. I have writtn my representatives about the Gmo issue and asked for it to be given attention as the US is probably the only country that does not ban it. It is hard to understand how this carcinogen is allowed to be sold to us. We used to have Ralph Nader who alerted us to dangers that existed in our foods. We also used to be able to count on the FDA but now they are all involved behind the scenes in order to line their deep pockets. Hillary Clinton pushed GMO’s through and Obama was behind the DarkAct which was passed in secret so that producers were not allowed to label the GMO products as people would not buy them.I think thst the peopke should file a lawsuit against those involved in this corruption!! Many people have not even heard of GMO’s and dont have any idea they are poisoning themselves!! It is absolutely criminal and needs to be stopped!!

    1. What carcinogen are you talking about? And what cancer does it cause? Or did you just read that on Facebook somewhere without any evidence?

  4. I was going to toss my popcorn then saw this post. BUT, before I got too excited I did try to research a bit further. Apparently, popcorn may not be GMO, but unless it is labeled ORGANIC it is on the USDA’s list of top 10 pesticide laden foods. This makes an enormous difference to me.

  5. Happy to hear that no popcorn is GMO. I contacted my source for popcorn a couple of years ago to inquire and they said it was not GMO corn. I only use coconut oil to pop our corn (in a Whirley Pop popper) and feel that it is the only snack food that I can feed my family and know that I’m not poisoning them.

    1. You mean you “use only coconut oil”.
      Everyone puts the “only” and “just” in the wrong place.

    1. I refuse to eat anything that is not certified organic or that is grown from GMO seeds. As another poster mentioned, it is possible to buy healthy (organic, non-GMO) foods for reasonable prices. Since I don’t eat meat, that saves money for me to buy plant-based foods that I know are safe and healthy. (However, one should always thoroughly wash all vegetables and fruits, even organic, to wash away possible contaminants from the soil or from harvesting.)

      I love popcorn and bought Eden brand organic corn when it was sold on When it was suddenly not available, and I couldn’t be satisfied that other brands on were organic, I searched out a wonderful organic popping corn from NOW and buy it online from at only $4.26 for 24 ounces, and there’s no minimum purchase required to get free shipping.They shipped that one bag of popcorn to me with no shipping and handling fee. You can’t beat that!

      I pop it in a stainless steel popper on my stovetop, and there’s rarely even one unpopped kernel. I use just a little organic cold-pressed coconut oil in the bottom of the popper, and add “Lite Salt” to it for reduced sodium. (Sometimes I add various herbs and spices to make it a gourmet snack.) It tastes great, contains nothing that is unhealthy and the popped corn is tender.

      WHY would I not make certain that I’m eating and serving safe, healthy popcorn if I have a choice? And I do! So do you. As consumers we have to take responsibility for seeking out safe food choices and boycotting food producers who are trying to make us sick by selling cheaply-produced garbage (I can’t call it “food”).

      Anyone whose priorities include good health won’t mindlessly buy junk from the grocery store without looking at labels. I also question the thinking of anyone who will spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on high-tech “toys”, yet balk at paying an extra dollar per pound for organic produce.

      Sorry I took off on a rant, but it’s difficult for me to stay calm about this topic. I’ve enjoyed reading these posts. I encourage everyone who wants to know the latest real (read: not-paid-for-by-Monsanto-to-skew-results) research about GMOs by independent, peer-reviewed scientists to check out the respected website Also, has a lot of valuable information for people who care about what they’re eating and feeding their families.

        1. Jaye – sorry to say but your website is BLACKLISTED and, well in Firefox’s own words:
          “The owner of has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website”

          Ahhh, 3 years ago Shat!! I gotta get with the program and catch up to you’all

          1. That error occurs when a site is trying to install https (secure websites with the little lock icon). Once they figured out how to fix the configuration, that error went away.

  6. I appreciate the info that popcorn is never GMO, but I have to educate you on the matter of movie popcorn… Movie popcorn is a terrible food because of the oils they use to make it; corn oil, canola oil, soybean oil, all of which peroxidize during the popping, creating carcinogenic toxins. There is only one safe oil for human consumption: coconut oil. Movie popcorn USED TO be made with coconut oil, which is why movie popcorn USED TO taste good. You do have to use a lower temperature, but coconut oil is the only oil that will not get rancid on the shelf, and coconut oil does NOT cause cancer or heart disease. All the other vegetable oils are inflammatory, immunosuppressive, and easily oxidized (peroxidized), leading to seriously toxic carcinogens. This is why some vegetarians, who way overdo oils such as olive oil on their greens (trying to subconsciously compensate for the lack of meat – which is another story, the vegetarians are RIGHT about not eating meat), are still unhealthy.

  7. If I buy dent corn to grind into cornmeal is it GMO free? How many pesticides are sprayed on dent corn? Versus Organic dent corn? Thanks

  8. I’ve worked in this industry for over ten years and you can never say never. I agree 100% that popcorn does not have GMO varieties and its genetics make it very difficult to accept GMO dent pollen. If you buy popcorn seed to eat, then you are in my opinion 99.9% GMO free. Popcorn is an outstanding non GMO grain choice. Another person in this thread posted a good point, on ‘other’ processing. If this popcorn is worked into other products, then your chances of eating a GMO increases. Also if this seed is processed(just cleaned,dust chaff etc., – no food product prep) near GMO dent corn you have a very slight risk of GMO cross contamination dust/chaff, but most seed is very clean and dust free – this is a very, very low risk. I like choices. I don’t see the value in Organic popcorn, but to each his own. Organic apples, yes! I think those that are against GMO have the right to be against and those that want GMO also have that right. Without genetic training, Ag, science etc., and working in the industry, it is hard to get the whole picture. In my opinion, popcorn is an outstanding non GMO option. Cheers.

  9. This is interesting if true. Dent Popcorn is unable to cross-pollinate but it is still likely sprayed with some sort of pesticide right? I would still want to choose organic popcorn to ensure that the so-called healthy snack I am feeding my kids is not riddled with cancer-causing chemical pesticides.
    Thanks for ths information. What I find really scary about all of this, is that this information is not freely available to consumers. Even though some people commenting on this thread seem to know their stuff, it is still difficult to know who to believe. If the government was transparent about it all, we wouldn’t need to speculate.

  10. Sorry, but I don’t, nor should anyone, put their trust in what someone states from what they heard, despite whom it comes from.

    If you’re looking to credible answers, you (we) should rely on accredited credible sources such at the Non-GMO project or science-based references, and cite them as such to clear the air 100%.

    While I’m sure we all can appreciate your going to the conference that J. Smith spoke at, this doesn’t give anyone the credentials to espouse that a food product does or does not come from a GMO source.

    Remember, up to 90% of corn grown in the US is GMO.

    No disrespect, but ALWAYS err on the side of caution and find USDA certified or Non-GMO Verified organic popcorn or do the research that this article ‘should’ have included in its assertion.

  11. My spouse and I stumbled over here coming from a different page and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to going over your web page again.|

  12. Also, when you’re thinking about anything processed (such as corn chips), even if the corn they use is non-gmo/organic, you have to watch for the oil, which is often canola or soy oil. I don’t trust those oils even if they’re labeled organic because 1. they are polyunsaturated, 2. They’ve been used for frying, which makes poly-u oils rancid, 3. both soy and canola were among the first ever gmo crops (in the 70s–canola isn’t a real thing–it’s a modified version of rapeseed, which was originally used as fuel), so i have the feeling they slipped under the organic label radar–maybe they haven’t been modified *since* the labeling requirements started a few years ago for organics, but who knows what happened before that? If they’d start making organic blue corn chips with avocado or coconut oil, i might start buying them. Sadly, at this point, with processed food: if it’s not one thing it’s another.

  13. Hi there. I had heard that about popcorn as well, but what I heard is that about 90% of popcorn isn’t GMO (per J. Smith) and so that makes me think it is only for now that we don’t need to be concerned about it. Did he say the 90% figure or was he making a categorical comment about all popcorn? Thanks!

    1. This is all fascinating! I’m trying to deeply research corn being GMO and am glad to hear popcorn is not. Do you know if all other varities if corn are genetically modified? Like if I were to buy organic blue corn chips or tortillas? It seems kind of difficult to find definite information!

        1. Watch the labels, folks. “100% organic” does not include GMO, but “organic” may or may not.

  14. There is also some nice US grown organic popcorn available (organic excludes GMO’s and is even more sustainable and healthy!), which we use in our product- Shawnee’s Greenthumb Popcorn – combined with spirulina, nutritional yeast and lots of other goodies- for more info!

  15. Actually, many corn farmers grow non-GMO corn, and they label it that way. There are dozens of heriloom varieties that are seriously delicious and nutricious! The Round-up Ready & and Bt field corn varieties are seriously unhealthy and are known to cause damage to red blood cells; but those kinds are only used in precessed foods; like corn syrup, starch, maltodextrin, and corn solids. When the GMO varieties crosspollinate; the next generation of corn is sterile, and therefore the heirloom lineages are not infected. There are zero GMO-varietes of popcorn available for farming.

    1. According to the French gov’t and increasingly the EU…they are siting that cross polinated fields are now gmo contaminated without any control. So whilst the plant may be sterile and not reproduce…do we understand fully the implications of food grown on now contaminated land? France went GMO free for this issue. I think the time of poopooing the ethics of profit over humans by ethics-starved corps/CEO’s and their need for a 6th holiday home may hamper ethics based reporting…or more importantly stopping a bad thing because it is bad….bet THAT guy got fired from Monsanto! Lol

  16. @ Elizabeth:

    Oriville (ConAgra) and Pop Weaver are the primary popcorn companies in the U.S. They share a universial similarity: they both process popcorn and produce their own seed from their own genetics. There are other popcorn seed companies out there that do not process but only sell seed to processors. Hope this helps.

  17. Orville is not GMO. Traits are bred the old fashioned way by cross pollination between popcorn inbreds. I agree with Brian, popcorn is dent sterile, meaning that you can plant fence row to fence row with Dent Corn.

      1. I’m pretty sure that the US is the only country currently foolish enough to allow GMO corn to be planted. You should be safe eating freshly picked corn there, but don’t trust corn-based products made in the US.

        1. Sadly no. But finally Europe is catching on after cross polination happened with gmo crops.

    1. FYI Orville popcorn has GMO residue since ConAgra Foods works with mostly GMO treated crop.

      In a nutshell, GMO = Bad (which is why most of the first world countries have a ban on it).

      ConAgra = Produces for Orville.
      ConAgra = BIG GMO user.
      Orville = GMO.

      This is extremely dumb down so the average Joe can understand.

    1. I believe you. I do not trust corn in any form unless it says non gmo and organic, and that is still questionable.

  18. Are you kidding? What research did you do to confirm that no popcorn is GMO? If you ask corn farmers, 100% of all corn is GMO, so where is the research? Since you are posting pseudo-science, let me give you a guide. See who owns the biggest popcorn producer(Orville) and see if they have any likelihood to create GMO.

    1. Jason- Yes, I was surprised, too, when I heard this assurance about popcorn from Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology during his presentation on GMOs at the Seeds of Doubt conference in Boulder last year. Since Mr. Smith has done a lot more research into GMOs than either you or I, I was inclined to believe him when he assured the audience that the seeds used for popcorn come from a different strain that is not genetically modified.

      By the way, Orville’s is a food packager, not a genetic engineering laboratory like Monsanto. They do not “create” their own corn seeds.

      Thanks for reading and contributing!

      1. I am going to say I would like to see the clip before I believe any of this. How about posting it. Also, all the stuff added is often GMO. Why don’t these companies say they are non-GMO?? I am not going to believe that until people back this up with something. AND, farmers in my province admit that some of the corn they are selling (corn on the cob for eating) is GMO.

        1. I purchased a container of Agra Foods popcorn yesterday, 11/23/13 because it was labeled “Non-GMO Corn.”
          The label is right on the front of the container, in red and plain as day.

    2. Hello. I grow popcorn on my Indiana farm. We contract acres with Weaver popcorn, and have been doing so for nearly 30 years. There are no GMO varieties of popcorn on the market at this time. I do grow Roundup Ready and Bt field corn, and I can grow it right next to my popcorn fields. Popcorn in dent sterile. This means that regular field corn cannot pollinate popcorn. Hope this helps!

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