How can you avoid genetically modified foods?
In developed countries awareness on genetically modified food is high and there are stringent laws and regulations regarding transport, packaging, labelling, etc. So my point is if you read the label carefully when you buy a food product you will be able to avoid it in US/European countries.
In 2003, Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety entered into force which is an agreement that countries must abide by while dealing with living modified organisms (LMO).
Scope of protocol says and I must quote: The protocol applies to transboundary movement, transit, handling and use of all LMOs that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health.
Three categories of LMOs are considered in the protocol:
LMOs intended to be released in environment(seeds/fishes),
LMOs to be used as food/feed/processing(agricultural produce) ,
LMOs for laboratory use.
Now comes most important issue: products derived from LMOs, such as oil or flour are exempted from the purview of Cartagena Protocol. Thus you may not know whether genetically modified crop was used to make a pack of corn tortilla. At least that is what I understand.
The scenario is very bad in developing countries where government authorities are lax, or rules are still ambiguous. Then there poor countries where GM foods are regularly dumped in the name of charity by rich nations.