The fight against GMOs is on. Actually, the fight has been on for some time now: The first GMO food, the Flavr Savr tomato, hit supermarkets in 1994, and by 1997, The European Union had already mandated that GMO products be labeled as such, even down to animal feed. Things went a little slower in the Americas, but we are wising up.
While those pesky companies still endorsing GMOs might still be lingering around, winning some rounds, the anti-GMO movement is gaining strength … and numbers. Monsanto is scrambling for answers, congressmen are being called out, and public disapproval (not just awareness) of GMOs is becoming the norm.
This advancement (and the-soon-to-be-found-in-your-local-supermarket GMO labels) is largely the result of all the angry and active organizations working on our behalf. Check out some of the biggest frontrunners in the movement against GMOs and towards GMO labeling:
A grassroots, Internet-based NGO representing over 850,000 members and constituents, not to mention an estimated 50 million socially responsible U.S. shoppers, Organic Consumers Association has been around since 1998 as a result of proposed regulations on organic food. They’ve remained on the campaign trail, including the SOS Campaign to maintain organic standards and Breaking the Chains, helping consumers make safer, greener choices. When it comes to GMOs, the Millions Against Monsanto is powering through, uncovering all the sordid secrets of the GMO bully (and its cronies) and fighting back. These crusaders keep us in truly organic foods and are working to keep us safely out of Agent Orange.
Committed to maintaining and increasing GMO-free choices, Non GMO Project educates consumers and offers North America’s only verification labels that the products we are buying are indeed not genetically modified. In other words, if there aren’t currently GMO labels, Non GMO Project has gone the other route and created non-GMO labels for those products that don’t have them—ha! The Project has been around since 2005, when The Natural Grocery Co. in Berkeley and The Big Carrot Natural Food Market in Toronto teamed up to continue providing customers with knowledge and healthy choices. Now, it’s big and making a positive impact in supermarkets and in some companies’ bottom lines.
This is a group of wild and wildly focused vigilantes out for GMO justice and touring the nation to let friends and foes alike know it. Are We Eating Fishy Food has noticed that something is up with the U.S. and Canadian supermarkets and food producers, so in 2011, in an effort to raise awareness, Cesar Maxit built the first in a fleet of anti-GMO cars/billboards: the original Fishy Corn Car (“Poppy”). In 2013, the new additions of Fishy Sugar Beet (“Rooty”), Fishy Apple (“Goldie”), Fishy Soy (“Soja Girl”), and Fishy Tomato (“K-Sup”) were added, with Fishy Wheat (“DaVeat”) soon to come. The cars go on cross-country tours of the States, flashily preaching the importance of GMO labeling. And, we can’t mention this organization without a shout out to their big time supporter, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.
4. GMO Inside
With the common and consensus cry that we all have a right to know what’s in our food, GMO Inside is a campaigning community informing Americans which foods have GMOs and what the organic, non-GMO alternatives are. GMO Inside seeks to bring together “people from all walks of life” to join in the protest against, and to share the information they’ve learned about, genetically modified foods. Additionally, GMO Inside hosts a plethora of “Take Action” initiatives to rally the troops and keep the fires burning, and it helps to bridge together the larger forces—companies and other organizations—in the good fight.
Well, the name says it all, from the bluntly stated main purpose to the exclamatory frustration at the end. And, this organization is not alone in its outrage. Take a look at the video with a star-studded supporting cast and hip-swaying Ziggy Marley tune. Just Label It! is a coalition of over 650 organizations and 300,000 signed-up members all fighting—despite the fact that “more than percent of Americans support mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods”—for our right to know. Here are some of their suggestions for what we each can do, and don’t forget to sign their petition to the FDA.
It’s seriously comforting to know that such groups, amongst many others, of fiery activists are out there looking out for my best interests, keeping me informed, and working towards a better world. In fact, they are doing it for us all, so now is a perfect time to give a little support to them. The links are there, so use the next hour or two (or some time this week) to sign up for newsletters, become a member, and put your name on petitions. Here are 13 Excellent Reasons to join in.
Image source: U.S. Air Force / Wikimedia Commons