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    Program ID - bo030806

    GMO Lawsuits & Health Risks

    Most Americans remain unaware of genetically engineered food, according to a recent survey from the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, despite the fact nearly 75 percent of all processed foods — from soda to soup — contain genetically engineered ingredients.

    South Dakota farmer Pat Trask definitely isn’t in the dark.  The living he makes growing alfalfa could be threatened by the planting of GE crops nearby which will likely contaminate his own fields.  He could then be sued for millions by the large biotech company who’s patented the contaminating GE seed.

    It's an increasingly common story for American farmers and it’s pushed Trask to a “nausea plateau.”  So, he’s suing the government.

    Join host Jerry Kay, as we find out about the latest GMO lawsuit and hear about best-selling author Jeffrey Smith’s investigations into the health risks connected to consuming GE food.

    This Week's Guests:

    Jeffrey Smith — Author & Executive Director, Institute for Responsible Technology

    Smith is the Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) and a leading spokesperson on the health risks of genetically engineered foods and the controversies surrounding their approval. He is also the author of the international bestselling book on the risks of genetically engineered foods Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating and produced the video, Hidden Dangers in Kids’ Meals. Smith has Smith has worked with non-profit and political groups on the genetic engineering issue for nearly a decade and has traveled in 25 countries on six continents, briefing world leaders and the public.  In 1998, he ran for U.S. Congress to raise public awareness of the health and environmental impacts of GM crops. He later became vice president of marketing for a GMO detection laboratory. Smith holds a master's degree in business administration and lives with his wife in Iowa.

    Will Rostov — Senior Attorney, Center for Food Safety

    Rostov is the senior attorney in the California office of the Center for Food Safety (CFS), a non-profit public interest and environmental advocacy organization that addresses the impacts of our industrial food production system on human health, animal welfare and the environment.  Prior to CFS, Rostov worked as a staff attorney for communities for a Better Environment for five years.  There, he litigated cases under the Federal Clean Air Act, the California Environmental Quality Act, California’s Proposition 65, and California’s Unfair Competition Law.  Before CBE, he worked on anti-trust and consumer class actions as an associate attorney for Furth, Fahrner and Mason. He received J.D. from Hastings College of the Law in 1996, and B.A. in Government from Oberlin College in 1988.

    Pat Trask — Alfala Farmer, Trask Farm

    A third generation farmer and rancher, Trask raises cattle and common alfalfa on his South Dakota farm located north of the badlands and northeast of Mt. Rushmore.  South Dakota is the top producer of alfalfa in the country and Trask buys alfalfa seed from 40-50 families in the surrounding area.  He is currently a plaintiff in a lawsuit charging the USDA with failing to adequately evaluate the health and environmental impacts of genetically modified alfalfa seeds. 

    More information:

  • DVD - The Future of Food (2005)
  • Seeds of Deception
  • Genetic Roulette
  • Against The Grain

  • Global Spread of GMO Crops – Counter Punch
  • Is Genetically Modified Food a Risk or a Benefit – Cornell Chronicle

    Web Resources:
  • Institute for Responsible Technology
  • Center for Food Safety
  • Pew Institute on Food and Biotechnology – Public Sentiment on Genetically Modified Food
  • New Scientist – GM Organisms

  • Resources for Journalists:

    Journalists who are interested in researching stories related to any Beyond Organic show topic are encouraged to contact Straus Communication for additional resources, including trend data, background materials, experts, statistics, images and more. The service is free.

    Please contact Michael Straus at 415-777-1170 x 302 or email for more information.



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