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Understanding GMOs and their Effects
By Susan Waters
From Organic Matters, Fall 2012

The GMO issue in the United States has reached a fever pitch and a possible tipping point. But what is all the controversy about and how did we arrive at where we are today? Why is there such conflicting information about GMOs? If we grow organic crops, why do GMOs matter?

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are plants or animals created through the process of genetic engineering (GE). This experimental technology forces DNA from one species into a different species. The resulting GMOs are unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional breeding. This engineering process is outside of the natural evolutionary process.

The GE process itself creates mutations throughout the DNA, which can produce new allergens, toxins and carcinogens. Inserted genes and their proteins can trigger inflammation, which is known to produce digestive disorders, allergies, autoimmune disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, kidney disease, thyroid disease and heart attacks. These inflammation-based diseases have skyrocketed since GMO corn and soy were massively introduced in the US in the mid-‘90s.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine’s animal studies have concluded that GMOs cause infertility, immune disorders, accelerated aging and complications with cholesterol, insulin and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system and many other maladies.

There are currently two types of GMO crops: herbicide resistant and insecticide releasing.

Most herbicide resistant GMOs are genetically altered to be resistant to the spraying of Roundup (Glyphosate) herbicide, which steals nutrients from the plants and soil, leading to nutrient-deficient plants, animals and humans. Roundup can also cause birth defects and other reproductive disorders. Lab animals which ate Roundup Ready® crops developed massive tumors and lost a large amount of offspring. Roundup has also been scientifically linked to infertility, which may be due to disrupted hormones or nutrient deficiency.

Insecticide releasing GMOs are crops that produce an insecticide, such as Monsanto’s widely used Bt corn, one of the largest U.S.-produced crops. Genetically engineered Bt corn produces Bt-toxin (Bacillus thuringiensis), which breaks open the stomach of certain insects and kills them. Many independent, worldwide studies show that GMOs poke holes in cells, especially in the digestive system, creating intestinal permeability, which experts say leads to allergies, autism and pre-aging, as well as other disorders such as autoimmune diseases, asthma, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Scientists warned of the dangers of GMOs but the profit-earning potential of these products outweighed the danger to humans, animals and the environment. Monsanto sells Roundup and most GE seeds and owns the majority of the bioengineering market. The published goal of Monsanto is to replace ALL natural seeds. Scientists against GMOs have been routinely discredited, fired, threatened and their work destroyed. Independent evidence-based science points to a complete failure of GMO claims and all report serious health ramifications.

According to their own website, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety (of) our nation’s food supply.” But the FDA is largely staffed by former biotech employees and contractors (such as Michael Taylor, Monsanto’s attorney before becoming policy chief at the FDA). This is a very obvious conflict of interest where the motivation is profit over safety and health. And in 1992, after reviewing the biotech industry’s own studies, the FDA determined that GMO foods were no different and didn’t need to be studied.

Since 1992, the human population has served as the biotech industry’s lab rats without their knowledge. Children are especially vulnerable because of their faster metabolisms and the rapid growth of their cells. They need more nutrition, have sensitivity to small amounts of toxins, and their immune systems are still in development.

In 1998, a massive lawsuit forced 44,000 secret internal memos into the public domain, and they showed overwhelming consensus from the scientists that GMOs were different and dangerous and definitely needed further study and that the FDA had been repeatedly warned. Initial studies showed allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional deficiencies.

Currently, the FDA is still stacked with former biotech employees, doesn’t require any studies and doesn’t monitor any health issues linked to GMOs.

GMOs are dangerous to humans by ingestion from directly eating the herbicide resistant and insecticide releasing crops (such as vegetables or processed food, unless they’re certified organic), or by eating the meat from animals which are fed herbicide resistant and insecticide releasing crops. The large majority of conventional livestock in the U.S. is fed GMO feed.

According to the Grocery Manufacturing Association, an estimated 75-80% of processed food in the U.S. contains genetically engineered foods. And the Environmental Working Group reports that Americans eat more than their body weight in GMOs every year.

Genetically engineered salmon and many other food products will be introduced to the market shortly, without any ability to distinguish these products from their natural counterparts.

A poll by Thompson Reuters shows that 93% of Americans believe GE foods should be labeled. That’s the idea behind the proposed California Right to Know ballot initiative, or Proposition 37. The California Right to Know proposal is simple: require labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients and prohibit genetically modified foods from being advertised as “natural.”

But the chemical and mega-food industries (as of October 20, 2012) have spent $37 million to cloud the labeling issue with misinformation such as the subsequent hike in the cost of food, questionable “benefits” of GMOs and the stigmatizing of technological advancement, as well as the tactic of unnecessarily scaring consumers.

Outside of the U.S., scientific studies results showing the downside of GMOs have triggered calls for a ban on imports and a total overhaul of the safety regime for genetically modified crops and food. GMO crops are now banned or severely restricted in nearly 50 countries but continue to be widely produced and distributed, unlabeled, in the U.S. and Canada and many unsuspecting countries.

Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.

Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.

Distinguished MOA Lifetime Member, Barry Flamm’s first act as the UDSA National Organic Program’s National Organics Standards Board Chairman was to form a GMO ad hoc committee from members of its diverse committees. As their first item of business, the 15 members of this committee came to a consensus and sent USDA’s Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack a strong letter of  “extreme concern about the impact that continued deregulation of new genetically engineered crops has had on our community of organic farmers, handlers and consumers.” This letter, which asked for an open dialog, was never answered by Vilsack, which was a surprise and disappointment to Flamm. (Former Iowa Governor Vilsack was recipient of the Governor of the Year Award by the Biotechnology Industry Organization and he now holds one of several high-level USDA positions which are occupied by people with biotech industry ties.) “The GMO issue is not going to go away by ignoring the Board that has legal responsibilities to advise the Secretary on matters effecting organic food production,” says Flamm.

One of the most worrisome aspects of widespread GMO farming for organic operations is “drift,” or contamination of organic fields by GMO seeds and chemical spraying. Contaminated fields can also be a target for biotech industry lawsuits claiming “patent infringement.” Another challenge to organic farmers is the availability and assurance of GMO-free seeds.

Consumers assume all organic is GMO-free, but until residue testing is widespread, no one knows how much GMO drift and contamination has taken place. According to Flamm, “Certified organic is the current gold standard and with it there is assurance that farmers don’t use pesticides and herbicides, but until specific residue testing is used, we don’t know for sure.”

There are signs of hope about the outcome of the GMO fight. Educating the public about the truth of GMOs and other dangerous additives has been the first step toward empowering consumers. Getting GMOs labeled is within reach through California’s Proposition 37, with several other states following suit. We are also reaching a tipping point of consumer rejection, such as with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), where companies have voluntarily pledged not to use it due to consumer rejection and lost sales.

There is also hope about recovering our health. Many ranchers and human health specialists have been able to improve animal and human health by removing all GMOs from their diets. Human and animal health problems have been improved in some studies, taking several days to up to two years after all GMOs have been removed.

Ultimately, we vote at the polls and with our dollars by the purchases we make. As soon as we, as consumers, are aware of the dangers of GMOs and which products contain them, we can create a consumer tipping point to reject them.

Primary sources for this article and helpful links:
Institute for Responsible Technology’s Genetic Roulette

Institute for Responsible Technology

GMO Talking Points: Non-GMO Project Toolkit

MOA’s No-GMO webpage at:

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MYTH:  GMOs are needed to feed the world.
FACT: We already have 1-1/2 times the amount of food to feed the world. Distribution is the issue.

MYTH:  GMOs increase crop yield.
FACT: No difference – in fact, GMOs reduce average yields by 79% and organic crops are more resistant to drought. GMOs kill beneficial bacteria in soil and strip soil of nutrients.

MYTH:  GMO crops reduce the use of herbicides and insecticides and have less weeds.
FACT: More total chemicals have to be used and severe superweeds result; some so big they ruin equipment and have to be axed down.

MYTH:  GMO crops increase farmer profit.
FACT: All factors taken into consideration, it’s an economic wash.

MYTH:  GMOs increase US exports.
FACT: Have lost exports, especially corn, since nearly 50 countries have severely restricted or banned GMOs.

MYTH:  GMOs are safer to eat, more nutritious and have no health consequences.
FACT: Inflammatory diseases and reproductive disorders have skyrocketed since GMOs have been introduced and the chemicals used have been detected in most city dwellers, pregnant women and newborn babies.

MYTH:  GMOs are just an extension of natural breeding, and have no risks different from naturally bred crops.
FACT: Can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts

MYTH:  GMOs benefit the environment.
FACT: GMOs can disrupt the ecosystem, damage vulnerable wild plant and animal populations and harm biodiversity. GMOs are laboratory-made and, once released, harmful GMOs can contaminate organic crops and cannot be recalled from the environment.

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Congressional GMO Voters Guide: Who Sold Out the “Right to Know”? Congressional Scorecard by Cornucopia Institute, November 1, 2018.

California Judge Cuts Award To $78.5 Million In Monsanto Weedkiller Case, by Laurel Wamsley,, October 23, 2018.

Strange Bedfellows: GMO and Vaccine Partnerships, by Dr. Joseph Mercola,, September 18, 2018.

West Texas Vineyards Blasted By Herbicide Drift From Nearby Cotton Fields, by Merrit Kennedy,, August 21, 2018.

Expert Witness From Landmark Monsanto Trial Offers 5 Fixes to Shortcomings in Current GE Food Regulations, by Charles Benbrook, Environmental Health News, August 15, 2018.

Monsanto ordered to pay $289m damages in Roundup cancer trial, by, August 11, 2018.

Jury Awards Terminally Ill Man $289 Million In Lawsuit Against Monsanto, by Vanessa Romo,, August 10, 2018.

3 Reasons to be Concerned about the USDA’s Proposed GMO Labeling Rules, by Rebecca Spector, Civil Eats, June 22, 2018.

Overview of the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (transcript of May 29, 2018 webinar on new GMO labeling), by USDA-AMS, posted June 18, 2018.

37 Million Bees Found Dead After Planting Large GMO Corn Field, by, posted May 31, 2018.

A Breakdown of the USDA’s GMO Labeling Proposal,, May 4, 2018.

CFS and State of California Win Appeal Affirming Listing of Glyphosate Pesticide as Probable Carcinogen Under Proposition 65, by Center for Food Safety, April 19, 2018.

These Citizen-Regulators In Arkansas Defied Monsanto. Now They're Under Attack, by Dan Charles,, February 14, 2018.

These Are Not Your Father’s GMOs,
by Antionio Regalado, MIT Technology Review, December 19, 2017.

Elizabeth Warren Just Let Loose on Trump and Monsanto, by Tom Philpott, Mother Jones, December 13, 2017.

16 Health Problems That Improved in Patients Who Switched From GMO to Organic Diets, by Jeffrey M. Smith, AlterNet, November 9, 2017.

Monsanto Attacks Scientists After Studies Show Trouble For Its New Weedkiller, by Dan Charles,, October 26, 2017.

Monsanto Banned From Parliament, by Dr. Mercola,, October 10, 2017.

Collusion Or Coincidence? Records Show EPA Efforts To Slow Herbicide Review Came In Coordination With Monsanto, by Carey Gillam, HuffingtonPost, August 18, 2017.

California to Warn Consumers About Monsanto’s Glyphosate—But How Much and How Soon? by Katherine Paul, Organic Consumers Association, July 4, 2017.

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Met With Dow CEO Just Before Killing Effort to Ban Toxic Pesticide, by Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, June 28, 2017.

Arkansas Tries To Stop An Epidemic Of Herbicide Damage, by Dan Charles,, June 23, 2017.

Monsanto Caught Warning EPA About Activists, by Zen Honeycutt, AlterNet, June 2, 2017

CRISPR gene editing can cause hundreds of unintended mutations, by Stephen Tsang, MD et al, ScienMag, May 29, 2017.

Unveiling the Glyphosate Conspiracy, by Dr. Mercola,, May 10, 2017.

International Tribunal Says Monsanto Has Violated the Basic Human Right to a Healthy Environment and Food, by Katherine Paul,, April 24, 2017.

Evidence EPA Colluded With Monsanto to Dismiss Cancer Concerns Grows Stronger, by Dr. Mercola,, March 28, 2017.

USDA Quietly Drops Plan to Test for Monsanto's Glyphosate Weed Killer in Food, by Carey Gillam,, March 28, 2017.

Propaganda wars: 'pro-science' GMO, chemicals boosters funded by climate change deniers, by Stacy Malkan,, February 28, 2017.

USDA Requests Public Input on Revision of Biotechnology Regulations and Comments are due by June 19, 2017. Links to materials and comments here. Posted February 23, 2017.

GMO grass that 'escaped' defies eradication, divides grass seed industry, by Jeff Manning, The Oregonian, January 8, 2017.

Monsanto Shareholders Approve a $66 Billion Acquisition By Bayer, by Reuters, posted December 16, 2016.

We've Been Sold a Lie for Two Decades About Genetically Engineered Foods, by Reynard Loki,, December 4, 2016.

GMO Groups Found Guilty of False Marketing and Money Laundering, Dr. Mercola,, November 15, 2016.

Letter from The Hague: The Long March (Monsanto International Tribunal), by Ronnie Cummins, Organic Consumers Association, October 18, 2016.

'A Five-Alarm Threat to Our Food Supply': Experts Describe Bayer-Monsanto Merger, by Katherine Paul, AlterNet, September 23, 2016.

Chemical Giant Bayer Agrees To Buy Monsanto For $66 Billion, by Camila Domonoske,, September 14, 2016.

How One GMO Nearly Took Down the Planet,
by Thom Hartmann,, August 5, 2016.

Why the GMO Labeling Bill Obama Just Signed Into Law Is a Sham—and a National Embarrassment, by Andrew Kimbrell,, August 4, 2016.

Even though Obama just signed the DARK ACT …, by Jeffrey Smith, Institute for Responsible Technology, August 1, 2016.

USDA confirms unapproved GMO wheat found in Washington state, by Karl Plume, Reuters, July 29, 2016.

Letter from OTA to its members regarding their endorsement of the GMO labeling bill, Organic Trade Association, July 14, 2016.

MOA Opposes DARK Act / GMO labeling bill: Letter to MT Rep. Zinke and President Obama, July 12, 2016.

Montana Farmers Union Urges US House to Reject GMO Labeling Bill, press release, July 11, 2016.

Organic Traitors Team Up with Monsanto and GMA on DARK Act, by Ronnie Cummins, Organic Consumers Association, July 7, 2016.

Why is the Stabenow – Roberts bill so bad?, by Center For Food Safety, July 7, 2016.

DARK Act: Highway Robbery, by Ronnie Cummins and Katherine Paul, Organic Consumers Association, July 7, 2016.

The DARK Act is Back - A Bill to preempt GMO labeling, by GMO Free Pennsylvania, July 4, 2016.

6 Questions Judges Will Consider in Monsanto Trial for Crimes Against Human Health and the Environment, by Katherine Paul, AlterNet, June 7, 2016.

Monsanto Losing Its Grip? by Don Quijones,, March 27, 2016.

In a Remarkable Triumph of Democracy Over Corporate Power, GMO Labeling Has Finally Arrived in the U.S.,
by Andrew Kimbrell,, March 25, 2016.

Food Companies Plan to Label GMOs—but Is There More to the Story? by Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins, AlterNet, March 24, 2016.

General Mills Will Label GMOs on Products Nationwide,
by Willy Blackmore,, March 20, 2016.

The DARK Act Defeated- For Now
, by Jeoffrey Smith, Institute for Responsible Technology, March 17, 2016.

The United States of Monsanto?
by Wenonah Hauter, Food and Water Watch, March 10, 2016.

Monsanto’s GM Wheat in Development Despite Consumer Push Back,
by Christina Sarich,, February 25, 2016.

U.S. FDA FINALLY Shamed into Testing for Monsanto’s Glyphosate Herbicide in Food,
by Christina Sarich,, February 19, 2016.

Investigation Reveals First Commercialized GMO Maize Was Toxic to Farm Animals,
by Dr. Mercola,, February 09, 2016.

FDA Puts Brakes on Genetically Engineered Salmon until Labeling Requirements are Established,
by Center For Food Safety, February 1, 2016.

Campbell Soup Switches Sides In The GMO Labeling Fight,
by Dan Charles, NPR, January 8, 2016.

Occurrence of Transgenic Feral Alfalfa in Alfalfa Seed Production Areas in the United States,
Collaborative Abstract from, December 23, 2015.

USDA to require permits for GE wheat trials,
Organic Trade Association, December 15, 2015.

NY Times calls for mandatory labeling of GE foods,
NY Times Editorial Board, December 1, 2015.

Indigenous Mayans Win Stunning Repeal of Hated ‘Monsanto Law,’
by Alex Pietrowski, Waking Times, October 19, 2015.

34000 Pesticides and 600 Chemicals Later: Our Food Supply is No Better for It,
by Christina Sarich,, October 18, 2015.

California EPA to label Roundup herbicide as ‘carcinogenic,
by Susanna Pilny,, September 8, 2015.

Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs,
by Jonathan Latham,, September 1, 2015.

House Votes To Ban States From Labeling GMO Foods,
by Michael McAuliff, Huffington Post, July 23, 2014.

Oregon Organic Farmers Beat Monsanto As Federal Judge Upholds GMO Seed Ban,
by Steven Rosenfeld,, May 30, 2015.

Vermont Becomes First to Have Mandatory GMO Labeling,
by Christina Sarich,, April 23, 2015.

EPA takes on superweeds: New restrictions target Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide,
by Lindsay Abrams,, April 1, 2015.

Half of All Children Will Be Autistic by 2025, Warns Senior Research Scientist at MIT,
by Alliance For Natural Health, December 23, 2014, posted March 30, 2015.

Why Did Gov't Give Big Thumbs Up to Notorious Monsanto Pesticide We Now Believe Causes Cancer?
by Reynard Loki,, March 26, 2015.

New Way to Identify Pesticide-Free, Non-GMO Food,
by Radha McLean, EcoWatch via Alternet, March 20, 2015.

Worker Illness Related to Newly Marketed Pesticides,
by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, January 23, 2015, posted March 6, 2015.

Gene-Altered Apples Get U.S. Approval,
by Andrew Pollack, NY Times, February 13, 2015.

Self-destruction genes could keep GMOs from spilling into the wild,
by Tim McDonnell,, January 23, 2015.

Monsanto earnings fall 34% after a year of global protests,
Associated Press via The Guardian, January 7, 2015.

Farmers Abandoning GMO Seeds And The Reason Will Surprise You,
by Daniel Jennings,, January 6, 2014.

World's Largest Ever Study on GMO and Pesticide Safety,
Factor GMO, posted November 26, 2014.

Too close to call: Oregon's GMO-labeling initiative gets automatic recount,
by Julie Wilson,, November 25, 2014.

Monsanto settles farmer lawsuits over experimental GMO wheat,
by Carey Gillam, Reuters, November 12, 2014.

U.S.D.A. Approves Modified Potato,
by Andrew Pollack, NYTimes, November 7, 2014.

EPA Will be Targeted in Court for Approval of Toxic 2,4-D Enlist Duo,
by Christina Sarich,, October 19, 2014.

New Experimental GE Wheat Contamination in Montana Puts Wheat Farmers at Risk,
Center for Food Safety, September 26, 2014.

Staggering $1.3 Billion Spent to Propagandize About GMO and Chemical-Intensive Foods,
by Kari Hamerschlag and Stacy Malkan, from FAIR via, July 14, 2014.

Major Study: Monsanto GMO Corn Can Cause Damage to Liver and Kidneys, and Severe Hormonal Disruption,
by Oliver Tickell, The Ecologist/AlterNet, July 12, 2014.

Vermont Sued Over GMO Labeling Law
, by Nicole D'Alessandro, Eco Watch, June 13, 2014.

Organic Trade Association’s New GMO Labeling Position
, July 9, 2014.

Awesome: Oregon Aims to Be First State to Map GMO Fields,
by Christina Sarich,, June 20th, 2014.

Big Food is already suing Vermont over its GMO labeling law,
by John Upton,, June 13, 2014.

Antibiotics banned in organic apples and pears,
by Lisa J. Bunin, Center for Food Safety, May 15, 2014.

Vermont governor signs GMO food labeling into law,
by Dana Ford and Lorenzo Ferrigno,, May 8, 2014.

Vermont Lawmakers Pass GMO Labeling Bill; Governor Expected To Sign,
by Dave Gram and Lisa Rathke, Huffington Post, April 24, 2014.

Vermont Senate votes 26-2 for GMO labeling,
by Terri Hallenbeck, Burlington Free Press, April 15, 2014.

Crop Contamination Takes its Toll on non-GM and Organic Farmers,
by IRT News Team in Spilling the Beans Newsletter April 13, 2014.

New bill threatens mandatory GMO labeling
In early April, Congressman Pompeo (R-KS) introduced the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 (H.R. 4432), which would mandate federal voluntary GMO labeling, preempt states from enacting their own GMO labeling laws, and preempt the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from ever requiring GMO labeling. Contact your Representative and urge him or her to REJECT the Pompeo legislation![capwiz:queue_id]

Biological Gardening—A Food Growing System That Easily Beats Genetic Engineering,
Dr. Mercola,, March 23, 2014.

GMO-Science Takes a Blow as Studies Are Retracted,
by Dr. Mercola,, March 11, 2014.

Biotech Contamination in Traded Food on the Rise,
by Bloomberg,, March 13, 2014.

U.S. Farmers Report Widespread GMO-Organic Crop Contamination,
by Christina Sarich,, March 7, 2014.

Read MOA's response letter to Monsanto's proposed wheat research site near Great Falls, posted February 26, 2014.
Read the Great Falls Tribune's reports on the issue:
Monsanto plans to build in Great Falls spark interest, by Karl Puckett, Great Falls Tribune, February 25, 2014.
Monsanto plans conventional wheat research, by Karl Puckett, Great Falls Tribune, January 31, 2014.
Monsanto eyes Great Falls site, by Karl Puckett, Great Falls Tribune, January 28, 2014.
Get involved through MOA's Facebook page by clicking here.

Farm Bureau Supports New GMO Program (video news report),
by Brittany Wright, ABC Fox Montana, February 25, 2014.

Voluntary Instead of Mandated GMO Food Labeling: The Industry’s Latest Ploy,
by Christina Sarich,, February 10, 2014.

Food Industry Groups Say They'll Label GMOs, On Their Terms
by Eliza Barclay, The Salt, February 06, 2014.

Dow Chemical is pushing for approval of genetically engineered (GE) versions of corn and soybeans that are designed to survive repeated dousing with 2,4-D,
by Center for Food Safety, January 29, 2014.

Grocery Manufacturer’s Association Overtakes Monsanto as “Most Evil Corporation on the Planet”
by Dr. Mercola,, January 28, 2014.

Are Genetically Modified Foods a Gut-Wrenching Combination?
by Jeffrey M. Smith, Institute for Responsible Technology

Leaps and Bounds: The Exploding Demand for non-GMO Animal Feed,
Ken Roseboro, Organic Connections, January 14, 2014.

Cheerios drops genetically modified ingredients,
Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY, January 2, 2014.

Can Genetically Engineered Foods Trigger Gluten Sensitivity?
Institute for Responsible Technology, November 25, 2013.

Washington’s GMO labeling flop, two weeks later: What it means,
by Nathanael Johnson,, November 20, 2013.

Senators Angle for Monsanto-Friendly FDA Voluntary GMO Labeling 'Guidance',
by Katherine Paul and Alexis Baden-Mayer, Organic Consumers Association, September 25, 2013.

Victory! CFS and Allies Defeat "Monsanto Protection Act" in Congress,
Center for Food Safety, September 26, 2013.

Exclusive: Has GMO Alfalfa Already Contaminated Non-Alfalfa Fields?
by Dr. Mercola, September 24, 2013.

Monsanto's new GE crops already in the ground in N. and S. Dakota,
by Marcia Ishill-Elteman, PAN North America, August 8, 2013.

Justice Begins with Seeds, by Devon Pena, Good Food World, August 4, 2013.

Across the Board, European Farms Planting Non-GMO Seeds More Successful than GMO Crops in the U.S.,
by Shicana Allen, Institute for Responsible Technology, August 1, 2013.

Pooping Canada geese may have spread GM wheat seeds
By Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen, July 23, 2013.

With Recent Victories, Movement to Label GMOs Gains Steam,
by Helena Bottemiller, Food Safety News, June 27, 2013.

Species Alteration: Is GMO Rewiring our DNA? by Christina Sarich, Natural Society, June 25, 2013.

Discovery of genetically modified wheat in Oregon highlights regulatory failures:
Guest opinion, by Kristina Hubbard and Neva Hassanein, Oregon Live, June 15, 2013.

Court of Appeals Sides with Monsanto Over Organic Farmers
by Elizabeth Renter,, June 13, 2013.

Maine House Gives First Nod to GMO Labeling Bill in Landslide Vote,
by Steve Mistler, OCA,, June 13, 2013.

Region's farmers not confident in GMO safeguards,
by Tom Lutey, Billings Gazette, June 12, 2013.

MOA's statement regarding escaped GMO wheat in Oregon,
June 12, 2013.

Debbie Stabenow Pledges To Oppose Monsanto Protection Act Extension Without Full Debate,
by Ryan Grim, Huffington Post, June 6, 2013.

Kansas wheat farmer sues Monsanto over rogue wheat release,
by Carey Gillam, Reuters, June 5, 2013.

Connecticut Senate Passes GMO Labeling Bill,
by Anthony Gucciardi,, June 3, 2013.

Max Baucus – Monsanto’s puppet,
by George Ochenski, Missoulian, June 3, 2013.

Genetically modified wheat: Discovery in Oregon field re-ignites a scientific dispute,
by Eric Mortenson, The Oregonian, June 1, 2013.

Monsanto's 'Genetic Pollution' Threatens US Wheat Industry,
by Andrea Germanos,, May 31, 2013.

We Know Who You Are: 71 Senators Reject States’ Rights to Label GMOs,
by Katherine Paul, Organic Consumers Association, May 30, 2013.

Video: 11 year-old takes down Monsanto in TED Talk,
by Anthony Gucciardi,, May 29, 2013.

Open Letter from World Scientists to All Governments Concerning Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs),
Institute of Science in Society, posted May 25, 2013.

Senate Shoots Down GMO Labeling Bill,
by Elizabeth Renter, Natural Society, May 24, 2013.

Monsanto Protection Act May Soon be Repealed Thanks to Activism,
by Anthony Gucciardi,, May 22, 2013.

Support Senator Tester's Farm Bill amendment to improve seed choices for farmers,
by Kristina Hubbard, Organic Seed Alliance, May 20, 2013.

Monsanto Has Taken Over the USDA,
by David Swanson,, posted May 20, 2013.

US EPA hikes glyphosate limits in food and feed - again,
by, posted May 20, 2013

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Unveils Vision for U.S. Organic Agriculture
Announces Organic Crop Insurance, Other Measure, USDA, May 14, 2013. .

Tester: Label Genetically Engineered Foods
, Northern Ag Network, posted on April 29, 2013.

New GMO labeling bill will be the ultimate test between the will of the people versus the greed and power of the biotech industry
, by Michelle Goldstein,, April 29, 2013.

Tell your Senators and Representatives to Co-sponsor the Federal GE Food Labeling Bill.
More info here and sign the petition through the Institute for Responsible Technology. Posted April 22, 2013.

March Against Monsanto, April 25, 2013, 2 PM EST, Held Everywhere
Montana Locations in Bozeman, Helena, and Kalispell
For more information, visit here.

The Monsanto Protection Act? A Debate on Controversial New Measure Over Genetically Modified Crops,
Democracy Now, April 2, 2013.

GMO plague: Charts show worldwide GE crop fields cover entire size of U.S., and then some,
by Jonathan Bensen,, April 1, 2013.

5 Ways to avoid GMOs,
by Leah Garriott, Contributor, March 12, 2013.

Whole Foods announces mandatory GMO labeling by 2018; here's how it happened, by Mike Adams,, March 9, 2013.

A question of coexistence: Lewistown neighbors lay bare national GMO debate,
by Allison Mills, Great Falls Tribune, March 8, 2013.

Non-GMOs after Prop 37 with Jeffrey Smith
, via, November 23, 2012.

Why Glyphosate Should be Banned, Institute of Science in Society Special Report 2012.

Look Out Monsanto: Campaigns to Label Genetically Engineered Foods Are Heating Up,
by Ocean Robbins,, November 20, 2012.

Why the Right to Know What's in Our Food Has Become One of the Biggest Fights of the Election,
by Ari LeVaux,, October 22, 2012.

The United State of GMOs – Keeping Us in the Dark,
by Food Babe, October 12, 2012.

Registry of Pesticide-sensitive Areas,, posted October 10, 2012.

(GMO song) Right to Know,
by EVeryman,, posted October 10, 2012.

Breaking News: Corporations Stab Organic Consumers in the Back — Familiar Brands Funding Attack and Consumers Right to GMO Labeling,
by the Cornucopia Institute, posted October 10, 2012.

The evil of Monsanto and GMOs explained: Bad technology, endless greed and the destruction of humanity,
by Mike Adams,, posted October 10, 2012.

The woes of GMOs - Glyphosate and GMOs Impact on Crops, Soils, Animals and Man
by Dr. Don M. Huber, GM-Free Cymru, posted October 10, 2012.

CRIIGEN Study Links GM Maize and Roundup to Premature Death and Cancer,, September 19, 2012.

Severe toxic effects of a GMO and of the major herbicide of the world,, September 19, 2012.

View DVD, Genetic Roulette for free Sept. 15 - 22,
Institute for Responsible Technology, September 15, 2012.

Farmer Debunks Corporate Propaganda Against Proposed Law to Label Genetically Modified Food,
by Will Allen, Organic Consumers Association, August 27, 2012.

Monsanto's Bt corn — breeding superbugs & harming human health,
by Anne Sewell, Environment Magazine via, posted August 24, 2012.

12 New GM Crops Up For USDA Approval: USDA Fast-tracks GMO Crop Approval Process,
by Melinda Suelflow, OCA, August 15, 2012.

Who is Funding the California GMO Labeling Ballot Initiative (pro and con)? Organic Consumers Fund, August 10, 2012.

Say it Isn't So: Organic Brands Backing the Campaign to Defeat GMO Labeling,
by Katherine Paul, OCA, August 9, 2012.

Decade-Long Feeding Study Reveals Significant Health Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods,
by Dr. Mercola,, August 7, 2012.

12 Bizarre Examples of Genetic Engineering,
Mother Nature Network, August 7, 2012

GMOs cause animals to lose their ability to reproduce, Russian scientists discover, by Jonathan Benson,, August 6, 2012.

Why a Major Food Organization Is Teaming Up With Monsanto and Friends to Block Your Right to Know What's in Your Food
, by Ronnie Cummins, Posted August 4, 2012.

Dramatic Health Recoveries Reported By Patients Who Took Their Doctor’s Advice and Stopped Using GMO Foods,
by Jeffrey M. Smith, Vitality Magazine. Posted August 3, 2012.

GMOs Increased US Pesticide Use By More than Half a Billion Pounds,
courtesy of GM Watch, Posted August 3, 2012.

Who Supports Truth-in-Labeling on GMOs?
See the list from CA Right to Know here. Posted August 3, 2012

Who Opposes Truth-in-Labeling on GMOs?
See the list from the California Secretary of state here Posted August 3, 2012.

Debate/Pros and Cons: Mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods,

GMO wars - Monsanto suing DuPont to see who will dominate the world's food supply,
by Jonathan Benson,, July 26, 2012.

10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs,
by Jeffrey Smith, Institute for Responsible Technology, July 22, 2012.

Tell Congress: No Free Pass for Monsanto! (update on the Monsanto riders in the Agriculture Appropriations Bill and the Farm Bill),
by Alexis Baden-Mayer,, July 17, 2012.

The 'Monsanto Rider': Are Biotech Companies About to Gain Immunity from Federal Law?
by Alexis Beden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins,, July 12, 2012.

Stop the Monsanto Protection Act!, posted July 12, 2012.

92 percent of Americans want the FDA to label GMO foods - Sign this labeling petition if you're one of them,
by Ethan Huff,, July 12, 2012.

How Monsanto Is Sabotaging Efforts to Label Genetically Modified Food,
by Charlotte Silver,, June 26, 2012.

Senators who voted for and against GMO labeling,
June 21, 2012.

Why genetically engineered food is dangerous:
New report by genetic engineers, Earth Open Source, June 17, 2012.

GMO labeling victory! Measure accepted onto California ballot; now the real battle begins,
by Mike Adams,, June 13, 2012.

Battle Brewing Over Labeling of Genetically Modified Food,
by Amy Harmon and Andrew Pollack,, May 24, 2012.

Breadbasket of Democracy
, by Ted Nance, Orion Magazine, posted May 2, 2012.

GMO alert: top 10 genetically modified foods to avoid eating
, by Aurora Geib,, posted May 2, 2012.

The Case Against FrankenFood, Jeffrey Smith, Green American, p. 13, April 2012.

Is Vermont's Governor Surrendering to Monsanto?, by Will Allen and Ronnie Cummins,, April 19, 2012.

Millions Against Monsanto: The Food Fight of Our Lives, by Ronnie Cummings,, April 13, 2012.

North Carolina seed company joins class-action lawsuit against Monsanto that seeks protection against predatory patent lawsuits, Ethan A. Huff,, posted March 1, 2012.

Organic Growers Attack Monsanto,, posted February 6, 2012.

Senator pushes for GMO labeling in WA State,, Jan 17, 2012.

WikkiLeaks: More evidence of Monsanto Bullying,
by Bob Adelmann,The New American, Jan 15, 2012.

The World According to Monsanto: No need to test GMOs,
by Ethan A. Huff,, Jan 13, 2012.

The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods
, Ari Le Vaux, The Atlantic, Jan 9, 2012 .

It's Vilsack: Obama Picks Pro-GMO and Pro-Biofuels Ag Secretary,
by Tara Lohan,, December 17, 2008.

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Tell your Senators and Representatives to Co-sponsor the Federal GE Food Labeling Bill. More info here and sign the petition through the Institute for Responsible Technology. Posted April 22, 2013.

March Against Monsanto, April 25, 2013, 2 PM EST, Held Everywhere
Montana Locations in Bozeman, Helena, and Kalispell
For more information, visit here.

Tell Congress to Dump the Biotech Riders, The Center for Food Safety, August 6, 2012.

Tell Congress: No Free Pass for Monsanto! (update on the Monsanto riders in the Agriculture Appropriations Bill and the Farm Bill),
by Alexis Baden-Mayer,, July 17, 2012.

The 'Monsanto Rider': Are Biotech Companies About to Gain Immunity from Federal Law?
by Alexis Beden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins,, July 12, 2012.

Stop the Monsanto Protection Act!, posted July 12, 2012.

92 percent of Americans want the FDA to label GMO foods - Sign this labeling petition if you're one of them,
by Ethan Huff,, July 12, 2012.

Ten Things You Can Do About GMOs in the Food System,, Feb 15, 2012.

Tell Obama to cease FDA ties to Monsanto,, Feb 3, 2012.

On January 31, 2012, family farmers will take part in the first phase of a court case filed to protect farmers from genetic trespass by Monsanto’s GMO seed
, which contaminates organic and non-GMO farmer’s crops and opens them up to abusive lawsuits. Farmers need your voice today. Please spread the word.

Just Label It Logo and LinkMOA Endorses Just Label It Campaign
January 4, 2012 - A recent study shows that 93% of Americans support mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. Yet for 20 years we have been denied that right. Without labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods, we cannot make informed choices about the food we eat. The Just Label It: We Have a Right to Know campaign was created to advocate for the labeling of GE foods. MOA is the latest of hundreds of partner organizations that have joined together in support of the FDA petition and the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.  We hope to raise awareness of this issue, drive consumers to submit comments to the FDA and let Washington know that Americans want labeling of genetically engineered foods. Please visit for more information and instructions on how to submit your comments to the FDA.

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Non-GMOs after Prop 37 with Jeffrey Smith
, via, November 23, 2012.

Eight videos from Institute for Responsible Technology newsletter,
Nov. 1, 2012

Watch the trailer to Jeffrey M. Smith’s groundbreaking new feature length documentary,
Genetic Roulette - The Gamble of Our Lives, narrated by Lisa Oz. Institute for Responsible Technology, August 8, 2012.

Institute for Responsible Technology, video resources
, posted August 4, 2012.

Best GMO videos to watch
,, posted August 4, 2012.

Four food documentaries everybody should watch,
by John McKiernan,, May 16, 2012.

GMOs failing across America - Farmer to Farmer film reveals disastrous failure
by PF Louis, posted Sept 19, 2011. The mainstream media reports almost nothing about the downside of GMO farming. Only the propaganda of creating more agricultural abundance cheaply is broadcasted. A short video documentary "Farmer to Farmer: The Truth about GM Crops" offers a glimpse into the undisclosed downside reality of GMO farming.

The best new online videos you'll want to check out: GMOs, Define Better, FLOW, Awakening and more,, posted Sept 19, 2011.

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Just Label It Campaign

Institute for Responsible Technology:

The Organic and Non GMO Report

Organic Trade Association’s Position on GMOs

Organic Seed Alliance
(blog by Kiki Hubbard)

Center for Food Safety

Non-GMO Shopping Guide

Label GMOs FAQs

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GMO Labeling Talking Points
from the Non-GMO Project at:
Posted November 2, 2012

Repetition is essential to effective messaging. By sticking to the talking points below, you can help make sure that the non-GMO message comes across accurately and powerfully.
The three talking points below capture the most fundamental, most irrefutable consumer concerns about genetic engineering.

Use these talking points as guideposts to keep non-GMO communications clear, consistent and effective.

We have the right to know what’s in the food we’re eating and feeding to our families—we deserve an informed choice.

Informed choice is a fundamental right. This is the #1 talking point because it’s impossible to refute. The biotech lobby presents all kinds of bogus “facts” to defend failure to yield, toxicity, and food security violations, but arguing against the right to know is difficult and un-American. Research has shown that this is by far the most compelling talking point, and it should therefore have a consistent presence in all non-GMO communications.

Genetically engineered foods have not been adequately tested; it’s unethical to be putting an experimental technology into the food we feed our families.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require safety assessments of GMO foods and does not review all GMO products hitting the market. FDA guidelines are entirely voluntary and the patent holders themselves determine whether their products “warrant analytical or toxicological tests.”

According to the National Academy of Sciences, GMOs may carry new toxins and allergens. There has been only one human feeding study and it found things the biotech industry said would not and could not happen. Government regulatory agencies are not even tracking GMO foods for problems. We have a moral obligation to resolve safety issues surrounding GMOs for our children and for the generations to come.

Nearly 50 countries require labels on GMOs, and many of these also have severe restrictions or bans against GMO food production or sale. As of November 1, 2012, the US and Canada do not require labeling. We deserve the same level of protection and information as citizens in other nations around the world.

Countries with mandatory labeling include Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and all of the countries in the European Union. Some of the countries with severe restrictions or bans against GMO food production or sale are Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Ireland, the Philippines, Australia, Peru and Japan.

The U.S. and Canada are two of the only developed nations in the world without GMO labeling. This can be one of the most compelling talking points for people new to this issue. When they learn how heavily regulated GMOs are in other countries, the concern resonates.

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The Right to Know: The Dangers of GMOs in our Food
by Susan Waters
From Organic Matters, Summer 2012
Posted August 3, 2012.

It’s a bit like preaching to the choir to write against GMOs (genetically modified organisms) on a organic association’s website. But, until labeling GMO foods is mandatory, the only way a consumer knows a food is NOT genetically modified is to buy certified organic food.

Since California is poised to be the first state with mandatory labeling laws through the GMO Labeling Initiative (Prop. 37) on the November ballot, chemical and bioengineering companies and other invested big ag and food businesses have launched a multimillion dollar misinformation campaign in California and across the country. As growers, sellers and advocates for organic food, we can become effective educators about GMOs.

According to Jeffrey Smith, author and founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology and dozens of credible, independent surveys, more than 90% of consumers want labeling on GMO foods so that they can make an informed food choice and over 50% of consumers wouldn’t buy a food product if they knew that it had GMOs in it. But the chemical and mega-food industries are launching an estimated $100 million campaign to cloud the labeling issue with misinformation such as: the subsequent hike in the cost of food; stigmatizing technological advancement; and the questionable “benefits” of GMOs. They've also used the tactic of unnecessarily scaring consumers with outright lies and fabricated quotes from the FDA and others. They have a lot to lose if people find out their products contain GMOs, which have been proven to be detrimental to human health, animal welfare and the environment.

And we don’t have to be reminded about the dangers of GMOs when it comes to drift and contamination of organic fields or the bankrupting lawsuits of patent infringement on unwanted plants from contamination.

So, for the growers, processors, distributors, researchers educators and consumers of organic food, we challenge you to become educated and vocal against GMOs until the election and beyond. Use the links on this page to get the latest news and visit the resourses listed to learn more.

Our very livelihoods and health, as well as future generations’ wellbeing, depend on it.

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GMOs: The Other White Meat
by Casey Bailey, MOA Board Member
Posted February 4, 2012

Biotech companies feed us the mantra that genetically engineered food is our hope to end world hunger.  While the other side of the fence, which includes most of the organic community, holler “Oh Contraire!”.  Arguing, that it has no effect on yield, may be the cause of food allergies, and may even make us infertile thereby, well, also ending world hunger…    I’m being a bit sardonic, but the point is there is a lot of heat around this issue; and fueling this fire are a lot of unanswered questions.  

The simple coin analogy:
The happy green and white bumper sticker “Who’s Your Farmer” highlights part of the problem.  Farmers and consumers are often alienated from one another; the trick, and bumper stickered trend, is to see the whole coin.  One coin, two sides.  Each side learning about the other’s world.

Therefore the GMO questions are fundamentally complex since they are both agronomic and nutritional.  Two different worlds whose commonality we find on our plates.  One world calls it a paycheck and the other calls it dinner.  Here’s a taste:

Glyphosate (Roundup).  This stuff makes a farmer’s life easier.  It saves us time and money and helps reduce soil erosion through less tillage while giving us one more tool to fight noxious weeds like bindweed and Canada thistle.  At first blush it is an agronomical godsend. On the flip side are a bunch of questions.  Is it creating a higher rate of cancer in farming communities? Are there harmful residues left on our foods?  Does it support monocultures creating food with insufficient nutrient density that parallels a rise in food allergies and childhood obesity? Might it be creating a biological imbalance in our soils? 

What we know for sure is the herbicide glyphosate is analogous for coin in Monsanto’s pocket -and all GMO “Roundup Ready” crops are sprayed with this money maker. 

It’s Simple. Just wash it off. 
If you have time check out Dr. Huber.  Right or wrong he certainly helps us to pause.  You can find an hour long interview with him if you google search his name within the Organic Consumer website at  He was a staff professor at Perdue University for 35 years.  His research sternly cautions us against GMOs & glyphosate.  He claims that a glyphosate overuse contributes to a nutritionally deficient life form.  How it works is Roundup has a “chelating” action that essentially means it immobilizes necessary micronutrients for life to function - rendering a slow “natural” death, since the plant is unable to fight for itself.  He claims that GE crops sprayed with Roundup incorporate the glyphosate residue making it integral to the plants physiology – not something you can wash off.

The Organic Consumer’s website has more info on this.  It also contains up to speed information on The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. If successful, the November 2012 California Ballot Initiative will require GMO foods to be labeled.  If so inclined, you can support this as a non-Californian. 

Heads or Tails?
The featured editorial in the Winter 2012 MOA newsletter, Organic Matters, titled “Where have all the grain growers gone,” voices that it isn’t black and white or easy.  Really excellent farmers who believe in organics are stepping out of the program.  Chemical farming is tempting when we see our field’s soil blowing away, or observe other farmers getting 10 times the work done in a day.  To make things more interesting synthetic fertilizer can guarantee a more competitive crop, which isn’t just money in the bank for this year, it also means more competition and less weeds able to flourish creating cleaner fields for decades. 

But what about all these risks?  And, if this is such a big deal, why aren’t folks like Dr. Huber being broadcast all over the nightly news warning us of these troubles?  Because the Monsanto Grinch suppresses independent research!?  Well, for whatever reason, the research just isn’t thick enough yet to say without a doubt that GMOs will harm your children, so we may as well continue eating them…  This of course is ridiculous.  Yet this is exactly what is happening.  The two sides of the coin make it difficult to understand.  Even when over 90% of consumers say they don’t want to eat GE foods, good farmers are prone to bring GMOs into their farming tool chest.

A quick pause for a Simple Answer:
One bright spot that brings clarity to your dinner table and to this two-sided conundrum is the USDA Organic label.  It guarantees that no GMO ingredients will be in certified organic products.  As a consumer you can know your farmer and your food’s GMO status through buying USDA certified organic. 

Simple Failures:
Kids are addicted to this crap. 

I was a youth director at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Great Falls for three years.  During that time the youth and I gathered our congregation for a movie night.  We watched “King Corn”, a fun documentary about two college graduates who took hair sample tests, informing them that they, and most all of us, are in fact MADE of corn.  In response, they took a road trip to answer this startling fact. As a result, a few of us became ingredient hounds!  We tried to wean ourselves off any food that contained high fructose corn syrup.  We failed.

I just read about a school in LA who revamped their lunch menu in an attempt to healthify their student population.  According to the article they substituted foods high in salt and fat like corn dogs and nachos for vegetarian curries, quinoa salads and pad Thai noodles. The kids hated it.  It turned into the prohibition. Instead of boos it was Flamn’ Hot Cheetos and soda pop.  The effort was initiated by the Los Angeles Unified School District.  They had to tone it down and realize kids’ palettes can’t change overnight.  One step at a time. 

Simple Success:
Who’s to blame?  I reeeealy want to blame someone.  Monsanto for sure. Western civilization?  Roman Christianity!?  How ‘bout emperor Constantine!?  If we could just eliminate one bad dude.  But, we can’t. 

What we can do is look at what we have achieved.  Food awareness is on the rise.  The number of consumers who want good food tops the charts.  Youth from cities are heading back to find lives as farmers, desiring a simple existence that they can be proud of.  Community gardens are popping up like wildfire.  And, we have a couple campaigns to label GMO food that are gaining a lot of strength and awareness.

And, in the end it’s all about that dinner plate.  And, if you dare to hop down the rabbit hole, in our modern industrial setting, our dinner plate is part of the master cylinder to our soil, river, ocean,
and climate health.  We are fighting the good fight.

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