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Sat, Dec. 07

GMO-Free Prescott Supports Safe, Healthy, Sustainable Food

Learning about the genetic engineering of the food supply and its inherent dangers, we formed GMO-Free Prescott almost four years ago as a group of concerned citizens. Since then we have been working in the media and various educational forums to share our message, including partnering with local colleges to host presentations by experts, such as the recent keynote address at Prescott College by Steven Druker, author of "Altered Genes, Twisted Truth" and Jeffrey Smith of Institute for Responsible Technology who was quoted as saying "The size of the turnout when I spoke in Prescott in 2013 demonstrated a level of enthusiasm greater than many other places around the country." We have organized showings of documentary films, free public talks and GMO-free dinners, spoken on television and radio, and published news articles and handouts in our mission to inform our community about the many facets of the GMO experiment.

We believe consumers have a right to know that much of the food they are buying and feeding to their families is being genetically engineered in a laboratory, has never been proven safe and according to Steven Druker (a public interest attorney whose lawsuit against the FDA revealed documents exposing the government's failure to uphold food safety laws), has been commercialized illegally. It is estimated that over 80 percent of processed foods in the U.S. are derived from genetically engineered crops including corn, soy, canola, cotton and sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya and some squash. Last year Arctic apples and Simplot potatoes were approved and just before Thanksgiving the first genetically engineered animal was approved the Aqua Bounty salmon. Once this technology has been introduced into the food chain and the environment it cannot be recalled.

In speaking to both the public and community leaders, we discovered that many people are unaware that GMOs (genetically modified organisms) exist and are a new life form that involves the patenting of seeds and that the genetic engineering process entails the forcing of a gene from one species into the DNA of another species. Information that these crops have been engineered to withstand otherwise deadly applications of one or more herbicides and produce their own insecticide or are engineered to do both is unknown to most Americans. The GE process is complex, inexact, significantly different from traditional hybridization and does not occur in nature is generally misunderstood.

"The folks we speak to are shocked to learn that the Food and Drug Administration's own scientists identified and warned of potential risks associated with GM foods but were ignored." says Shea Richland, founder of GMO-Free Prescott.

This information increases concern about the significant health risks associated with consumption of GE foods and that many of our modern diseases, including autism, diabetes and Alzheimer's are highly correlated with the introduction of GE crops and their related use of glyphosate (recently listed as a probably carcinogen). The recommendation of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine was prudent when they called for an immediate moratorium on genetically modified foods and advised physicians to advise their patients not to consume genetically engineered foods.

Consumers can avoid these products by reading labels carefully, purchasing USDA organic products and products carrying the Non-GMO Project verified seal or products that have not been genetically modified.

GMO-Free Prescott supports local, healthy, safe and sustainable food for our community. We provide the latest scientific information regarding this drastic change in our food system so that consumers and policy makers can make informed choices. For more

information visit www.gmofreeprescottaz.org.

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