For some reason, celebrities seem to be drawn to bad environmental causes. Naturally (pun intended), environmental groups are more than happy to use those celebrities to raise awareness and convert fans to donors. Unfortunately, the campaigns utilizing celebrities are usually light on facts and heavy on emotion.
Here we go again!
The Environmental Media Association has teamed up with the organic dairy farm Clover Sonoma to celebrate Dairy Month in an unusual fashion: opposing genetically engineered crops with B-list celebrities. Jordana Brewster, Amy Smart, Carter Oosterhouse, and Baron Davis all appear in a commercial-type video aimed at convincing parents that good parents wouldn’t dare feed their children GMOs.
The crux of the campaign’s argument is that all families deserve to feed their children non-GMO or organic foods. But the campaign amounts to nothing more than an elaborate example of parent-shaming. The message is simple: You just aren’t a good parent if you feed your children food containing genetically modified ingredients. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As Sarah from Nurse Loves Farmer stated in her article “I Don’t Feed My Kids Organic Food” said: “I know that I am a good mom. Some days I even call myself a great mom, and I don’t deserve to be called a bad mom for not feeding my kids organic food. So here’s my plea to you: Don’t let the anti-GMO activist moms bully you into thinking that organic is the only or best way when it comes to feeding your kids. I assure you it is not.”
While I’m not a parent, I have seen the detrimental effects of parent-shaming from my friends. Contrary to the video’s claims, there has been plenty of research performed on genetically engineered foods. In fact, the National Academy of Science reviewed all of those studies and concluded that there is no significant difference between GMO and non-GMO foods. Making someone feel like a bad parent is a despicable way of promoting your campaign based on wrong information.
Because that’s precisely what the video and its claims amount to.
If you’re not convinced yet, consider that amidst the parental guilt-trip, the video states that there has been no research into the potential effects of GMOs, but some studies have shown toxic effect in animals that have eaten genetically engineered foods. The only study that ever showed detrimental effects to animals from eating GMOs was eventually retracted for not being based on scientific principles.
But there has been legitimate research performed on this exact topic.
Unlike the retracted and debunked studies relied upon by the EMA and Clover Sonoma, real science shows that there has been no detrimental effects on animals. Consider that for the past 18 or more years, we have been feeding our livestock genetically modified feed. In fact, the average farm animal’s diet is composed of 70 percent to 90 percent genetically modified feed. That means, when you crunch all the number as Dr. Van Eenennaam did, we have served well over a trillion GMO meals to our livestock.
And guess what? Not one instance of detrimental side effects of consuming GMOs.
The video ends by urging consumers to demand non-GMO options from companies. The hope is that the pressure will force the companies to source from more organic sources and put an end to genetically engineered crops. I suggest an alternative. How about contacting Clover Sonoma, EMA, and those B-list celebrities and telling them that you’re offended by their parent-shaming campaign that has no basis in fact? Let them know that this is not an acceptable way to promote their dishonest agenda.
Even the alliance of celebrities and environmental activist groups should be able to stand against parent-shaming.
Amanda Zaluckyj blogs under the name The Farmer’s Daughter USA. Her goal is to promote farmers and tackle the misinformation swirling around the U.S. food industry.