** Action Alert: Take this handout to your local natural food store, and ask them to install a Non-GMO Education Center. **


By Jeffrey M. Smith

Non-GMO Education Centers are now appearing in natural food stores nationwide. These six-foot high blue towers feature books, DVDs, CDs, and handouts about genetically modified organisms. The sign on top offers two potent messages. The first—“Healthy Eating Starts with No GMOs”—is the slogan that The Campaign for Healthier Eating in America wants shoppers to understand. The second is what the Campaign wants shoppers to do: “Ask for Non-GMO Products.”

A similar one-two punch already knocked down genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH or rbST). Consumers learned that milk from treated cows is less healthy; it has more pus, antibiotics, growth hormone, and IGF-1—a hormone linked to cancer (see www.YourMilkonDrugs.com). When shoppers asked for non-hormone-treated milk, the food industry responded. Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Kroger, and about 40 of the 100 top dairies so far have removed rbGH products over the past couple of years. Monsanto recently abandoned the cow drug altogether, selling it off at a steep discount to Ely Lilly’s animal division Elanco.

The demise of rbGH began in trend-setting natural food aisles before spreading mainstream. That is the Campaign’s plan for genetically modified (GM) crops, which they expect to follow closely on the heels of rbGH.

No one knows exactly how many devout non-GMO shoppers are needed to achieve the “tipping point,” but because GMOs offer no consumer benefits, the critical mass will likely be quite small—perhaps 5%. With a population of 300 million, that translates to only 15 million people or 5.6 million households. Now consider that 28 million people buy organic products regularly; another 54 million occasionally shop organic. Thus, the tipping point can be generated exclusively by health-conscious shoppers.

The vast majority of these folks would choose non-GMO brands if given a clear choice. That’s why the most important item in the Education Center is the Non-GMO Shopping Guide. The free 16-page pocket Guide lists brands as GMO or non-GMO, and also explains how to evaluate other food items not yet listed.  View the Press Release explaining how the Non-GMO Shopping Guide can help you create a Non-GMO Thanksgiving.

On the top row of the Education Center next to the Guides are free GMO Health Risk brochures, providing extra motivation to shop non-GMO. They summarize many of the alarming documented risks of GMOs, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. These and other problems are further elaborated in the popular DVDs and books available in the shelves below, including the DVDs The World According to Monsanto, Future of Food, and The GMO Trilogy, and the books Seeds of Deception, Genetic Roulette, and Your Right to Know.

Natural Food Stores play pivotal role

Whether or not natural food stores host the full Non-GMO Education Center, they can still distribute GMO Health Risk brochures and Shopping Guides at no charge. They can also download the Retailer Campaign Kit, which includes staff education materials, articles for their website or newsletter, and publicity materials and handouts to use in conjunction with free public showings of the blockbuster new documentary The World According to Monsanto.

Nature’s Pantry of Independence Missouri demonstrated the impact of a natural food store Non-GMO Campaign. They ran a series of five of our articles in their printed newsletter, circulation 19,000. Another was written for their 20-page Kansas City Star insert, that went to 190,000 homes. 

“After reading the articles,” says store manager Michele Conway, “a lot of shoppers are now very aware of what they are eating. We have customers coming in specifically looking for labels that say non-GMO or organic, much more than before.”

In October 2008, the store sponsored a free public showing of the feature-length film The World According to Monsanto, as well as a GMO lecture. More than 20,000 bag stuffers announcing the lecture were distributed over three weeks. 

Nature’s Pantry co-owner Bob Perkins says, “Our events are about educating customers. We hope to be the catalyst for GMO education in the Kansas City area, and our customers will help spread the news. They will take the story to their friends.”

While his primary motivation is customer education and better health, Bob sees an impact on his bottom line as well. “We have the largest selection of organic and non-GMO in town, so we are getting more loyal customers who are seeking non-GMO.”

Michele says, “People are shocked at what is in their food. We are looking at the long term effect of this education. People will tell their friends, who will tell their friends. It will snowball.”

Message Spreads to Physicians, Chefs, Schools, Websites, Organizations...

Since the Non-GMO Education Centers and Shopping Guides were made available in October, several physicians have ordered them as patient education materials. Chefs and schools are also distributing materials, as are magazines, websites, and other organizations. The non-GMO tidal wave is being launched.

When Europe reached the non-GMO tipping point in April 1999, within a single week virtually all major manufacturers publicly committed to stop using GM ingredients in their European brands. Now, with so many stores and organizations jumping on board to educate consumers about GMOs, the Campaign expects to achieve the US tipping point before the end of 2009. 


Download the information to give to your natural food store, ask them to carry the Non-GMO Education Center, and get involved with the Campaign for Healthier Eating in America. Several natural products distributors carry the Centers. If you want to order a Center for your own business, you can also contact charles@responsibletechnology.org for details.

Other action alerts:

© copyright Institute For Responsible Technology 2008

Jeffrey M. Smith is the author of publication Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, which presents 65 risks in easy-to-read two-page spreads. His first book, Seeds of Deception, is the top rated and #1 selling book on GM foods in the world. He is the Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology. www.responsibletechnology.org, which is spearheading the Campaign for Healthier Eating in America. Go to www.seedsofdeception.com to learn more about how to avoid GM foods.

Spilling the Beans is a monthly column available at www.responsibletechnology.org. The website also offers eater-friendly tips for avoiding GMOs at home and in restaurants.

Permission is granted to publishers and webmasters to reproduce issues of Spilling the Beans in whole or in part. Just email us at column@seedsofdeception.com to let us know who you are and what your circulation is, so we can keep track.

The Institute for Responsible Technology is working to end the genetic engineering of our food supply and the outdoor release of GM crops. We warmly welcome your donations and support.

Go to www.responsibletechnology.org or click here if you'd like to make a tax-deductible donation. Click here if you would like to become a member of the Institute.