This is a rather large topic or area of discussion that can be complicated to understand in some respects. However, I wanted to bring the issue to light and to inform consumers a little bit more about what a genetically modified food is and how it affects the body.
Genetically modified food refers to food that has been obtained from genetically modified organisms. In other words, genetic engineering is when genes from other organisms have been modified in the laboratory (mutation breeding). For instance, a Promoter (an area of DNA that “turns on” a transcription of a certain gene) is forced into the DNA of a plant. This insertion into the plant, (through a gene gun or other ways) leads to mutations and damage to the DNA of the plant. Because of these changes in the plant, different toxins, carcinogens, or other allergens can form in the plant, as well as other unknown effects that may take place. To think of this food wise, tomatoes have been genetically engineered so that a certain enzyme in the tomato plant will be suppressed resulting in a tomato that will not soften so soon after harvesting. This is just one example of a genetically modified food. There are many other foods including corn, cottonseed oil, rapeseed oil (also known as canola oil), potatoes, sugar cane, sugar beets, rice, potatoes, Hawaiian papaya, and soy, which have been altered in some way with new genes being added to the plant.
It is not required to label Genetically Modified Foods! It is up to us to be proactive consumers to make sure we are buying quality food grown from the earth and not a laboratory. Wheat, soybeans, corn, and canola oil are some of the highest genetically modified foods on the market. It is best to purchase these ingredients organic, which contain no GM organisms, as well as do not contain any pesticides, herbicides, or any growth hormones. Also, be sure to read ingredient labels and avoid derivatives of corn and soy (ex. high fructose corn syrup, malt, dextrin, food starch, soy protein isolate, & textured vegetable protein).
Here are some websites if you would like to read more about GM foods.