San Francisco Chronicle
Pesticides' effect on generations of field-workers
Long-term study looks at how widespread chemicals affect generations of field-workers in Salinas Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle
A portion of this article is being re publisehd with permission of the author
September 23, 2013
Health problems prevalent
Good health is precarious for many of Monterey County's 422,000 residents. One-third of adults are uninsured; a quarter of children are in poverty. From 2002 to 2012, the percentage of special-education students with learning disabilities fell, but those with autism, intellectual disabilities and speech impairments increased, according to county data. Researchers wanted to understand the health problems that might be getting overlooked.
Then there were the pesticides. About 9 million to 10 million pounds were used annually throughout the county during the late 1990s. The amount has dropped slightly, though the county still ranks sixth in the state for pesticide use.
Eskenazi submitted a proposal to the National Institutes of Health to study low-income pregnant women and environmental effects on their children, and won the funding.
Now she just had to find moms.
Gonzalez moved to Salinas from Michoacán, Mexico, two decades ago, landing a job in the fields. She was among thousands of farmworkers in Monterey County who rise before dawn to gather an estimated three-fourths of the nation's salad greens.
In late 1999, Gonzalez became pregnant with her fourth child, a boy. During a checkup at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, a volunteer with Eskenazi's study talked her into enrolling.
So began a series of annual or biannual visits to the researchers' trailer outside the hospital. During her pregnancy and delivery, Gonzalez gave them samples of blood, urine, cord blood and breast milk, let them inspect her house and answered dozens of questions about her lifestyle. She was among 601 pregnant women in the initial stages of the study.
Gonzalez's son, Richard Luna, was born in July 2000, one of more than 500 infants in the Chamacos project born between 2000 and 2002.
From the time they were 6 months old, and every one to two years after, researchers analyzed their urine, blood, saliva, teeth and hair. The kids had physical exams and took tests that assessed their motor skills and intelligence.
Much of what the scientists later reported was troubling. They found, for instance, that mothers in the study have higher traces of pesticides in their systems compared with the general U.S. population. Children with high prenatal exposure to pesticides show greater signs of developmental delays than those with low prenatal exposure.
There are limits to what researchers can learn. They can know Richard's blood pressure, IQ scores or pesticide levels. But they don't have enough information to link those factors to his poor eyesight or asthma, or tell his mother whether her time in the fields played a role in those issues. None of their research attributes a health problem to a single direct cause, and they stress that not every potentially harmful factor is equally dangerous in everyone.
"People aren't exposed to one thing," Eskenazi said. "They're exposed to everything around them, including air pollution and alcohol and smoking."
First focus: pesticides
Still, researchers have a lot of educated guesses.
They began their study by examining organophosphate pesticides, a commonly used type known to harm the human nervous system.
One of the researchers' first findings, in 2005, showed the chemicals' presence in the urine of the women in their study group in greater quantity than women of child-bearing age in the general U.S population.
Scientists also noticed that the higher the mother's pesticide levels prior to delivery, the higher the chance their baby would demonstrate abnormal reflexes, such as passive leg movements, after the first three days of life.
The finding preceded many others. At age 5, youths who had been exposed to high levels of pesticides in the womb were more likely than others to score high on tests that determine the likelihood of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
When the children were 7, researchers noted a 5.5-point drop in overall IQ scores for every 10-fold increase in the mothers' pesticides level during pregnancy.
The findings may resonate beyond the valley and across the nation, other researchers say.
"They're helping us understand the links between early exposures and health outcomes that are significant not only in terms of children's functioning and well-being in their early years, but also ... over the entire life course," said Frederica Perera, director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health in New York, which has collaborated with UC Berkeley.
Other scientists have reached similar conclusions about the same exposures. In a 2011 study of New York City children, for example, Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that those with prenatal exposure to pesticides were likely to lag in mental development in their early years.
More than just a study
More studies will follow. Right now, the UC Berkeley team is examining baby teeth for traces of banned fungicides that contain manganese, a chemical element toxic in high doses.
Eskenazi's intent is not to scare residents, but to give them meaningful knowledge. "In my heart, this is more than just a study for me," she said. "This is a population I deeply care about."
The professor plans to keep up the studies as long as there is funding - and Gonzalez and her son plan to keep showing up. Maybe, the mother says, they can help their neighbors understand what is all around them.
"We are all breathing it in," she said.
This article was produced for The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships (ReportingonHealth.org), a program of USC Annenberg's School of Journalism. Stephanie M. Lee is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: [email protected] Twitter: @stephaniemlee
All the MOM PROOF we need that GMO's and related pesticides and herbicides cause our children harm.
Our kids get better when they get off GMO's!*
Just some of over 300 Testimonials from Moms Across America about the health of their children and families in relation to GMOs and Glyphosate: See one of our Mom's video, Jennifer Lawerenson, survey responses and Facebook posts below.
Jennifer Lawrenson and her story about her daughter*
From www.MomsAcrosstheWorld.com- Alice about her village in Uganda, Africa and the impact of GMOs and chemical farming.*
To add yours click here. http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/moms_survey
"My son has had severe autism. As a single Mom who makes about 40 K, it's tough but we only eat organic because I found out about GMOs about 2 years ago. When we went organic, after about 2 weeks, my father thought I was giving my son a new drug, because he saw such improvements, but I said: "Nope, just went organic." This year he entered high school and not one of his teachers could tell he used to have severe autism symptoms. He is with the regular class and he is doing well." - Cindy, MAA*
Jennifer Duffy Fehnel- "At 14 months my oldest son was diagnosed with renal tubular acidosis. It's a kidney condition in which your kidney does not properly dispose of the acid in your blood. This stunts growth and in turn, he is pretty small. In 2008 I asked his nephrologist if diet mattered, and she simply said no. Luckily my gut was screaming something else. After having 3 more kids and losing my Dad to cancer, once the fog lifted I realized we needed to make a change. All that time my son wasn't really growing- he was hugging the bottom of the growth chart. Last year I switched my entire house to an organic (and when not available at least an NON-GMO) diet, and guess who is growing!!! He is being weaned off of his Meds as we speak! So I don't need Monsanto to try to convince me their "food" is safe. We have our own little experiment here that tells me otherwise! Actually, ALL of my kids ( including one who was asthmatic) thrive on an organic diet!"*
"I went GMO-free and after about a month, my Fibromyalgia symptoms went away." - Belinda*
Martina Collom: "I have/had Crohn's and it is terrible. I got it in 1999 at age 18 and went on numerous medications. I ate GMOs back then and I am certain that is why I got it. At one point I just wanted to die, the pain was so great. I understand this misery. I now eat only organic and I am not on any medications been about 7 years since my last med."*
"I had autoimmune diseases for 8 years. I was on different medications for it and actually had surgery for it. It was a living nightmare. I took GMOs almost completely out of my diet 8 months ago and the symptoms are gone! Some of my family think I'm crazy for posting so many food posts about GMOs but I know first hand how devastating the effects are. Doctors said there is no cure for my disease. I found the cure...stop eating GMOs!!!!"- Morgan M.*
"This picture is my son's improvement to a Carageenan allergy. His walnut allergy has also gone from a rating of a 19 ( life threatening) to mild, a .2. Less than 2% of nut allergies typically improve or go away. I believe we could be saving hs life not only from a sudden anaphylactic allergic reaction to nuts but also from stomach cancer that stomach ulcers that can develop into from Carrageenan."- Zen Honeycutt, CA, MAA*
"When my son was born he fussed a lot, the whole day, wouldn't nap. I breastfed until he was three months old. And because his gut was not right, he fussed and I could never console him. I tried all the gassy meds, not sure they are considered meds. Once on the formula the fussy continued, we switched to different formulas, but not until we switched to parents choice organic, Walmart, his fussy stopped, he began taking naps. As a toddler, I fed him cheerios, the main staple in our house. The tantrums began; two hours at a time couple times a day. This is with head banging or slamming his head into the wall repeatedly. He wouldn't let me hold him, not even touch him. Can you imagine not cuddling your baby? I cried every day. I had watched the movie Food Inc. It touched on a subject I wasn't familiar with. After watching Genetic Roulette, I cleaned out the cupboards. After doing this, within two weeks my son's tantrums stopped completely, he started smiling, crawling into my lap for cuddles. I had no idea that was the issue. Even now when he gets something conventionally/ GMO poison, he'll have another tantrum from his past. So if there's a question as to where it's from what kind of seed, I don't take it. So for me and my family, we bow out from being a guinea pig."- Stephanie Vanderyacht*
"My husband was in the hospital 5 times last year. Doctors wanted to remove part of his intestine because it was so infected instead doctors pumped him full of antibiotics for a week when he got out of hospital I changed his diet and all our family food choices to NON- GMO foods WOW what a difference he’s doing great and food never tasted so good! I will march sign petitions anything to reclaim our healthy labeled food choices. God Speed JUST SAY NO TO GMO’S ….MAAM! " Rhonda Bryne, MAA*
Kristie: "Stopped in at our doctor's office this afternoon to get Caroline's nut allergy info signed for school. They weren't able to complete the paperwork (or refill her epi-pen) because she hadn't been in for a visit in 20 months. My first reaction was to get angry and then I took a minute to let that sink in... 20 MONTHS. My girl with asthma, eczema, chronic pneumonia, food allergies and hip dysplasia hasn't been to the doctor in almost two years! Coincidence that we changed how we eat ( Non-GMO and organic) almost 2 years ago? I think not! She is living proof that the foods we eat and the products we put on our bodies matter!"*
"My son had a rash around his mouth now and then but since getting off GMOs he doesn’t have that problem anymore. My daughter's tummy used to puff out after meals and she’d get a belly ache. She doesn’t get those after meals since we went off GMOs. I used to feel like my skin was crawling but I don’t get that anymore since being off GMOs." - Larie Olson, WA. , MAA*
Q: Do you or your family members have health issues that you suspect may be connected to GMOs?
- "Yes! I truly believe my stomach issues are connected to GMOs. My husband was told several years ago that he has a “fatty” liver. Since switching to non-GMO and organic foods my stomach issues are gone and at my husband's last doctor visit, his “fatty” liver has improved." Colleen G. MAA*
- "I am a mother of 4 kids. 1 has serious special needs and the others all have disorders and/or conditions. I feel all of these issues are related to the GMO foods that my children have been fed during their early years of life." Amanda G.*
- "More than one member of my family have been impacted by one or more of the aforementioned conditions. Sister with autoimmune disease, and IBS. Grandchildren with food allergies and a grandson with ASD." Janne L. M.*
- "I’m a mother of 4 kids. 1 has serious special needs and the others all have disorders and/or conditions. I feel all of these issues are related to the GMO foods that my children have been feed during their early years of life." Amanda G.*
- "YES. IBS AND CROHN’S DISEASE"- Linda B.*
- "Yes. Severe allergies (niece), juvenile diabetes (nephew), and constant stomach problems (granddaughter)." Teresa L.*
- "My children have not shown allergic reactions to corn syrup (or HFCS), but I have a bad reaction to it within several minutes of consuming it. I avoid it like the plague, and my teens only get it if they personally buy something with it in. Both of my sons and I have symptoms of ADD, which seems to be worse when we consume processed foods or GMOs. I attribute my autoimmune condition, skin problems, and leaky gut primarily to GMOs." Karene C.*
- "I think that my tweens digestive issues might be linked to GMOs. I have been buying more organic and less processed. Making sure to avoid the major 7. He seems to have gotten a little better. I also think that my younger son's behavioral issues, while somewhat genetic may be linked to dyes and additives. My husband suffered from gout and after changing his diet he no longer has such frequent flare-ups. I have given up diet soda and have noticed a change in my mental abilities, as well as my aggravated/aggression levels, have come way down." Christina A.*
- My 7-year-old son was diagnosed with asthma and needed glasses inside of two weeks. I started learning about asthma and natural ways to control it. Then I found out about GMO. I removed my family from GMO foods/drinks. My 7-year-old went from needing a nebulizer 3x’s a day to not at all. His asthma disappeared. He also no longer had the stigmatism that required glasses. The eye Dr. said he must have had ‘some sort of inflammation’ that is now gone for whatever reason. The reason was removing GMO from our diets. He was recommended for retention last year. This year, he is at the top of his class. Karen L.~Moms Across America*
*Disclaimer: The above testimonials are a sampling of the hundreds of testimonials which Moms have sent to us. There is no guarantee of specific results and the results can vary. This also applies to any comments any of our users make on any of our pages.
The last week or two were weeks of what looked like insurmountably bad news. Daunting. Unbelievable and disheartening.
1) The EPA RAISED the glyphosate levels to unbelievable amounts. We know now that breast cancer cells proliferated upon the introduction of only parts per TRILLION of glyphosate ( see our blog "Proof of GMO Harm"). We know that the chemicals in Agent Orange caused hundreds of thousands of birth defects and deaths. And yet the EPA has granted Monsanto's and Syngenta's requests to raised the levels of these and other chemicals by double, triple, quadruple and higher amounts in the part per million. For example: 2-4 D and other chemicals have been increased in the feed crops that the animals we eat , eat: barley hay from 1.4 to 30 ppm and aspirated grains from 30 to 108 ppm.
Glyphosate levels were increasd in Sunflower seeds to 85 ppm, Tea 5 ppm, Beans 5 ppm, Quinoa 5 ppm, Bananas .2 ppm, Sugar Beets 25 ppm, Dry Peas 8ppm, Pork 5 ppm etc.
Image from Occupy EPA
2) Moms Across America Zen Honeycutt was able to interview Anthony Samsel and found out that 160 of our foods are contaminated with glyphosate. See the full list here.
3) Birth defects in babies are a reported 4-8 X higher down stream from three orchard areas in Washington State that use heavy glyphosate sprays. See article here.
4) TPP: Many of us found out that an international trade agreement called TPP ( Trans Pacific Partnership) that could threaten everything we are working for by fast tracking ( and keeping secret) trade agreements between nations that could eliminate GMO labeling, allow corporation to sue countries for blocking sales of GMOs and force more sales of GMOs. Go to www.flushtheTPP.org to find out more and support the cause by hosting a Meet the Congress! event on MAA website.
We believe that some of the worst news a mother could hear is that the food we eat is causing harm to our family and the toxins in our environment that have been deemed safe by our own EPA are causing birth defects. On top of it our own government appointed officials may take away our rights to be able to choose our food and protect our families from these toxins. This is unacceptable.
But there MUST be Good news right?
Of course there is! Moms and our fantastic supporters are an undauntable bunch!
1) The biggest good news is that we are now creating PARTNERSHIPS between organizations that will expand and support all of our intentions nationally and around the globe. Moms Across Africa, Moms Across Canada and Moms Across Ireland have Facebook pages and we are working on developing an international coalition! We are connecting with several other orgs and will announce partnerships soon!
2) Moms Across America's Kathleen Hallal spoke at the Justice Begins with Seeds Conference in Washington State last weekend and I spoke in my CT home town in front of 62 people, 20 teens from FRESH, a gardening program, who are out to transform the food industry! We are continuing the global movement for Moms, who buy 85% of the food, and supporters to be the ones to make a change in our health and freedom.
3) 14 year old Rachel Parent from Canada went on national TV and stood her ground debating Kevin O'Leary. Click here for the link. Inspiring! If she can speak up, we all can too!!
4) Kauai Hawaii and NY made giant steps forward in labeling GMOs and eliminating toxins from our environment and bodies.
5) Moms Across America is just getting started! Our next endeavors are:
GMO Free Shopping Day! Sept 7, 2013 GMO Free Moms and YOU Moms Across America supporters are the perfect candidates to host a GMO Free Shopping coaching session at your local grocery store! More info on www.gmofreemoms.org. Please post any and all of your events on www.momsacrossamerica.com so your local supporters can find you!
World Food Day Oct 16, 2013 Moms Across America GMO FREE SCHOOLS Educational Outreach. Gather a group of Moms to hand out flyers at drop off or pick up and educate your entire school about how they can make GMO free lunches! Flyers coming soon. Post your event soon!
RECALL ROUND UP: Date: ASAP- Glyphosate information door hangers to distribute in neighborhoods.
GMO Free DINING : Date: ASAP- Flyers to give to restaurants to encourage them to go GMO Free. Chef Patrick Stark supporting us with great tips!
We are disturbed by the bad news...but the good news is you.
Moms Across America is an international coalition of unstoppable moms and we have tremendous reach and power because we buy 85% of the food. It's up to us Mommas and our tremendous supporters.
The Good news are our Dads. The good news is our Teens. The good news is our kids, doctors, nurses and politicians who supports this effort. The good news is that we are not alone and we are growing!
We are continually and deeply inspired by the people like you who know this situation is daunting and huge and yet KEEP GOING ANYWAY.
Thank you for being unstoppable!
Kathleen Hallal and the MAAM Team
P.S. We need your help. We need professionals..a non profit developer, social media gurus, graphic designers, writers, researchers and media support. Please also donate and encourage your favorite organizations to donate and support the Moms who buy 85% of the food to go GMO free and Organic and eliminate toxins from our food supply. Every dollar helps!
Anthony Samsel on the Effects of Glyphosate ( RoundUp) on the immune system, allergies, autism, ADHD, bipolar disorders, behavioral problems, aggression, obesity, liver cirhosis, depression and numerous diseases.
If you have seen Part 1 of the Samsel Interviews or "Samsel on Unsafe Meat and Potatoes" you want to get straight to Part 2. I will be brief, but I do want to presence WHY this information is so urgent for us.
This information leaves us hungry for more, not because it is "good news" but because it makes so much sense. It reveals the connection between so many diseases and illnesses that are affecting our loved ones...our children that we would die for, out fathers that we admire and respect, our mothers that we cherish and our friends that make us laugh so hard we cry. This information gives us access to caring for them.
This information gives us a way to say.."Hey you can get better!" You can tell them we know why now...and we can do something about it.
So, although this can be overwhelming, I ask you to just be present to the love you have for you family members when you watch this and come from that love when you share this information. When you have "bad" news to give someone, it is much easier to digest if it is served with love. And when you are present to that love, you get that YOU are the good news, THEY are the good news, your LOVE is the good news. And together your partnership in eating organic and having new adventures in growing your own food, cooking from scratch, discovering local farmer's markets, connecting with local CSA's or Co-Ops, those connections and the strengthening of our communities and our country is the good news.
Thank you to the brilliant, generous and caring Anthony Samsel for sharing his time and research with us. Thank you to the talented and committed Ryan Wirick for the amazing editing job in finding all the images to assist us in understanding this challenging information. We are forever grateful for your immense contributions to our movement.
Thank you for sharing this with the media, your congress people and with everyone in the world. It is up to us.
With gratitude for your partnership in creating health and freedom,
Dear Supporters! One week from now we will be marching in over 156 parades in our hometowns across America! Wow! Imagine how many hundreds of thousands of people we are going to reach directly and millions of family members!!! This is so exciting! Your generosity, commitment and courage to care about other people really is what makes America Great! It's not to late to join in! Order your GMO info materials, buttons, flyers, stickers, decals and banners individually or in parade packs, which are 50% prepaid, thanks to our sponsors and your donations!
Click here to go to our website and then click on the link on that page to go to webstore. You will need to log into the webstore and pay for expedited shipping to the east coast. Ground shipping to the west coast today only will be fine. Remember that the banners, and flyers are useful throughout the whole summer and can be used at summer festivals at free community booths, and the car decals, buttons and stickers are conversation starters that will change people's entire families lives by sparking a few moments of connection and curiosity. UPDATE on our Moms Across America Tour!
The Honeycutts are driving cross country to promote the Moms Across America March to Label GMOs! So far - CA, NV,UT,NM,AZ,CO, and KS next! Thousands are seeing the "Label GMOs" car decals ( Thanks for donating them Proimagesigns.com!!) and thousands more are getting our flyers, movies, books, organic body care, and solutions to shop online GMO free thanks to our sponsors, NYR Organic, Dr. Bronners, Nature's Path, Nutivia, Organic Valley and Robyn O'Brien, Jeffrey M. Smith and IRT, Howard Vlieger and OMG! ohmygreen.com online NON GMO and organic grocery store.
Even though about 50% of the people we talk to at pit stops don't know about GMOs, the ones that do really care about everyone finding out about GMOs! I have interviewed people in grocery stores, organic farms, a full moon party, pit stop parking lots, campgrounds, restaurants and Moms' homes. They were thrilled to receive the bag of GMO info and I was moved by the stories of struggle they have faced with health issues and inspired by the triumphs they are experiencing by going GMO Free as much as possible.
We are also facing struggles going GMO Free on this trip. We brought lots of GMO free food and have stopped at Whole Foods and natural food stores along the way but after 12 meals out of a cooler, we confess we ate at 2 places, a BBQ and Pancake house ( with gluten free pancakes) in the past 5 days, and although we asked about whether or not they had corn oil, and they said no, one son got sick and the other got a rash. We now suspect cottonseed oil. We know that the answer is to only eat what we bring and we are sad to not be able to enjoy the American experience of good food throughout the USA. It only inspires us to tell more people about GMOs so that restaurants and food trucks will go GMO free.
Our family feel blessed and grateful each day that we are on this journey , creating awareness and connecting with truly wonderful, caring people all over America. Things may not be as we would like, but the people in our country are all love. Please know that when you reach out and share with another person the reward comes back 100 fold and we will prevail. Love always does.
Find out more on our Facebook page <https://www.facebook.com/MomsAcrossAmerica> and on my blog as soon as I have good internet service to upload all the videos. And thank you for your support and partnership in a health and freedom for all Americans! With Love and Joy, Zen and the Honeycutt Family P.S. Please order your GMO Info supplies TODAY! http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/parade_gear
When CNN aired the the Oregon GMO Wheat Mystery piece by Stephanie Elam on Monday June 17, 2013, http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2013/06/17/tsr-dnt-elam-gmo-wheat-oregon.cnn it was a huge step for the movement in the right direction. People watching mass media are now wondering what GMOs are and why they are in doing illegally in our food. People are also seeing not just scientists and doctors being interviewed about GMOs, but an everyday Mom. Robyn O'Brien paved the way for us with her book "The UnHealthy Truth " and was in mainstream media, but for a Mom activist to get air time shows the power of what each and every mom contributes by sharing and standing up for health and freedom. Moms activists are being heard.
The CNN piece was mostly about the Oregon wheat however, and Ryan Wirick, talented producer of the following video, saw that there was more to the story. There is the story of Mom's health concerns. There is the story of our children in America.
This is our reality. Moms get nothing out of sharing what we are sharing except connecting with others that are going through the same struggles and creating a healthy future for our children. We share to empower America. We have the right not only to know what is in our food, but if there are health risks. We see that there are from looking at our own children and we want America and the world to know. We want health and freedom for all.
Thank you for sharing this.
It was a huge honor to be the one interviewed for the piece, and I didn't get to do this alone. I want to thank Michael Carey, reporter and camerman, Jack Olmstead executive producer of Weekly Womens GMO Free News for this idea, Pamm Larrry, Howard Vlieger, Kathleen Hallal and of course our husbands and children for their support in getting to this point were we have created a national organization having an international impact. I am moved to tears by what we are creating. Empowerment, love, health and freedom for all. Thank you!
For more information about PANDAS mentioned go to www.savingsammy.net
I am willing to mess up. I am committed to being effective, but what I have realized is that being a leader means you have to be willing to mess up and just do it anyway. Your commitment to being effective has to supersede the fear of failure.
Someone who is not willing to mess up does not take action.
To be someone who speaks out for a cause like GMO awareness means being a leader. We have all kinds of fears attached to that word, "leader", and for many of us it stops us from taking action. The rewards, however when we do, are far beyond what we can imagine.
Yesterday, the unimaginable happened to me. CNN came to my house ( my HOUSE!!!! you can imagine how my kitchen suddenly looked to me when I found out, I wanted to suddenly renovate) and filmed me cooking a GMO free breakfast ( why, oh why didn't I buy a new set of pots and pans??? Why are all my scrambled eggs sticking????) and eating together as a family (What if I look as nervous as I feel?). YIKES! Most importantly what if I don't say the right thing or forget to say something? What if I mess it up nationally???? ACK! The responsibility to speak for moms seemed immense.
The committee of chatter in my head analyzed everything before the shoot and I called Robyn O'Brien and just say out loud that "I know that I am not going to "get this right" for everyone. They are only going to take a few sound bites and I am never going to be able to say everything I want...so....( deep breath) I am going to be okay with "messing it up". I am also totally committed delivering my message. "Kids get better off GMOs."
She supported me by saying that "even one sentence that they use, or even just the image of me as a Mom, will inspire other to speak up. They will get that they can do it too."
And that's when I realized that it is more important that I do this, for others, than it is for me to paralyze myself with fear to "protect" myself. I am committed to, and believe I did, deliver our message in a way that people can hear it. It's not as impassioned as I really feel about all this, but I get that that screaming it like I kinda-sorta did at the rally in my speech at March Against Monsanto is a different setting. Delivering a message means being calm, focused, strong and clear.
As a leader for this cause, in whatever capacity we choose, there is a lot that can get in the way of being focused and clear, for you, for me. Mostly it is all in our heads. We think "I couldn't be a speaker, I can't even talk to my neighbor about this ...I don't have what it takes...I am too shy...too angry...too busy...too tired..." or maybe it's "not enough" like, "I am not well-spoken enough, or prepared enough, or experienced enough."
Or maybe you really believe you are " just not that kind of person"...sort of how I used to believe I am "not good at math". Now, I use math, in my example that if you as just 1 person has 10 people over for a GMO movie night and those 10 share with 5 and those 5 all share with 5 who also share with 5, then you will be responsible for 1,270 people finding out about GMOs! This math example is inspiring ten of thousands! How's that for rocking math?? Do you believe things about your self too? Like you are " just not a leader?" or "Just not a speaker?"
I ask you to consider that that is not REAL about you. It's just something you made up about yourself. It's just something you say to protect yourself from the fear of failure and "messing it up."
Now some of you are really going to fight me on this, and say " but I really do have a soft voice" or " I get really nervous talking to people and I feel like I am going to throw up in front of a room, I am just not like that."
My answer, with all the love in the world for you, is SO WHAT???!!!
What is more important, letting your fear of failure and messing up in front of people dictate your actions or your gigantic commitment that people have HEALTH and FREEDOM NOW?
What is more important, you NOT sweating or children having the future they deserve and seeds being accessible to all?
What is more important, you being more comfortable NOT talking to your neighbor or being a stand that EVERYONE knows about GMOs and causing a tipping point of consumer rejection NOW?
It's only going to happen if we say so. Speaking to your neighbor and inviting them to a GMO movie night June 15th, getting up in front of a room and speaking at a school, or speaking on CNN is all the same. It just means that you take actions that are aligned with what you are committed to. Someone, I think that Dalai Lama said, that when your actions are in alignment with your commitment, is when you experience true joy. We can experience that joy in adverse situations or not.
So whether they air my segment on CNN or not, whether they pick out the best sound bites or not, whether you think I messed up or not, I am going to keep going. I will not stop. I will not give up. My love for my children will never end and my actions will be in alignment with that limitless love.
I hope you see the love that you have is the fuel for the opportunity of leadership you have in your life. My wish is for you to speak out in your local radio and TV stations, to write to editors, to speak at libraries....just share your personal story.
And be willing to mess it up! On of the founders of Google said, when asked why he was so inventive said,
"When I was little, I tried to pour a glass of milk and I spilled a full gallon of milk all over the kitchen floor. When my Mom saw it, she didn't get mad, she said " WOW! that's the biggest milk spill I have ever seen! Have you ever seen one bigger? And I was stunned. I though she would get mad, but instead she smiled asked, " Would you like to play with that milk ?" I smiled and said yes and smooshed it around and it was fun. Then she asked " Would you like to help clean it up?" and we did together and it was fun. And then "Would you like to practice pouring in to a glass outside with water?" and I did and that was fun too. She taught me that it's okay to make a mess, you can even have fun with it. I never forgot that and since then I have not been afraid of messing up, so I invent."
We can be inventive and create the world we want. The Dalai Lama said "Western women will change the world" that's us, America, and the time is now.
And to the rest of the world, we do this in partnership with you. Thank you.
P.S. I will for sure let you all know when it airs, whether I think I messed up or not:)
Have FUN sharing!
Dear Moms and Friends,
- Mom gets censored and kicked off Facebook for sharing pic of kids holding signs about autism and GMOs.
- Mom shares about proof of link to autism and GMOs on FB and her hard drive gets wiped repeatedly.
- Mom send blood/urine sample to labs to get tested for toxins and is told they cannot even test her own blood for chemicals because Monsanto owns the patent on those chemicals.
Moms are speaking out. The responses are amazing. Americans are seeing positive results from going GMO Free.
Here is a photo of my son's allergic reaction to Carageenan before and after eating GMOs regularly. We found out about GMOs, went GMO free and 4 mnths afterwards he was accidentally exposed to Carageenan again in the toothpaste at the dentist office. His reaction was drastically less inflammed and painful. I only took photos at the time to text to my doctor. These are real photos he wants us to show them to help heal other kids..
Update: my same son recently ate walnuts by accident. Usually he would have been near death in the ER for 6 hours, instead his toungue itched and he felt queasy. He was back in school in two hours. From life threatening to a mild allergy. This is huge!
Read these real results from real Moms from our Moms Survey. No scientific peer reviewed publishing needed, just some Moms willing to share their reality.
"My son just entered high school and his new teachers cannot even tell that he used to have severe autism symptoms. All I did differently was feed him organic food for the past two years, and I am a single Mom and make 40K, so it's not easy but it's that important. Even after two weeks of going organic my Dad saw his behavior changes and thought I had given him a new drug. I said, "Nope, no drugs, just organic food." Avoiding GMOs is the best thing I have done for my son, his life is totally different now."- Cindy RI.
"My son was diagnosed with asthma. We went organic and he went from being on a nebulizer 3xs a day to zero asthma. I lost 13 pounds, doing NOTHING else different, just eating organic only." Karen L.TX
"My son had a rash around his mouth now and then but since getting off GMOs he doesn’t have that problem any more. My daughters tummy used to puff out after meals and she’d get a belly ache. She doesn’t get those after meals since we went off GMOs. I used to feel like my skin was crawling but I don’t get that anymore since being off GMOs." Laurie O. WA
I had an auto immune diseases for 8 years. I was on different medications for it and actually had surgery for it. It was a living nightmare. I took GMOs almost completely out of my diet 8 months ago and the symptoms are gone! Some of my family think I'm crazy for posting so many food posts about GMOs but I know first hand how devastating the effects are. Doctors said there is no cure for my disease. I found the cure...stop eating GMOs!!!!- Morgan M.
Here is a video from Jennifer Lawrenson who recorded this for the Moms Across America Initiative for World Child Health Day 2013.
Do you or your family members have health issues that you suspect may be connected to GMOs?
( Before going GMO Free) "I had, depression, myofacial pain syndrome, constipation, chronic pain, atrial fibrillation.weight gain food cravings. My mom Parkinson’s Disease, obesity, depression, lots of surgery. My dad died of colon cancer, he ate white bread all of his life with Coke as his main beverage. My Husband, Barret’s Disease, weight gain after age 50 around the middle with back pain, swelling in feet and ankles. Our son, pimples, adhd type symptoms, that I would not medicate him for. Sleepiness and lack of energy. Real food real health." - Ellen B. Oregon
Why are you supporting this movement?
"My husband was in the hospital 5 times last year Doctors wanted to remove part of his intestine because it was so infected instead doctors pumped him full of antibotics for a week when he got out of hospital I changed his diet and all our family food choices to NON- GMO foods WOW what a diffrence he’s doing great and food never tasted so good! I will march sign petitions anything to reclaim our healthy labeled food choices. God Speed JUST SAY NO TO GMO’S ….MAAM! "-Rhonda B.
Here is a video from a Mom of twins.
These are just a few of the hundreds of responses we are getting. We want you to know, if you have health issues and suspect GMOs might be connected, that you are not alone. We get your frustration, upset and confusion as to why this could possibly be allowed. We also have health issues or have loved ones with health issues. We also know many people who don't have health issues, but are preventing them by supporting this movement.
Share your reality today: http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/moms_survey
The fact is that we don't know how GMOs could affect you. Everyone is different. But we do see, after testimonials like this, that every GMO bite is a gamble we don't want America to take.
We LOVE America. We LOVE our kids and the amazing people in this country and we know we are going to love our kids future spouses someday. We want them to be healthy. For the sake of future generations, and our right to freedom as an American, we demand GMO LABELING NOW! We also demand testing immediately from the agencies that are supposed to protect the American people, the CDC and the FDA. Please sign our petition today and share this petition and blog with everyone you know.