While we can sometimes struggle to remember a loved one’s birthday, meet deadlines for work, and accomplish a lengthy to-do list of errands, I have found myself and others making time for a new type of celebration. A moment where we can be a part of something larger. Perhaps you participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge last year (brrr..) or maybe you posted a #throwback picture of your siblings for National Sibling Day or possibly you are on the committee for your town’s 225th anniversary celebrations. These small acts have become popular because they are fun, yet meaningful. There is another upcoming celebration that is vital to our world’s health and future, and we’re going to need your help. Let me tell you why you should spread your wings and help grow the Non-GMO labeling movement!
Quick Trip Down Memory Lane
The Non-GMO Project envisions a future where, “everyone deserves an informed choice about whether or not to consume genetically modified organisms.” That’s why, beginning in 2010, the Non-GMO project marked the month of October as Non-GMO month. It consists of 31 days of building awareness and education of Genetically Modified Organisms. Showing success in 2014, Non-GMO Month engaged with over 2,000 North American retailers and made over 10 Million impressions on Facebook! As we embark into October 2015, the Non-GMO project is ready to help communicate and educate around the risks GMOs pose to our health, our families, and our environment.
What are GMOs again?
GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, or GE. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.
The Case for Labeling
Today, there are 35,000 Non-GMO Project Verified products offered by over 1,900 brands, surpassing $13.5 Billion in annual sales! Given most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe to the environment or our health, the Non-GMO project works to protect and expand the availability of non-GMO seeds, ingredients, and products. Furthermore, the Non-GMO Project explains, “The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment
these novel organisms cannot be recalled.” As one of the fastest growing labels in the natural food sector, the label increases the transparency and education so consumers can decide.
Look for the Butterfly
The month will feature a simple, elegant tagline, “Look for the Butterfly: we are building a non-GMO future.” The Non-GMO Project will be equipping retail stores with turnkey programs and messaging. In addition, UNFI secured special deals from brands and created easy-to-use marketing collateral. These efforts are designed to empower shoppers to learn the facts and decide for themselves. If we decide to stop purchasing products that use GMOs, then companies will be forced to stop using them and farmers will stop producing them.
Will you help to spread the word on this noteworthy campaign?
© 2015, Laurie Casagrande. All rights reserved.