For Immediate Release
Contacts: Holly Givens, Organic Trade Association, (413) 774-7511, ext. 18; Andrea Vardi,Yes! Books, (641) 472-8338; Mike McCusker, McCusker's Market, (413) 625-9411; Christian Avard, Forestrade Intern, (802) 257-9157, ext. 112.
Greenfield, Mass. (Sept. 23, 2003)-The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will sponsor an Oct. 2 appearance by author Jeffrey Smith at Mohawk Regional Trail High School, Shelburne Falls as part of Smith's New England tour to discuss his new book. Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating documents potential health problems associated with these foods eaten by Americans everyday.
Smith is slated to speak to students and the public at Mohawk Trail Regional High School Oct. 2 from 7:45-9:10 a.m. In addition, at 9:15 Smith will show a video about a school system that has improved its food offerings with dramatic results. OTA Associate Policy Director Tom Hutcheson will also participate in a question and answer panel during the event. The public, including parents and delegations from area schools, are encouraged to attend.
"OTA is proud to sponsor Jeffery's work with young people locally," said Katherine DiMatteo, OTA's executive director. "Organic products are one choice people can make to avoid genetically modified organisms because organic crops and animals are raised without the use of genetic engineering. The Organic Trade Association has called for a moratorium on the use of genetic engineering in agriculture because it is impossible to keep pollen from genetically engineered plants from affecting the organic farms, and from the environment that we all depend on to keep ourselves healthy."
Smith's work reveals that to keep the potential dangers of genetically modified foods hidden, whistle-blowers have been harassed, stripped of responsibilities, or fired; evidence has been stolen; research data were omitted or distorted. "Internal documents made public by a lawsuit reveal that the FDA's own scientists warned that GM foods could lead to unpredictable toxins, allergies, and new diseases. They insisted that each GM food be subject to long term safety testing before it was approved, " Smith says. However, the agency's political appointees-including a former lawyer for biotech giant Monsanto-overruled the scientists' recommendations. No safety tests are required and few have been conducted.
Smith's other local appearances include: a 7 p.m. panel discussion Oct. 2 at Smith College, Northampton (413-585-3951); a 11 a.m. to noon press conference Oct. 3 at Greenfield's Market, Greenfield, followed by a question-and-answer session and book signing from noon to 1 p.m.; a 4-5 p.m. talk and book signing Oct. 3 at the Brattleboro Food Coop from, followed by a 6 p.m. talk at the New England Youth Theater as part of the Brattleboro Literacy Festival.
Mike McCusker, of McCusker's Market in Shelburne Falls invited Smith to speak at Mohawk Trail Regional High School. McCusker says, " Jeffery is a fantastic presenter. He is THE person on the topic of genetically engineered food safety. I agree with others who suggest that his new book Seeds of Deception is likely to be viewed as the Silent Spring of GE food safety."
For more information about organic agriculture and products, visit http://www.ota.com/. For more information about Jeffery Smith and Seeds of Deception, visit http://www.seedsofdeception.com/.
Representing the $11 billion organic industry in North America, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is a membership-based business association. Its mission is to encourage global sustainability through promoting and protecting the growth of diverse organic trade. OTA's approximately 1,200 members include growers, shippers, retailers, processors, certifiers, farmer associations, brokers, consultants and others.Learn more at the OTA website: http://www.ota.com/ or its consumer website: http://www.theorganicreport.org/
Headquarters: 60 Wells Street, P.O. Box 547, Greenfield, MA 01302 USA ( (413) 774-7511
Fax: (413) 774-6432 ( e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ( web site: http://www.ota.com/
Legislative Office: 205 South Whiting Street, Suite 308, Alexandria, VA 22304 USA ( (202) 338-2900
September 24, 2003
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