The Non-GMO Project
Genetically modified organisms or GMOs are becoming more and more pervasive in modern agriculture. Large companies such as Monsanto and DuPont have created this category of Frankenfood almost single-handedly. To further their (perhaps nefarious) ends, these companies – and others like them – have engaged in intense lobbying and are aggresively donating to the campaigns of those in Congress who are seen to be friendly to the GMO cause. It appears that these efforts are having the desired effect.
Check out their list of greatest hits so far:
- Ensured that reforms to Sarbanes-Oxley led to reduced burdens of compliance, taking into account biotech companies' size and risk
- Led efforts that have resulted in the establishment of bioscience economy development initiatives in virtually every state and territory
- Successfully advocated for aggressive, but realistic, targets for biofuels production, including key incentives for continued development of biotech-based fuels
- Advocated for biotech crops. Since their introduction in 1996, biotech crops have increased productivity and global farm income by $44.1 billion
- Advanced finalization of the FDA risk assessment on the safety of livestock cloning
- Achieved timely enactment of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) legislation
- Successfully advocated for Farm Bill policy options that will now accelerate the commercialization of next generation biofuels and bio-based products
- Successfully advocated for the enactment of FDA reform in the 1997 Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act
The “Go Team Go GMOs” side looks to be winning the game so far, while the American consumer is shunted to the sideline and told that all GMO business is ‘good’ for us.
Why, one might legitimately ask, are GMOs bad? Here, briefly, are eight good answers to that question:
- The end results of eating GMOs are largely unknown
- Food items that contain GMOs are not labeled in the U.S.
- Genetic engineering reduces genetic diversity
- Once these organisms are ‘released to the wild’, there’s no going back
- GMOs are not the answer to food security for the globe
- GMOs have not been proven to be safe
- Giant biotech companies have uneven track records, to say the least
- GMOs require huge amounts of herbicides, pesticides and fungicides
Cutting to the chase, genetically modified organisms have not been proven to be, in any way, safe. Perhaps this is why many of the world’s countries have or are moving toward banning items whose DNA has been altered, engineered or otherwise tinkered with.
And people are organizing and fighting back.
One organization dedicated to pushing back is the Non-GMO Project. This group was founded in a small neighborhood natural grocery store in Berkeley, California in 2005. Their goal is to ensure the sustained availability of non-GMO food and products. Since their founding, they’ve worked to create change by:
- Raising awareness of the dangers and pitfalls of GMOs
- Becoming a clearinghouse for quality non-GMO retailers and products to make it easier for consumers to find non-GMO products
- Helping retailers promote non-GMO products in store
- Developing an iPhone shopping guide app for consumers
- Offering ways to donate to the cause (The Non-GMO Project is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization)
- Keeping the non-GMO issues in the forefront of consumers’ minds
- Engaging value-driven companies to donate and populate the Board of Directors to continue to have the means to oppose GMOs
Monsanto and their ilk are very powerful forces, but so are we if we band together.
We all have to do something about GMOs. Even the smallest effort will aggregate into something larger. Take the time to learn about the dangers of GMOs. Tell your friends and loved ones not to purchase, let alone eat, GMOs. Demand only non-GMO food be carried at your favorite store. Donate whatever you can to the Non-GMO Project. Write your Congressperson and demand labeling that identifies GMOs. Come up with your own ideas and let other people know about it.
This is truly an important food issue.
Learn about GMOs! Donate to Non-GMO Project!
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