PALMDALE – Hundreds of health conscious residents will converge on Marie Kerr Park in Palmdale this Saturday to raise community awareness about the dangers of genetically modified foods.
“We want people to be aware of what’s happening to their food source, we want them to be aware of what they’re eating, and we want them to inspire change in local and big businesses,” said event organizer Kristin Boughton Estevane.
Most wheat, soybean and cotton crops grown in the United States have been genetically modified, and an estimated 70 percent of processed foods in the US now contain genetically engineered ingredients.
While the federal government claims the technology is safe, critics warn that genetically-modified organisms (GMO) in food can lead to serious health conditions, such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects. For more information on GMO’s and the alleged health risks, visit www.responsibletechnology.org.
An estimated 300 local residents have joined the non-GMO movement, forming a grassroots community action group dubbed “Project Awareness.”
Project Awareness is calling on all local grocers to label products that contain genetically modified (GM) ingredients, or to move away from carrying GM foods and products altogether.
Residents can help support the cause by sending a letter to their favorite local grocery store requesting that the store transitions to non-GM products, Boughton Estevane said. Project Awareness has drafted a letter for supporters to distribute to local grocery stores.
A portion of the letter reads:
“No human health or adequate safety testing has been done on these genetically altered foods and it is unclear if these GM foods are causing the increase in disorders such as allergies, asthma, autism, heart disease or cancer. In fact, in May 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine released a policy paper urging all doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for everyone, stating that animal studies show that GM food is linked to infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, organ damage and gastrointestinal problems…
Considering the growing awareness and questionable health effects of these GM foods, I am asking you to label all products in your store that contain GM ingredients, including meats from Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). In fact, it is in your best interest to move away from carrying products with GM ingredients as more and more consumers become aware of the dangers of these foods. By eliminating GM foods, you will gain the respect and trust of the community and families who make healthy eating a priority for their family.”
Letters to distribute to local grocery stores will be available at Saturday’s rally to raise community awareness about the dangers of genetically modified foods.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 22, at Marie Kerr Park, located at 39700 30th Street West in Palmdale.
From 10 to 10:30 a.m., Project Awareness members will discuss nutrition and the health risks associated with genetically modified foods, Boughton Estevane said.
Following the discussion, the expected crowd of about 300 will fan out along Rancho Vista Boulevard, from Marie Kerr Park to the Antelope Valley Mall, with signs and pamphlets aimed at raising community awareness for the cause, Boughton Estevane said.
The event will culminate with a potluck, featuring non-GMO dishes, Boughton Estevane said.
“If you want to know what’s in your food and a good way to extend your lifespan, you should come out,” Boughton Estevane said. “Not only for it being a community event, and you being a part of the community, but also for your awareness and for your health.”
The event is a family-friendly event and children are welcome, Boughton Estevane added.
For more information on Project Awareness and Saturday’s rally, visit the group’s facebook page at Project Awareness- Antelope Valley- MAM Continues.