No to GMO: Recommended Actions For non-GMO Activists to Create a Tipping Point
by Diane Baines
1. Educate yourself and others on Genetically Modified Organisms. Refer to the provided reference sheet for free resources.
2. Set goals. Whether you start a group or decide to keep it in your family, set a goal for what you will do to eliminate GMOs from your diet.
3. Buy organic/buy local/ buy online. Shop at local farmer’s markets (make sure to ask if they use GMO seeds and/or chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides). Organic products are less likely to be GMO and online stores give you lots of organic options that may not be available at your local market. Www.thrivemarket.com is an example of online organic grocery shopping.
4. Start a non-GMO action group. Use technology to set up a virtual group or do it the old fashioned way: meet in person.
5. Target manufacturers of GM foods. Contact manufacturers of products you used to buy before you realized they contain or may contain GMOs and tell them you are switching to a non GMO brand because of the health risks associated with GMOs. Ask them to reconsider their ingredients.
6. Influence a restaurant and/or a chef. Choose a restaurant, already oriented towards organic or healthy gourmet options, and convince them to:
(a) go GM-free
(b) feature a section or a special on their menu that is GMO-free
(c) publicize a GM-free brunch, lunch or dinner; and
(d) find a chef to create non GMO buzz.
7. Influence a supermarket or co-op. Write letters – ideally several dozen letters from fellow activists – to the store owner, requesting they feature more organic and more GMO-free certified items.
8. Create a non-GMO presence at farmer's markets. If you shop at the local farmer’s markets, ask the vendors if they are selling GMO and chemical free products.
9. Post fliers advertising an event or a local contact to start a group. Create an event with a Non-GMO speaker.
10. Involve students in schools and colleges.
(1) Create a non GMO pot-luck group
(2) Involve a school garden program to create a show-and-tell education event
(3) Show a anti GMO movie and have a debate afterwards—we recommend the half-hour long Hidden Risks video, downloadable for free here.
(4) Invite a presenter or speaker to give a talk and/or show a video to a class
(5) Join forces with other “healthy school lunches” organizations **
(6) Contact a student committee concerned about environmental issues and network with them to promote GMO awareness on campus and involve professors sympathetic to the issue.
11. If you are a healthcare professional: Do non-GMO education with clients, reach out to colleagues and educate them, and make a case about GMOs with your professional association.
12. Gardeners: Involve your local gardening community to host an event stressing the importance of preserving uncontaminated seeds and build a party or event around it. Become a backyard gardener using organic products.
13. Circulate and get signatures for GMO labeling petitions or do legislative advocacy. Ask your political representative to support a national or state law to curb or label Genetically Engineered foods and animals.
14. Host a film showing -combined with a social event- at a strategic location. Involve your church, library, or community center in hosting a film followed by discussion with a speaker to handle questions, and/or have a non-GMO potluck.
15. Become a member of an advocacy group. Donate money or volunteer with a consumer advocacy group like the Farm and Ranch Food Alliance, Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners, Food and Water Watch or one of the many other groups who lobby on behalf of the consumer, keep members posted of developments in legislation and send out action alerts.
16. Buy a share in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) club. This is another option for buying local or organic food products.
** Other Organizations active in improving school meals
Let your dollars determine the market; become an activist today!!!
Guest author Diane Baines has spent the past 34 years in the healthcare and pharmaceutical related industries. Nine years ago she took a class at the Institute for Responsible Technology to become a non-GMO speaker. Today Diane is a self proclaimed food evangelist who speaks to groups of all sizes about Genetically Modified Organisms and their negative impact on our health, food freedom, and how to make a difference in the market with regard to food choices.