A wise customer wanted to find out if the corn nuts she was eating were from genetically modified (GM) corn. She emailed the company and got a shocking reply. It began:
"Thank you for your contact. We are not aware of any GMO free corn in the U.S. We feel it is a ridiculous concern based on very poor science."
The email, reproduced at the blog of Kelly the Kitchen Kop, even recommended:
". . . if these concerns are truly important to you, you may be better served at a health food store.
We appreciate your patronage.
The Customer Support Team,
American Importing Co., Inc."
Talk about being opinionated and misinformed.
There's overwhelming evidence showing that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are unsafe. And there are plenty of sources for non-GMO corn.
Did this email get you angry? Are you thinking about flooding the company's email with hostile missives? I had another idea.
I phoned the company owner.
I figured that although the email's author was clearly misled, I also knew all about Monsanto and the other devious corporations that dis-informed him—and how they skillfully depict GMO critics as ridiculous and unscientific.
When I got President Andy on the phone and asked if his products were genetically modified (GM), it didn't take me long to realize that he was almost certainly the author of his company's tactless email. He launched into a diatribe blasting GMOs as the most misconceived issue in the entire food industry.
As I took notes documenting his string of incorrect statements, (no, there is no GMO wheat yet, same with apples; no there was not a massive death of monarch butterflies in Europe), he heard my keyboard tapping and stopped momentarily to ask who I was. I told him that I was a leading spokesperson on the dangers of GMOs, that I wrote the world's bestselling book on the subject, and that I was doing a blog based on an email response sent by his customer service.
That didn't slow him down in the least. Andy continued his rant, which literally went on for 12 minutes. I was impressed.
When he finally ran out of steam, I decided to begin my response by agreeing with him—that we certainly do need to apply real science on this issue. Then I told him the truth.
I told Andy of concerns by FDA scientists that GMOs might create serious, hard-to-detect health hazards, and how Monsanto's man placed at the top of the agency ignored and covered-up the warnings. As a result, the FDA lets GMOs onto the market without any required safety tests.
I told Andy that I worked with more than 30 scientists to document 65 health risks of GMOs for my book Genetic Roulette, which cites peer-reviewed science, industry research, and medical investigations, among its 1100+ endnotes.
I told Andy about the American Academy of Environmental Medicine's condemnation of GMOs, and their prescription of non-GMO diets for all patients. And how this renowned physician's organization linked GMOs to infertility, immune system dysfunction, gastrointestinal problems, organ damage, and disruption of insulin and cholesterol regulation.
And I told Andy how the same corporations that fed him the lie that GMOs are safe, fired and gagged scientists who discovered that they're not.
Now Andy was impressed.
And he realized he had been duped—that the information given to him and others in the food industry had been "filtered" by those earning profits from GMOs. He said that the science that I presented was not getting to the executives in the food industry, to people like him who want to give customers healthy food.
Andy was again on a roll, but with a different agenda. He now urged me to get in front of the decision makers in the food industry, and he even offered to help make it happen.
I told Andy that I was impressed by his passion, which he had unleashed on me like a fire hose at the beginning of the call. And I knew that once armed with the real evidence against GMOs, he could use that same passion and make a big difference.
Andy committed to order and read Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods. And while waiting for it to arrive, he and his colleagues will review my keynote speech online, Everything You HAVE TO KNOW About Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods.
Before we hung up, Andy thanked me over and over for not being reactive to his initial onslaught, and for staying with him and leading him through the science.
I now have a new friend. And I am reminded again about the importance of educating leaders in the food industry as part of our campaign to rid the food supply of GMOs.
If you know a food company executive, please take the time to send him or her a link to the online video presentation, to the article showing that doctors now prescribe non-GMO diets, and to a summary of the GMO health risks. It's time well spent.
And if they run a very large food company, please introduce me. I'm on a roll.
International bestselling author and filmmaker Jeffrey M. Smith is the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology. His first book, Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating, is the world's bestselling and #1 rated book on GMOs. His second, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, documents 65 health risks of the GM foods Americans eat everyday. Both are distributed by Chelsea Green Publishing. To help you choose healthier, non-GMO brands, use the Non-GMO Shopping Guide.
Follow Jeffrey Smith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JeffreyMSmith