Inspiring story shows shortcut to end GMOsPosted: December 6, 2011
I received the below story in an email and I felt this needed to be shared. What you don’t know can harm you and we need to open as many eyes as possible to what is considered food in our society. Read this inspiring story below to find out what is possible with your financial support. I think it’s a real eye opener for those who think ending GMOs is a long, drawn out, and difficult process.
It took the audience just 11 minutes―11 minutes to give up food brands they had grown up with and to commit to seek healthier non-GMO food. Of course this group had already been against genetically modified organisms as a concept. This was Greenfest after all; and in San Francisco no less. But when I asked them to honestly rate themselves on a scale of 1-100 how vigilant they had been at avoiding GMOs, the largest number of hands went up for lowest category―1-20. That’s typical of most US audiences. And so is what happened next…
After showing them photos of damaged organs from lab rats fed GMOs, skin rashes from farm workers picking GM cotton, and dead livestock that had grazed on the cotton plants; when they saw rodent studies showing a 5-fold increase in infant mortality, smaller babies, sterile babies, and severe immune responses; when they realized that genes inserted into GM crops can transfer into the DNA of bacteria inside our intestines and possibly continue to function, and that the poisonous insecticide engineered into Monsanto’s corn is found in the blood of pregnant women and unborn fetuses; when they learned how industry rigs their research to hide dangers and attacks independent scientists and their studies; when they discovered that FDA scientists had repeatedly warned of serious harm from GMOs, but the political appointee in charge―Monsanto’s former attorney―allowed GM foods on the market without any required safety tests; and when they discovered that the same doctors’ organization that first identified Gulf War syndrome, chemical sensitivities, and food allergies, now urges physicians to prescribe non-GMO diets to everyone; I asked the audience to rate themselves how vigilant they would be next week to avoid GMOs.
“How many will be low vigilance, 1-20?” No hands.
“20-40?” Still no hands
“40-60?” A couple of hands.
The most popular category shifted from the lowest vigilance (1-20) in the first vote, to the highest (80-100) in the second―just 11 minutes later.
I then reminded the audience of the strategy to eliminate GMOs, which we had discussed at the beginning: If brand managers from major food companies see any drop in market share that was attributable to growing anti-GMO sentiment in the US, it would be the food industry equivalent of a “Sell Signal.” GMO ingredients would be considered a market liability and be discarded. Remember, these same companies had quickly removed GMOs from their European brands when GMO resistance spread there. To hit that sell signal in the US, we think the tipping point requires about 5% of US consumers changing their diet.
I asked the audience, “How in the world are we going to get 15 million Americans to change their diet?” After the 11 minutes, I told them, “Now we know. We just tell them the truth.”
I then asked the audience to rate themselves how active they planned to be to educate people on GMOs. At the start of the presentation, most rated themselves in the lowest category. After 11 minutes, nearly everyone was in the highest.
“So you see,” I said. “The same information that changes peoples’ diets also makes the campaign go viral.”
Endgame for GMOs
Now it’s just a numbers game. Once we disseminate that information to enough people, it’s the endgame for genetically modified food.
The Institute for Responsible Technology has packaged this behavior-changing message into a full range of educational materials, organized local and national action groups, trained 750 people to give public presentations, and reaches 5-10 million people each month.
Because collective consciousness is starting to awaken to this issue, it’s become easier to get the word out and change lives. As the same time, we’re now getting flooded with opportunities and requests. With current staffing levels, we simply can’t keep up. We need your help.
We love our supporters. Our precious donors make our work possible. To you, and to everyone who has ever considered giving a donation, please understand that right now every single dollar has enormous leverage, driving us closer to a non-GMO future.
Help us harvest all this low-hanging non-GMO fruit. Please make a contribution to help end the genetic engineering of our food supply.
I wouldn’t say we’re in the home stretch just yet, but we’re banking the turn and hear the crowd cheering. It’s time to turn on the juice.
Thanks so much,
Jeffrey Smith, Executive Director