Jeffrey Smith responds to our question:
“Why did you take up this mission to stop GMOs, what has been your experience bringing us to tip the tipping point?”
“I host all the authors giving talks here and read their books in advance. But your book, it’s a bombshell! It can change this whole thing.”
This was the very first reader comment about Seeds of Deception that I received at my very first author presentation, in September 2003 at a Washington, D.C. bookstore.
I smiled. She got it!
Two months later, I joined Vandana Shiva and other experienced non-GMO activists in Brussels to present an all-day briefing to members of parliament and government officials. When it was over, a gentleman pulled me aside and said, “Of all the topics today, yours was the bombshell. What you said can stop GMOs like nothing else.”
The others spoke about environmental issues, the concentration of power by multinationals, the hypocrisy of patenting life, and the plight of farmers unable to save seeds—all important issues. But if the food is known to be unsafe and the cover-ups are exposed, he said none of the other arguments are required. The industry will crumble.
He got it!
This man, and the bookstore employee before him, understood why I had written the book. They understood what inspired me to travel 6-9 months a year for the next 13 years, visiting 45 countries and most states.
I was never an “author” looking for a subject to write about or even an activist looking for a cause. Rather, I was convinced that if unchecked, GMOs could inflict irreversible damage to our environment and widespread harm to the population.
And I was sure that evidence of the health dangers of GMOs, backed by the accounts of corporate manipulation and political collusion, were the essential elements needed to win.
At the time, none of the nonprofits that were addressing the GMO issue saw it this way. They were focused on environmental issues – they were fighting without the bombshell.
I started my first book, and most of my early lectures, with the story of Dr. Arpad Pusztai. Commissioned by the UK government in 1996 to figure out how to test GMOs for safety, he discovered that rats fed GMOs suffered massive health problems in just 10 days.
Moreover, it was the generic side effects of the process of genetic engineering that were the cause. When he went public with his concerns, he was fired, gagged, attacked . . . and later vindicated.
Every year, I added new scientific findings and stories of industry corruption to my lectures, while dropping the less potent ones. Successive articles, books and movies were molded by the evolving state-of-the-science.
Today, the core message is simpler, but more powerful. Here’s an example:
According to a recent peer-reviewed article in the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, more than 3,200 people reported health improvements in 28 health disorders after switching to non-GMO diets. This is confirmed by healthcare practitioners who see the same type of recoveries in their practice. When livestock and pets are taken off GMOs, vets and animal owners report similar improvements. And according to numerous published studies, lab animals fed GMOs or Roundup suffer from these types of conditions or their precursors.
The side effects of GMOs and the damaging effects from the toxins they contain (Bt-toxin and Roundup) provide a plausible explanation for why these particular conditions are impacted. Since the average American consumes more than their own weight in GMOs every year, it’s no surprise that the types of conditions linked to GMO consumption are rising in the US population—closely correlated with the increased use of GMOs and Roundup.
It’s so gratifying to see how the original bombshell—expanded with increasing science behind it—has now reframed the debate on GMOs. Today more than 50% of Americans surveyed express concerns about the health impacts of GMOs. Monsanto’s cover-ups, especially regarding the toxicity of Roundup, are finally getting into the headlines and helping to change consumer behavior.
Yes, GMOs are an environmental issue, a farmer issue, a moral issue, and an economic issue. But it’s our deepening understanding of how they impact our own bodies and our loved ones that drives us to eliminate them from our food supply. We vote with our dollars and change the course of the world.
I took up this mission because I felt a sense of urgency and responsibility when I realized that I had identified the approach that would stop this assault on our food and on nature. Each year – every month – more and more of us realize the dangers of GMOs and wake up to this sense of urgency and responsibility.
Millions have come to understand the truth. We’ve made a huge impact, and thank goodness, we are now winning – thanks to you!