Say no to GMO
Presented by the Food Conspiracy Co-op
Non-GMO Project Executive Director Megan Westgate is a former manager at Tucson’s Food Conspiracy Co-op. Now she’s returning to Tucson to headline an event that will explore a controversial topic – genetically modified foods (GMOs).
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are plants or animals created through the process of genetic engineering. This experimental technology introduces DNA from one species into a different species. The majority of the corn, soy, canola, sugar beets and cotton grown in the US are genetically engineered in this way.
What? The Politics of GMO presentation
When? Wednesday, May 1, 7 to 8:30 pm
Where? The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress Street
Cost? $5/per person
The Non-GMO Project, which Westgate heads, is a non-profit organization committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices. The Grocery Manufacturers Association estimates that GMOs are now present in more than 75% of conventional processed food. Most GMO crops are engineered to withstand Monsanto’s Roundup Ready herbicide.
Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans favor GMO labeling, between 75-93 percent. Moreover, a majority of the world’s developed countries require labeling, including all of Western Europe, Australia, China, India, Russia, Brazil, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
Despite nationwide support for labeling, a California ballot initiative calling for all products containing GMOs to be labeled was defeated in November. One big reason the pro-labeling side fell short: They didn’t have enough money. An anti-labeling campaign, funded primarily by agro-chemical giants including Monsanto and DuPont, outspent the “Yes on 37″ campaign 5 to 1. There are currently GMO labeling bills being debated in other states, including Washington.
Tickets to The Politics of GMOs will be sold at the door and proceeds will benefit the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. At the event, there will be organic and GMO-free brownies, cookies and cashew coconut bars, all made by the Conspiracy Kitchen.
Westgate was hired as the first executive director of the Non-GMO Project in 2007. Prior to working at the Food Conspiracy Co-op, she worked as a manager at Green’s Restaurant in San Francisco and on the operations team at the Heartwood Institute in Northern California. She now resides in Bellingham, WA, where she and her husband are developing an organic permaculture homestead on their beautiful five-acre property.