Posted Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 10:23 AM
Here's a great shopping guide: http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/SG/Home/index.cfm
Article for more info: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-grayson/eco-etiquette-how-can-i-a_b_421183.html
Corn and soy are the two most commonly genetically modified crops in the US (95%). To avoid them, always choose organic. The USDA organic certification regulations do not allow GMO seeds.
What GMO means in practice varies. If you have seen Food, Inc. there's a whole section explaining how M0ns@nto has genetically modified these crops to be resistant to the pesticide Round-Up (which they make). That means GMO soy and corn is loaded with that pesticide, by design.
In other cases, GMO can mean inserting genes from other plants or even animals (!) to give new strains of a crop plant new characteristics. I read one story about fish genes being engineered into tomatoes. Truly weird stuff.
The currrent USDA and FDA regulations do not require GMO labeling. But you will see lots of labeling saying "no GMO" or "USDA organic." Choose those things (whole produce, but also processed products, if you eat them) to avoid genetically modified organisms.