Protest set against genetically modified organisms in food

By Jeff Chew
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — A second street-side rally against genetically modified organisms in food — this time in conjunction with rallies, forums and gatherings worldwide on World Food Day — takes place in downtown Sequim on Sunday.

The GMO Awareness Group of Sequim, which drew about 100 to its last informational rally in March, will host the Sunday rally from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the parking lot on the northeast corner of Washington Street and Sequim Avenue.

The Garden Bistro & Bakery is sponsoring the rally site.

The goal is to raise awareness about genetically modified organisms, also known as GMOs, in the food supply and to protest the idea that GMOs are a safe technology that will feed the world.

Collecting petition signatures

Signatures will be collected on a petition calling for the labeling of genetically modified foods in the U.S.

Armstrong said the Sequim group has turned in more than 2,000 signatures and hopes to send in more after Sunday’s rally.

“I couldn’t believe how many people don’t know that they are participating in a giant GMO experiment that puts their health at risk,” said rally organizer Kia Armstrong, who is marketing director and advocate for Nash’s Produce in Dungeness.

“We talked to so many folks at the rally that wanted information and wanted to know what GMOs were,” she said. “Once they found out, they were outraged.

“We have to keep this education going,” she added. “The time is now to send a message to our government that we want these foods labeled.”

Modified organisms

GMOs are plants or animals whose DNA or genes have been modified or manipulated in a laboratory in a way that would never happen in nature.

While biotech companies and commercial food producers continue to sell and promote genetically modified seeds and foods as a solution to feeding the world, a recent United Nations report, based on the evidence of scientific studies, refutes this claim, Armstrong said.

“There’s more and more studies coming out from all over the world refuting the corporations’ claims about GMOs being safe,” Armstrong said.

The U.S. leads the world in commercialized genetically modified crop production.

Genetically modified salmon is the next food item slated for public consumption, Armstrong said.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Jeff Chew can be reached at 360-681-2391 or at jeff.chew@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: October 13. 2011 9:22PM
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