Ahwatukee resident is local voice in fight against GMOs - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Ahwatukee resident is local voice in fight against GMOs

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Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2012 6:49 am

Ironwood Library will host a free showing of the independent feature film, “The Future of Food,” about genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) and how they are associated with the food we eat, on Saturday.

There is a growing movement in the U.S. with long-term goals to eliminate GMOs and the products that contain them. It is a lofty goal because it requires an overarching behavioral change from consumers, who must have the desire to purchase alternative products, said one Ahwatukee Foothills resident who is leading a local charge for change.

Sarah Reiter founded GMO-Free Phoenix in July and is now connected with a national organization called the Institute for Responsible Technology. Her goal is to raise awareness about the history behind GMOs and their connection with everyday food products.

The main issue is testing has not been extensive enough and not enough time has passed to show if there are any long-term consequences of ingesting GMOs. The website for the Institute of Responsible Technology states: “We believe GMOs should be banned until proven safe and we support legislative initiatives to contain their spreading. Our aim is to reach a tipping point of consumers who reject GMOs.”

A big issue, Reiter said, is that people do not know they are ingesting these organism, which can be found in products such as corn, soy, sugar beets, cotton, and canola.

“The biggest problem in the United States is that there is no required labeling of genetically modified products,” she said. “The best case scenario is that we just don’t know if there are any negative effects. The worst case scenario is the consumption of GMOs is linked to health problems. It is just common sense to have more long-term testing.”

Reiter said that short-term research has shown GMOs are linked to health “such as food allegories, reproductive issues, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and are shown to have high impact on detox organs.”

Around the country, supporters of the non-GMO movement are watching the California election. A ballot measure — the fourth of its kind, but what would be the first to pass — would require labeling on foods that contain GMOs.

“Billions of dollars are being spent to keep labels off through lobbying in Washington, D.C.,” Reiter said. “We are all watching California right now.”

“The Future of Food” delves into the background of the corporations that profit from the sale of these products as well as what the future could look like if citizens took a stand.

“There is so much corporate greed mixed with (federal) regulatory agencies,” Reiter said. “The movement toward organic can happen. Generally it’s no more expensive, you just have to know what you’re looking for.”

The results from Proposition 37 in California will tell whether or not the movement can keep the ball rolling.

The free showing of “The Future of Foods” will take place at Ironwood Library, 4333 E. Chandler Blvd., on Aug. 25 from 3 to 5 p.m. RSVP is required and people can sign up at www.gmo-freephoenix.com.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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