The you tube video that I have linked below gives easy to understand examples of GMOs. One example that is used in the video is how scientists genetically modified a tomato with an Arctic flounder to create a tomato that is frost resistant.
GMOs are in 70% of processed foods and in tons of other foods that are in your grocery store. The scary thing is by law companies do not have to label their products as containing GMOs. When you purchase meat, that animal was most likely given a feed diet which is very high in corn. That corn is 75% likely to be genetically modified. The same thing with milk, genetically modified feed plus the dairy cows get extra doses of genetically modified hormones.
Soybeans are a big staple in some people's lives who choose not to eat animal products and they are one of the most genetically modified plants. This is were checking your labels becomes important. If a product contains no genetically modified ingredients it will say so on the label: NO GMOs. Also if the product is organic it will not contain any GMOs.
The non-GMO project puts out a shopping guide that lists ingredients in our foods that are genetically modified. This is what the guide says about sugar: If a non-organic product made in North America lists "sugar" as an ingredient (and NOT pure cane sugar), then it is almost certainly a combination of sugar from both sugar cane and GM sugar beets.
Some other GM ingredients from their long list:
baking powder, condensed milk, corn syrup, gluten, soy milk. tempeh, starch, vitamins B12 & E
"The American Academy of Environmental Medicine reported that "Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food", including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system."(2)
What we can do as consumers is check our labels, buy organic when possible and let the people in charge know that as a consumer you want GMOs labeled on foods. Another important thing as a consumer is to educate yourself and others on these matters.
Some great articles that I highly recommend checking out are:
*Organic Valleys article "GMO? Just say no: A precautionary tale
*The non-GMO shopping guide
*You tube video mentioned above
*Food Inc. - Great Documentary that I highly recommend
(1) "Taste for life Balanced Health" Oct. 2010 pg. 7
(2) non-gmo shopping tips from the non-gmo shopping guide
from heydesigns blog post- http://heyavocado.blogspot.com/