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Sep 16th
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Saying No to GMO

smithFRESH DIRT > Jeffrey Smith pushes for GMO labeling

Genetically Modified foods have been circulated within the United States since the early 1990s. The six largest Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) crops are soy, corn, canola, cotton, sugar beets, and alfalfa. Each of these crops has been genetically modified, with bacterial genes, to allow the plants to survive doses of weed killer. The second most common trait is a built-in pesticide, gained from the soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which secretes the insect killing Bt-toxin in every cell.

All of this was done in hopes of addressing the world food supply issue, yet according to writer, filmmaker, and executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, Jeffrey Smith, foods that use GMO products are hurting humanity more than helping it.

“Essentially, anywhere I go where people hear the full message about the dangers of GMOs, they are ready to change their lifelong eating habits right there on the spot,” says Smith.

Smith gave a lecture in Santa Cruz on Oct. 21 at the Louden Nelson Community Center about GMOs and their effect upon the world’s food system, humanity’s health, and the environment. The event itself was just one of four event’s about GMOs sponsored by New Leaf Community Markets.

“We are seeing now, everywhere in the country a kind of popcorn effect where people are waking up to the dangers of GMOs and getting active,” says Smith. “And we’re seeing that particularly this month, Non-GMO month, where over 100 events occurred around the country in protest against GMOs.”

Smith claims that the only way to get this message across to corporations that use GMOs in their food is by “hitting them in their pockets.” That is to say that if consumers simply stopped buying the products that use GMOs, the message will be sent and understood. Smith cites the tipping point of consumer concern that occurred in Europe in 1999 where, in one week’s time, most “major” food manufacturers committed to remove genetically modified ingredients from their products.

“I think any drop in the total U.S. market, any drop in market share whatsoever, that they can show is linked to GMO rejection would be sufficient in my opinion because GMOs offer no consumer benefit,” says Smith.

The lecture itself was characterized with cheers, laughs, and applause, and overall it was a positive audience. Smith opened the lecture by saying how “relaxed” he was feeling, and how when he is in Santa Cruz he feels “at home.” Smith also expressed just how important Santa Cruz as a city is in contributing to this consumer tipping point and to getting GMOs visually labeled in the United States so consumers can decide whether they want to buy it or not.

This is why people such as Tarah Locke, who is a member of GMO-Free Santa Cruz, are working towards getting a GMO labeling initiative on the November 2012 ballot.

“It [the initiative] is about getting GMO foods labeled in California, it does not include animals reared on GMO foods, but package foods and produce,” says Locke.  “There are 90 teams in California working towards this goal right now, and we hope to get it.”

The group will have to collect more than 500,000 signatures in order to get the initiative on the ballot. They can be found tabling at the Downtown Santa Cruz Farmers’ Market on Wednesday afternoons. The group also has a Facebook page and also lists LabelGmos.org on their flyers as a website where people can donate to the cause.


Learn more about Smith on his website, responsibletechnology.com, which contains all the information that he has written, filmed, or claimed.

 

 

 

Comments (5)Add Comment
...
written by tomcat, November 08, 2011
santa cruz is fill with the politically correct self righteous, who preach non endlessly about greed.
in this town someone owning 10 pairs of shoes and two cars is seen as the very greedy devil incarnated.
meanwhile the overfeed fat people who walk around and have the guts to talk about greed (specially white women )get overlooked by all.
for your knowledge greed also came in the shape of gluttony when someone eats more food than they should is as bad as someone who own 10 pair of beautiful shoes.
so before you unleash your self righteousness think about how much food you consume and your own greed.
just because you aren't big into material stuff doesn't make a saint if you eat the same amount of food that should be consume by four people.
multiply that at least three times a day everyday for a year and you'll see what I am talking about.
gluttony is also a branch of greed.
...
written by Whitey Joe Young, October 25, 2011
Consumers should have a choice. Labeling products truthfully is an important first step. It's too bad that the same people who think anti-GMO aren't also campaigning against the most colossal of all ripoffs: Homeopathy. It would be illegal except for an exemption from the Pure Food and Drug act engineered by a quack enthusiast in Congress many years ago.

It is not only a ripoff, but dangerously misleads people into thinking their health needs are being met when in fact they're just drinking water; nothing more, nothing less. The same goes for the most part with acupuncture. You'll get a placebo effect but that's about all.
...
written by Tarah Lynn Locke, October 24, 2011
Thanks Alejandro for writing this article!
I want to invite everyone who wants to join us to go to www.facebook.com/NonGmoSantaCruz
and come to our next meeting Oct 30th (this Sunday) 4-5pm Westside New Leaf.
Here are reasons to help get GMOs labeled:

1. GMOs have not been exhaustively studied or proven safe, they contaminate an estimated 70% of the food supply; and since they are unlabeled there is no way to track negative health effects. The few studies that have been done have demonstrated system-wide damage to lab animals fed GMOs, with many of the negative effects appearing after just 10 days. Damages include: immune system impairment, abnormal cell growth, measurable changes in brain, liver, testicles, intestines, and pancreas. Longer term feeding studies found infertility, stunted growth, and high infant mortality in lab animals.
2. Labeling of GMO foods will allow the informed consumer to avoid those foods if they choose to do so. Without labeling there is no way to opt out of what is essentially a large scale feeding experiment on US citizens. By labeling GMOs, consumers will be able to vote with their wallets. No matter your belief, whether pro or anti GMO, we should all be able to agree on labeling.
3. The EU and many other countries require labeling of GMO foods. Due to consumer rejection of these foods, about 5% of the food sold in the EU is GMO. Why should we be denied the same level of knowledge that our European counterparts have access to. Aren’t we supposed to be the free-est country in the world?
4. State ballot initiatives offer a powerful and deceptively simple response to the problem of corporate power. The California 2012 Mandatory GMO Labeling Initiative is how we WILL make GMO labeling a reality. California represents 10% of the nation, and other states follow us. We are at the crest of a wave—let’s ride it!
...
written by vlbagainstgmos!, October 24, 2011
I say "kudos" to New Leaf for being SO supportive of this movement and taking it upon themselves to label their shelves "non-GMO" for the ease of their shoppers. This whole thing is a process and I for one, DO appreciate New Leaf and their activism against GMOs. I do believe it is only a matter of time before they carry 99% GMO-free products! THANK YOU NEW LEAF...

Signed - a member of GMO-Free Santa Cruz
...
written by nichole, October 24, 2011
I appreciate New Leaf sponsoring this event, BUT maybe they should STOP selling so many products that contain GMO ingredients in their store.

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