Smack-dab in the middle of Non-GMO Month!

You’ve missed it! It’s already half over! Which is really just an incentive to get yourself in gear. What is it you’ve missed? Non-GMO Month.

The reason  you may have missed the memo is that this is the first year Non-GMO Month has graced Canada with its presence. And it’s not for lack of desire, but rather because the seal had to be bilingual before it could cross the border, and learning a second language takes time!

Non-GMO Month: the Offspring of the Non-GMO Project

The Project began in 2005 with the simple goal of establishing a standardized meaning of the term Non-GMO in the North American food industry. By doing so, the founders hoped to pass that information on to the consumer so that they could, in turn, make informed decisions about the products they bought. The project also serves to create a 3rd party verification system to asses product compliance with the standard. Although it was an endeavor started by two small organic food stores, the project has grown to include stakeholders with diverse interests: consumers, manufacturers, retailers, and farmers.

Why is going Non-GMO such a big deal?

There are mixed opinions on just how “evil” GMOs are; however, there is consensus on what they are. Interesting, then, that there’s no consensus on what they aren’t…

A GMO or “genetically modified organism” is a plant or animal that has been created using gene splicing technology. Unlike traditional crossbreeding, gene splicing uses DNA from a variety of species and the result is unstable. The claimed benefits of GMOs such as resistance to drought, higher yield, and enhanced nutrition can’t be substantiated. On the other hand, growing evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage, and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.

How you can get involved

This month is about awareness. Across North America, people are making the choice to buy non-GMO foods, but many people still don’t know where they can find such products. So, during the month of October, thousands of people will be creating and participating in events such as film screenings or pledging to choosing Non-GMO Project Verified foods – you can even create your own event and submit it to the website!

A couple of movies worth watching (and sharing with others):

  • The Future of Food
  • The World According to Monsanto
  • Food, Inc.

We all have the right to know where our food comes from and exactly what we’re putting in our mouths. And since we all know that a communal voice is stronger than an individual’s, we all share equal responsibility in applying enough pressure to gain that knowledge.

As I said, it’s already half over! But we still have a chance to start a discussion and start thinking about the pros and cons of having fish DNA in our tomatoes.

For more info: www.nongmoproject.org

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