Jeffrey Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology, is leading the movement to eliminate genetically modified foods in the United States.
Here, Smith offers an update on this important mission to protect your health, and that of your children and grand-children.
Video Transcript [PDF]
Dr. Mercola's Comments
Together we CAN get GMOs banned from the US. Europe was able to do it over a decade ago without any government assistance. All they did was educate the consumers, and that was enough pressure on the food industry to drop their ploys.
If we band together as an effective army we will be able to do this. Please understand that the VAST majority of people in the US do not want GM foods, so this is an EASY battle to win. All we have to do is a bit of organizational work.
So let me tell you how we are going to achieve the removal of GMOs in the US.
October is Non-GMO Month, and you've been receiving a lot of important information about genetically engineered foods this week.
October 10th (10/10/10) is Non-GMO Day, so I'm pleased to bring back Jeffrey Smith, the real leader behind this movement to eliminate GM foods from the US market, for another interview.
This month, Jeffrey's organization, Institute for Responsible Technology, is launching a plan to bring their message to the necessary numbers of people to create a tipping point that can effectively drive GM foods off the market. Nearly 400 retail stores selling natural products around the country are already actively promoting the information about choosing healthier non-GMO products.
I'm thrilled to be part of this movement, and I strongly urge you join us.
The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) has created a variety of tools that will make it easier for you to choose non-GM foods, and this is the way to eradicate GMO's from your local store. If no one wants to buy them, stores can't sell them, and will simply stop ordering them. Food manufacturers will have to adjust and quickly change their ingredients or risk losing their business.
It's really that simple!
Remember, you as a consumer is still at the top of the food chain.
The Tipping Point is Near - The Time to Join is NOW!
In this interview, Jeffrey shares some of the history of his organization and what they've gone through over the last 15 years to get to this point, and why it's so important that we all act now.
"In [the beginning of] 1999, the biotech industry... was still anticipating that they could replace 95 percent of all commercial seeds with genetically engineered seeds within five years... But a single high profile GMO food safety scandal erupted in middle of February 1999.How many Americans do we need to convince to avoid eating genetically modified foods to achieve the same victory in the US?
Dr. Arpad Pusztai... has been gagged and told that if he talked about what he knew, he would be sued. Well, by an order of parliament, his gag order was lifted and he could finally talk about how he discovered that genetically engineered foods were inherently unsafe and could create all sorts of damage - just from the process itself, irrespective of what gene you put in.
Seven hundred and fifty articles were written within a month, and within 10 weeks virtually every major food company committed to stop using GM ingredients in Europe because it had become a marketing liability.
They weren't instructed to do that by the government. They were instructed to do that by consumers at the top of the food chain."
We believe it's only about FIVE PERCENT of US shoppers!
So, changing the shopping habits of about 5.6 million households may be sufficient to eliminate GMOs in the US.
That is our goal!
We already have these numbers on our side. About 28 million Americans buy organic on a regular basis. Eighty-seven million Americans think GMOs are seriously unsafe. A hundred and fifty nine million Americans, the majority, say they would avoid GMOs if labeled!
Unfortunately, no labeling is required, making your commitment to avoid GM foods all that more complicated. But that's where we come in.
How You Can Help Others to Avoid GMO Foods
Most people want to avoid GMO foods but it is virtually impossible to do so, since the government prevents GMO labeling.
However, Jeffery Smith has compiled a resource for you to avoid the government block of information. It is the free Non-GMO Shopping Guide. We realize that with the challenging economy it is very difficult for many to donate money to help this cause, so we are merely asking for your time and connections with your family and friends.
You can really help by making this message go viral. So if you are convinced that GMO foods should not be in the US, please send this information to everyone you know; post it on Facebook and Twitter...
You can also print out the Non-GMO Shopping Guide and give it to your friends and family.
If you feel more ambitious you can also order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure in bulk, and bring them to the grocery stores in your area. Talk to the owner or manager and get permission to post them in their store.
Who Will You Share this Information With?
We have the tools right now to make a national movement quicker and more complete than any time in history. One important part of this message is that buying organic whenever you can is not enough to actually ban GM foods...
Instead, what is needed is the consensus that "I buy organic whenever I can, but if I don't buy organic, I buy non-GMO."
Remember, this also includes dairy from cows treated with rBGH, as it is a genetically engineered growth hormone, and the artificial sweetener aspartame, which is derived from GM microorganisms.
If those of you who already buy organic whenever possible also always avoid GM foods when you can't get organic, then we can reach the tipping point.
You can help nurture this consumer mindset by bringing information to your local natural food store owner, so that she can share it will all of her customers as well. IRT has created a complete Retailer Campaign Kit for this purpose.
You can also share information with your child's school, your health care providers, and food manufacturers. The IRT has created information kits for all of them, available here:
- Heath care provider kit
- Parents and Schools educational material
- Manufacturers information kit
You may even want to share this information with your church or religious leaders. As Jeffrey says,
"There are certain religious groups that think the genetic engineering process itself violates God's laws. So 'GMO' for them really means, 'God Move Over' and not 'Genetically Modified Organism.'"
The Non-GMO Project
"Now the good thing about the natural products industry today is the Non-GMO Project movement," Jeffrey says. "A couple of years ago, the leaders of the natural food industry got together and backed a new standard for making non-GMO claims, and they called it the Non-GMO Project.
Now there are thousands of products enrolled in the Non-GMO Project, and you're going to start to see a little seal on packages, just like the organic seal.
You're also going to see something called Non-GMO Project Verified, meaning that the claim that something is non-GMO is now backed by a third party verified system.
In the past, if an owner of a natural products store had a lot of things that contained GMOs and a lot of things that didn't, they may be quite hesitant to start ringing the bell that GMOs were unhealthy. But now stores are becoming populated more and more and in some cases, completely, with products that are non-GMO verified.
Now you have store owners and managers and staff who are happy to shout from the rafters, our products are non-GMO and here is why."
For example, Whole Foods has now entered all of their store brand labels, the 365 brand and anything else that has the Whole Foods name, into the Non-GMO Project. They are also participating in non-GMO month. They've taken a strong leadership position to try and push the non-GMO message.
Must-See Movies to Share!
The IRT has created a film called Hidden Dangers in Kid's Meals, which is a powerful way for parents to get an initiation into the health dangers. It's only 28 minutes long, which is ideal for local access TV.
You can simply bring the film to your local access TV station, and sometimes they'll play it 10, 20, or even 30 times because they're always looking for material and are open to support from the community.
There's also a video called Your Milk on Drugs - Just Say No!, which exposes the dangers of GM bovine growth hormones. Any parent still feeding their child milk from cows injected with rBGH needs to see this film! They'll never make the same mistake again...
Another powerful video you can share with your friends and family is Jeffrey's Everything You Have to Know About Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods lecture.
Your Action Plan
I've already mentioned a number of different ways for you to get actively involved during Non-GMO Month. To recap, and add a few more suggestions, here is a list of Action Item for you to pick and choose from:
- Distribute WIDELY the Non-GMO Shopping Guide to help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Remember to look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content.
- Download the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure and keep it with you whenever you shop, or download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications. You can also order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure in bulk and give it to your family and friends.
- Urge food manufacturers to join the Non-GMO Project and become Non-GMO Project Verified. This is currently the only way for manufacturers to get around the fact that there's no GM-labeling system.
- Urge your local food retailers to join the Non-GMO Project's Supporting Retailer Program.
- If your budget allows support this urgent mission by generously donating to the Institute of Responsible Technology.
- Bring the film Hidden Dangers in Kid's Meals to your local access TV station, or perhaps your child's school, along with some educational material specifically designed for teachers and educators.
- Share Your Milk on Drugs - Just Say No!, and Jeffrey's lecture, Everything You Have to Know About Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods with everyone you know. Post them to your Facebook page, or email the links to your network of friends and family.
- Join the Non-GMO Project on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
Please join us in this important campaign. Do as much or as little as you can. Maybe you can't make a donation to IRT, but you can distribute 20 Non-GMO shopping guides to your closest family and friends.
Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can reach the tipping point and push GMOs out of our food supply.
Together, we can protect the health of future generations and help accelerate the progress toward more sustainable agriculture in the United States.
Let's do it!