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Sat, Sept. 21

GMO-Free group expands to Prescott Valley
Meet and Greet event takes place in October

Prescott Valley Mayor Harvey Skoog recently proclaimed October as GMO Awareness Month.

Reading from the proclamation during a Thursday, Sept. 24 council meeting, Skoog mentioned, "There is mounting, scientific evidence of health and environmental concerns related to the consumption of genetically engineered foods."

A genetically modified organism is the result of a laboratory process that involves gene splicing, whereby scientists take genes from one species and insert them into another -- resulting in a product that exhibits desired traits or characteristics.

This process is also known as genetic engineering (GE) or genetic modification (GM).

These GMO foods may be herbicide tolerant, pest resistant, or both.

"Since GMO-Free Prescott and other groups and businesses across the United States have historically celebrated October as Non-GMO month, we are delighted Mayor Skoog has signed this proclamation," said Cherie Dreves, chairwoman for the new GMO-Free Prescott Valley group.

"By recognizing the importance of Prescott Valley residents' food choices and the necessity to educate oneself and one's family about differences in food options, the mayor and council have taken an important step for our community's health and freedom of choice," she said.

Dreves heads up the newly formed chapter, an offshoot of the Prescott group, and has been eating GMO-free for six years.

After diligent research, Dreves said her knowledge about GMO crops and their related health dangers have made an impact on her food choices.

"It's a challenge, in the beginning, when you go to the grocery store with your food list and try to locate a suitable substitution that is much better for you - it does get easier. And, you get used to buying those types of foods," she said.

GMO-Free Prescott founder Shea Richland worked to create the group after she became aware of GMOs and their role in America's food supply. Now, she works to educate and raise awareness about GMOs.

"I started to do research and I was shocked at what I found," she said during the council presentation.

For the last four years, GMO-Free Prescott has been providing education to individuals, groups, and hosting events to let people know this issue is out there," Richland said.

"There are municipalities cities, counties and countries that are banning GMO crops, the latest being Russia and Germany."

She also announced that on Friday, Nov. 13, Steven Druker, who authored "Altered Genes, Twisted Truth," will speak about GE foods and the health issues associated with GMO foods at the Prescott Valley Crossroads Center.

"We probably would not know what we know today about the GMO situation if it wasn't for Mr. Druker," Richland said.

Also, the new Prescott Valley GMO-Free chapter plans to host a meet and greet from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15 at Rock N' Earth, located at 6800 East Hwy 69, in Prescott Valley.

For more information call Cherie Dreves at 928-925-2676.

GMO-Free Prescott Valley is a partner of GMO-Free Prescott, an educational non-profit organization, that shares a mission of promoting grassroots efforts that encourage informed, nourishing and safe food choices and to support everyone's right to know what's in their food.

For more information, visit gmofreeprescott@gmail.com.

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