The emergence of high-throughput, massive or next-generation sequencing technologies has created a completely new foundation for molecular analyses. Various selective enrichment processes are commonly applied to facilitate detection of predefined (known) targets. Such approaches, however, inevitably introduce a bias and are prone to miss unknown targets. Here we review the application of high-throughput sequencing technologies and the preparation of fit-for-purpose whole genome shotgun sequencing libraries for the detection and characterization of genetically modified and derived products. The potential impact of these new sequencing technologies for the characterization, breeding selection, risk assessment, and traceability of genetically modified organisms and genetically modified products is yet to be fully acknowledged. The published literature is reviewed, and the prospects for future developments and use of the new sequencing technologies for these purposes are discussed.