INSTITUTE FOR RESPONSIBLE TECHNOLOGY
Why we need and deserve your support!
“The coming year promises to bring about a greater, more pervasive awareness” of the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food supply. This was the prediction of Supermarket News, a trade publication that conventional food executives and retailers use as a primary source of news and trends in the industry. They specifically credit the Institute for Responsible Technology and our new Non-GMO Shopping Guide site as one of the key reasons for this coming change. This is just one of many indications that our tipping point is on its way, and that our strategy is the right one. The success of our Campaign for Healthier Eating in America accelerated dramatically in 2009. We have new partners in all the key sectors, and especially among retailers, health organizations, sustainable agriculture and environmental NGOs, and we are reaching into new groups—like restaurants, religious organizations, parents and many more. We hired two outstanding professionals with extensive experience in coalition building, business
development and sales, who are establishing a national network of organizations and opinion leaders to disseminate our materials to tens of millions of people. In addition, our new internet marketing team is enhancing our website and social media presence. We are more effective than ever at responding to the overwhelming enthusiasm, good will, and opportunities that we generate in the US and around the world.
Building Scientific Support for the Mission
The first medical professional association in the US to take an official position warning of the health risks of GM (genetically modified) food—the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)—called for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent studies, labeling, and asked doctors to prescribe
non-GMO diets and provide educational materials to all patients. This was the result, in part, of four years of IRT work, including three presentations by Jeffrey at their conferences. He received an award at their October conference, where he also spoke. Please see AAEM’s position paper.
Jeffrey was invited by the coalition of anti-GMO groups in Hawaii to give a speaking tour. He spoke to packed audiences on four islands, met with local activists to launch new strategic initiatives, and generated media coverage reaching an estimated 500,000 people. He testified before the Big Island County
Council. Less than two months after Jeffrey’s Hawaii tour, two county councils passed resolutions against GMOs. Non-GMO Education Centers were placed in natural food stores statewide, GMO films were shown at public venues and on TV, and a team of students/staff at the University of Hawaii has emerged to address the GMO issue in Hawaii.
Sugar Beets Registry
Last February, on Valentine’s Day, a Non-GM Beet Sugar Registry was launched with the support of 70+ natural foods companies who oppose the introduction of sugar from GM Sugar Beets (planted in 2008) into our food supply. These companies pledged to avoid using GM sugar in their products and the list continues to grow with now more than 100 companies onboard. IRT and the Center for Food Safety (CFS) headed a coalition of 12 watchdog groups who sponsored the Registry. These efforts have expanded into Canada as well.
A Major Victory in Kansas
In response to consumer rejection of milk containing bovine growth hormone (rbST/rbGH), Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Kroger, Publix, Yoplait, Dannon, and 58 of the top 100 dairies have committed to stop using this the drug for some or all of their product lines. As a counter-move, rbGH proponents petitioned state governments, asking them to ban rbGH-free labeling of dairy products. IRT is part of a coalition of organizations that have success-fully fought off these attempts in several states (although some states now require a disclaimer on the package claiming no difference in milk from treated cows). Following our intensive
education campaign, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius last April vetoed legislation that would hamper a company’s labeling of rbGH-free products.
The genetically modified organisms (GMO) issue was center stage for the Natural Foods industry last March, starting with a panel discussion with Michael Funk of UNFI, John Fagan of Genetic ID, and Michael Hansen of Consumers Union. A second meeting featured a presentation by Jeffrey Smith, aimed at helping manufacturers and retailers work together to create the tipping point in consumer demand to eliminate GMOs in the marketplace. Non-GMO Shopping Guides were
included in 15,000 shopping bags handed out by New Hope Natural Media, the show organizer.
Non-GMO Shopping Guide
First produced in October 2008—in conjunction with the Center for Food Safety—the Non-GMO Shopping Guide is now in its third edition, with over 40 additional companies and 70 new brands listed. Manufacturers of non-GMO brands are listed in the Shopping Guide as a free public service. We are partnering with food industry leaders, such as Organic Valley Family of Farms, to display
Shopping Guides and hand them out at every veue they visit nationwide. The Guide is also distributed for free to retailers by UNFI.
Stand-Alone Shopping Guide Web Site
We created a stand-alone Website for the Shopping Guide, where consumers can easily view the categories that interest them. They can also download or order the Guide. The site features sponsors’ logos as live links to their homepage and products. The new site was credited in Supermarket News as pivotal in the coming rise of consumer awareness about GMOs.
New Media and Social Networking Partnerships
IRT has entered into a Web 2.0 relationship with regular blogs on Huffington Post, and the No GMO Challenge, a blogsite encouraging people to stay free from GMOs for 30 days. Our presence on the Internet now also includes YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. These new media partnerships help bring the non-GMO “healthier eating” message to life across America. The popular consumer health website—Mercola.com—is just one of hundreds of sites that publishes our content and supports us with regular non-GMO features.
Presentations Focused Towards Activism
Jeffrey Smith’s presentations continue to inspire local GMO activism. In 2009 he spoke at more than a dozen festivals, conferences and events and received a standing ovation from over 250 doctors at the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) annual conference in San Diego.
Developing Activists’ Network
In 2009, IRT has nurtured dozens of valuable relationships with volunteer activists in 25 states, who are strategizing to achieve wide impact in their community. They receive free materials, guidance and support from our Director of Community Networks, Margherita Pagni.
Partnerships with NGOs and Outreach to Their Constituencies
We identified 150+ organizations and groups who would likely disseminate educational tools to their constituents, urging them to avoid GMOs, support sustainable agriculture and participate in our Campaign. We have established at least initial contact with half of them and have begun to work closely with several organizations that have large memberships, such as the Weston A. Price Foundation, Citizens for Health, the Holistic Moms Network, the Oregon Country
Fair, and dozens more.
GM-Free School Project
We developed contacts in several locations interested in implementing GM-free schools, by organizing parents, students, and school officials to switch from GMO diets to healthy, fresh, non-GMO school meals.
We have placed GMO educational materials into natural food stores around the nation, and a growing number of stores are utilizing our Retailer Campaign Kit to reach out to their communities. Kari Miller, our new Director of Strategic Relationships, works with retailers, large institutions and corporations to develop active partnerships.
Partnerships with Magazines and Websites
Not only have we authored or inspired several magazine articles around the world, several publishers have committed to raising public awareness about GMOs.
Urban Garden Magazine just released an extensive cover story by Jeffrey Smith on the harmful effects of GMOs, and the cover up. They will publish regular features and post our materials on their blog.
Total Health Magazine published a two-page spread of the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, and will also include regular GMO-related features.
2009 ACHIEVEMENTS ABROAD
Bollywood GMO Documentary Drives India Towards Tipping Point
Unprecedented anti-GMO fervor has swept India, due to a film by Bollywood superstar producer Mahesh Bhatt. The 30-minute documentary, Poison on the Platter, was largely based on Jeffrey Smith’s book Genetic Roulette. While in India last year, Jeffrey gave presentations to India’s influential National Planning Commission, top government officials in several states, members of the Indian Medical Association, and the World Congress of Ayurveda. He made public
appearances in nineteen cities around the country, launched the Indian edition of Genetic Roulette, and was featured in more than one hundred articles and TV reports.
In May, Jeffrey introduced the Portuguese edition of Genetic Roulette and gave a talk before the Governor of the State of Parana and three hundred staff that was broadcast on national television and radio. In Brasilia, Jeffrey met with several leading politicians, was introduced on the floor of the Senate, and was interviewed on national Senate TV. He was also interviewed on the most influential national TV talk show.
We will continue to build on the momentum created in 2009 towards the tipping point of consumer rejection of GM foods. We plan to launch several GM-free school projects, bring on board a large contingent of doctors, health care practitioners and nutritionists willing to speak out against GMOs, continue to build and empower our growing body of volunteers, train speakers and achieve additional media exposure on GMO-related issues.
Institute for Responsible Technology
P.O. Box 469
Fairfield, IA 52556
Dear Friend of the Institute for Responsible Technology:
I’d like to share with you our efforts and successes during the past year in building a Campaign that aims to engage a tipping point of millions of consumers who reject genetically modified foods; and to ask for your support for 2010 so that we can do even more.
As our organization grows, so do the opportunities for making a difference. We are directly reaching hundreds of thousands of people; building a multi-generational cadre of activists; contributing to the efforts of protecting a healthy and sustainable agriculture system; launching fruitful partnerships with other NGOs and the most progressive companies; developing and distributing indispensable educational tools; and targeting schools to change the way our children eat.
We thank you for realizing the importance of our work! But we still need financial help to maintain and expand our range of activities.
Please consider an online donation: your dollars are put to work without wasting a dime. We are a no-frills, get-it-done group and our impact proves our effectiveness.
In the meantime, we’d like to thank you in advance for considering our request.
P.S. To donate, please go to: