How To Get Involved with GMO Education: Speak to Your County Commissioners

Posted: January 17, 2013

A great way to affect change in your community about GMOs is to attend your local county commissioner’s meeting (typically held twice a month) and speak about GMOs. We suggest you speak during the public comment section of the meeting — typically at the beginning of the session, though occasionally it is at the end of the meeting. County commissioners are elected officials who administer county government in local government, and have the ability to propose resolutions to state legislators based on what is important to their constituency. Labeling GMOs (and curtailing their spread) is incredibly important to us, and we hope for you too!

On Tuesday, January 15, Sow True Seed’s Neeley Dawson attended the Buncombe County Commissioner’s meeting and spoke against GMOs during the public address portion of the meeting. We’ve posted her 3-minute speech below as a guide for your own speech. Not a public speaker? Who is! This is about standing up for what you believe to your elected officials, and every action you can take is one step closer to healthy, pure food for you, your family and your community. The Buncombe County commissioners were very interested in our presentation about GMOs, and it was a great opportunity to educate the community. To find out when your county’s next meeting is, CLICK HERE.


Thank you. My name is Neeley Dawson, and I am here because on behalf of myself, my family, my farm, and the local, open-pollinated seed company Sow True Seed, to talk about GMOs.

I wouldn’t describe myself as an activist, I am simply a mother concerned about what will happen to my daughter, our community, family and friends if GMOs are continued to be allowed to contaminate our food supply.

A genetically modified organism, or GMO is created by forcing the DNA from one species into another. It is NOT traditional breeding. Corn, for example, is injected with a series of bacteria, ecoli, viruses and anti- bacterial marker genes which makes the corn plant resistant to herbicide, or forces the corn express a toxic pesticide. GMOs have been in our food supply since the mid – 1990s But unless one does research, one does not know GMOs exist. WHY? Because they are not labeled.

There are 40 countries in the world that label GMOs – including Russia, China, Japan and the European Union. Citizens in these nations have the right to know what they are eating but we in the United States do not. Why?

We know about food coloring, trans fats, gluten, sugar, salt, calories, aspartame , msg but we do not know that 80% of processed food, including infant formula is genetically modified. . . We are only told that they are “safe” and there is no need for testing.

But in 1992, FDA said GMOs were dangerous. They could lead to allergies, toxins, and new diseases. But these FDA scientists were overruled by politics. Lawyer Michael Taylor was brought into the FDA – wrote the laws without regard to scientist concerns – and sits in the White House Today as our Food Czar.

Is this why our food isn’t labeled? Congress won’t pass legislation to label GMOs, despite millions of signatures demanding it. Nationwide polls consistently show over 90% of U.S. citizens want GMO food labeled. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine – who discovered Gulf War Syndrome and Chemical sensitivities – stated in 2009 that all physicians should prescribe a non-GMO diet. WHY? Because “ Multiple animal studies had shown that GMOS pose serious health risks in areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function and reproductive health. . . But if the foods aren’t labeled, you can’t prescribe a non-GMO diet.

The main proponent of GMOs, Monsanto, says they are perfectly safe. Well, that’s what they said about DDT, PCBs and Agent Orange. In fact, 2-4 D, a main ingredient in Agent Orange is being genetically engineered into corn. And you and your children will eat it, unless it’s labeled.

There is a thirty state coalition united to seek labeling of GMO foods across the US. Here in Western North Carolina we have collected over 3,000 signatures in support of labeling and banning GMO crops in our beloved mountains.

Your constituents are concerned and you should be, too. We’re are on the precipice of loosing our agricultural heritage to big biotech companies and we can’t let that happen. We have the right to know what we’re putting in our bodies and that includes GMOs. I ask you to consider a resolution to support GMO labeling in North Carolina.

*Many thanks to Samm Simpson for providing much of the speech text. Samm is a GMO Educator, writer, speaker and truthseeker, and is hoping to be found on the right side of history.

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