Battling the World of GMOs
Jeffrey M. Smith is the head of the Institute for Responsible Technology, or IRT (www.responsibletechnology.org.) An internationally acclaimed filmmaker and author, his first book, Seeds of Deception, made him the world’s foremost consumer advocate for Non-GMO choices—and by avoiding GMOs, you can actively force them out of our food supply.
Extraordinary Health Magazine: Jeffrey, please give us an update on what’s been happening in the world of GMOs.
Jeffrey Smith: In the U.S., the anti-GMO movement has reached new levels to create a tipping point of consumer rejection. In fact, we’re approaching the most critical stage in our anti-GMO movement that I’ve seen in my 17 years working in this issue.
Our Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) has launched a campaign to achieve the “tipping point,” in which a sufficient number of shoppers in the U.S. avoid genetically modified (GM) ingredients—making GMOs a marketing liability for food companies. A consumer tipping point kicked GMOs out of Europe 10+ years ago, and pushed GM bovine growth hormone (rbGH) out of most American dairies. In both cases, consumer concern about the health impacts were the driving force moving the market. Therefore, IRT’s educational materials focus primarily on why to avoid GMOs and how (www.NonGMOShoppingGuide.com).
Since U.S. food companies don’t gain any advantage from using GM ingredients, even a small dip in market share tells them it’s time to replace GM ingredients. The U.S. food industry has reached the stage we call “Awake and Scramble.” They wake up to the fact that anti-GMO movement must be taken seriously and is gaining momentum; then they realize if they don’t act immediately to secure a supply, their competitors who do become non-GMO may gain more market share.
The next stage in the tipping point against GMOs starts this year. We call it “The Battle for Market Share.” Some mainstream conventional brands have already enrolled products in the Non-GMO Project and are planning to announce that soon.
If the non-GMO products erode the market share of the GMO-laden competitor, then the tipping point will follow—a full clean out of GMO direct derivatives from the U.S. food industry. That’s why IRT has a massive campaign to win this “battle for market share.”
Please visit our website at www.ResponsibleTechnology.org to participate in this world-changing endeavor by making donations, to be trained as speakers, to subscribe to our newsletter and much more.
The best tool to learn about GMOs is the movie Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives (www.GeneticRouletteMovie.com). Most viewers change their diet immediately.
Extraordinary Health Magazine: Last November, Californians voted on GMO labeling with Proposition 37, and it was a close vote. What’s next after Prop 37?
Jeffrey Smith: Although 93 percent of Americans polled favor labeling of genetically engineered foods, the biotech industry spent nearly $50 million in a massive disinformation campaign to confuse and mislead California voters. In spite of this false advertising, we nearly won. The efforts in California, however, have motivated groups and organizations around the country to take up the labeling cause in their states. The legislatures of Connecticut and Maine have passed conditional labeling bills that will be enacted once a few other states pass similar laws. Washington State has a critical labeling initiative that will be voted on in the fall. This stands a better chance than California’s for many reasons. More than two dozen other states have introduced labeling bills this year and many are expected to again take up these bills in the next session—making it clear that there’s enormous pressure on the federal government to create a national labeling standard.
If the FDA steps in to preempt state labeling laws, we don’t know if they will end up producing a long-delayed, loophole-ridden regulation largely written by Monsanto. The swing vote at that negotiation table, however, will be the food producers. If they have already removed GMOs from their products as a result of the tipping point, their objection to labeling requirements will probably disappear. The resulting federal labeling laws will be stricter and more meaningful to consumers. Therefore, even for the sake of labeling, a marketplace tipping point is critical.
Extraordinary Health Magazine: What else is not typically discussed concerning GMOs?
Jeffrey Smith: Most GMOs are drenched with Roundup® herbicide. They’re called Roundup Ready crops, engineered to withstand otherwise deadly doses of Monsanto’s weed killer. New research now implicates Roundup as extremely toxic; it may be responsible for the rise of numerous diseases in the United States. One study, for example, linked Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate with cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, MS, aggression and depression, among others. Tragically, Roundup is also sprayed directly on other food crops at the end of the growing season to dry the plants before harvest. This results in very high levels of Roundup residue in other foods we eat, not just the GMOs. These include grains, fruits, and vegetables. To protect oneself and one’s family from the dangers of Roundup, we urge people to buy organic products in these categories, as well as going non-GMO generally.
Extraordinary Health Magazine: Any additional thoughts or comments?
Jeffrey Smith: Because of the unprecedented growth of our movement and the coverage in the media about GMOs, we’ve reached the stage where more people are ready to hear the information and act on it. I urge people to share what they learn. Due to the incredible leverage of a tipping point, we can eliminate GMOs without ever having to convince people who are resistant. We have more than enough people wanting and appreciating this information. IRT has produced articles, short and long videos, brochures and Facebook posts to make it easy to spread the word. At this critical window, it’s more important to engage in GMO education and activism than any time in the past. The food industry is sliding towards the tipping point, and we need all hands on deck to assure that we get there.
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.