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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Remove Genetically Engineered from Kid's Meals

“After seeing the video, my family removed all genetically engineered foods from our home. My 9-year-old now insists that even our cat food be GM-free.”
--Annalisa Miller, mother of two

This typical reaction to the video Hidden Dangers in Kids’ Meals: Genetically Engineered Foods could spark a revolution. That’s the intention of the Institute for Responsible Technology, which uses the video as part of their campaign to remove genetically modified (GM) foods from school meals.

The video features numerous scientists and investigators describing the health dangers of GM foods and, according to bestselling author John Robbins, “pierces the myth that our government is protecting our food supply and charges parents and schools with the job of protecting children.” Mad Cowboy author Howard Lyman says, “It will change the way you look at food forever. No one will ever again take food safety for granted.” Ronnie Cummins, director of the Organic Consumers Association, says, “It will change what parents and schools buy, which will change what manufacturers use in their products. Hidden Dangers is that good.” Natural Capitalism author Hunter Lovins adds, “When parents watch scientist after scientist describe the dangers of GM foods, I wouldn’t want to be a stubborn food service director trying to stand in their way.”

Produced by Jeffrey Smith, author of the international bestseller Seeds of Deception, the DVD’s 28-minute hard-hitting feature highlights shocking research results, inadequate regulations, and corporate control of government.

• An investigator reveals that political appointees at the Food and Drug Administration hid GM food risks from the public, and scientists and politicians describe the government approval process as an illusion and façade.

• Lab animals and livestock fed GM crops developed serious symptoms and unexplained deaths. Iowa farmers, for example, report that pigs fed GM corn became sterile, had false pregnancies, or delivered “bags of water.”

• Scientists say they were pressured, threatened, or hounded out of their positions. A politician testifies that scientists told her they were afraid even to raise questions.

• Commentators explain how serious health effects from GM foods could remain unidentified for years. In fact, the huge increase in UK soy allergies right after GM soy was introduced was never investigated, and a deadly US epidemic in the 1980s that was traced to a GM food supplement was nearly missed.

• One study verified that genes from GM soy transfer to bacteria inside our intestines. Smith makes the sobering observation that if the genes inserted into corn to create a pesticide were to transfer, “it converts our bacteria into living pesticide factories,” possibly for the long term—even if we stop eating GM corn. This is one of several alarming threats that have not been tested for.

• Biologist Phil Regal acknowledges in videotaped testimony before a New Zealand commission, “People were saying in the industry, in the regulatory agencies, that if the American people want progress they’re going to have to be the guinea pigs.”

According to the Hidden Dangers video, children are most at risk from the potential allergies, toxins, nutritional, and other problems associated with GM foods, and from the increased hormone levels in milk from cows injected with genetically engineered bovine growth hormone. Brent Blackwelder, President of Friends of the Earth says, “Jeffrey Smith has done a brilliant job in presenting the many compelling reasons for getting genetically engineered food off the school menus right now.” Frances Moore Lappé adds, “The revelations in Hidden Dangers make our choice clear— take needless risks with genetically engineered food or just say no to this madness. Let’s raise our voices on this one! The risk of silence is too great.”

The video also features officials, teachers and students from a school district in Appleton Wisconsin that switched from processed foods to wholesome, nutritious food. The change in behavior and learning ability was dramatic. Before the change, administrators describe the students as “rebellious,” “rude, obnoxious, very crude and ill mannered,” with “weapons violations” and “a cop on school premises at all times.” Afterwards, they describe “a total change in the students and in the environment.” “The students are calm and well behaved.” There were no dropouts, expulsions, drugs, weapons, or suicides. And the “biggest problems in the school,” reports one teacher, is “parking in the parking lot and student tardiness.”

The Appleton story is presented as additional motivation for schools to make a change in their meals. Although the school district was not focused on GM foods, they happened to remove nearly all GM ingredients when they switched to a healthier menu.

The DVD contains an additional 15-minute documentary about the Appleton school phenomenon, as well as an hour-long lecture by Jeffrey Smith. These serve as support material for the 28-minute production, which will be used at parent meetings and for public access television.

Watch Preview
View the full video Hidden Dangers in Kids’ Meals
For more information on the GM Free School Campaign go to www.GMFreeSchools.org, email info@ResponsibleTechnology.org, or call 641.209.1765.

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