I’m going to assume that you’ve all heard one or more of these names: Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ginnifer Goodwin, Sarah Gilbert, Jillian Michaels, Jordana Brewster. I’d imagine that lots of you are fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Big Love and The Royal Tenenbaums, or grew up watching Sarah Gilbert play Darlene on Roseanne. These women are pop culture staples, splashed across magazine covers and the American psyche alike.
Besides fame, these ladies have something else in common: They have kids. Over the past few weeks they’ve come together in the name of motherhood to voice strident opposition to any Washington legislation that restricts states from imposing mandatory labels on GMO foods. In particular, they’ve joined forces to lobby against the recently House-passed Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which which would set up a government-backed voluntary labeling system for genetically modified foods. A group of them participated in a public service announcement sponsored by Just Label It, an anti-GMO industry-funded campaign backed by over 700 corporate and NGO partners.
As the PSA shows, the women are concerned about their children’s well-being, but they don’t understand that genetic modification is a process-based set of tools to help nourish the world’s growing population while preserving the Earth’s resources, and why, scientifically speaking, mandatory labeling would be illogical at best, and cause unnecessary stigma and increased food prices at worst. This is why last week, a group of scientist and science advocate moms (including me) published an open letter at Grounded Parents, asking the celebs to change their stance based on evidence and science.
The letter was intended as a reach-across-the-aisle gesture, inviting the celebrity moms to have a dialogue about the science behind biotechnologies. The signees closed the letter as follows:
You have the opportunity to influence millions of people, so please use that influence responsibly, and ensure that your advocacy is supported by facts, not fear. Contact any or all of the undersigned, chat with farmers who grow biotech plants, or visit a college campus and talk with experts. We’re happy to discuss how this breeding method of genetic engineering could be used in harmony with many other approaches to help feed the world’s growing population, protect our environment, and preserve the Earth’s natural resources for all of our children.
How to help:
The problem is, these women have massive platforms to promote JLI’s anti-GMO propaganda, but their celebrity also makes it very hard to reach them. This is why I have a task for you to help increase visibility, and potentially reach these celebrity moms. If you support the mom’s letter (which you can read in its entirety here), please take a few minutes to do any or all of the following:
- Tweet to Gwyneth Paltrow (@GwynethPaltrow), Sarah Michelle Gellar (@sarahMGellar), Jordana Brewster (@JordanaBrewster), and Jillian Michaels (@JillianMichaels) with a link to the letter asking them kindly to read it. Use hashtag #Moms4GMOs
- Post the letter to the celeb’s public Facebook pages, asking them to read and respond.
- Tweet to Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel). Yes I know Jimmy Kimmel isn’t a mom, but he’s a dad and his comedic take on the anti-GMO movement shows that he’s worth reaching out to (as are other dads and non-parents)!
- Send an email to [email protected] addressed to Melinda Gates. Feel free to draft your own email or use the verbiage below:
Subject: Please support #Moms4GMOs
Dear Melinda Gates,
The Gates Foundation has done so much to support technologies to alleviate hunger and malnutrition around the world. Recently, a group of scientist and advocate moms joined together to write an open letter explaining that agricultural biotechnology is a valuable set of tools to help feed the world’s growing population, and why mandatory GMO labeling would impede progress. Please consider adding your name to support the letter, which you can read here.
Thanks and regards,
- Alternatively, tweet the letter to Melinda Gates (@melindagates). Here is a sample tweet.
- If you’re a parent, as well as a scientist, science advocate, or science/ag communicator, please contact me via private message to add your name!
The hope is that with all of our voices combined, we will start to be heard over the din of misinformation. Thank you for your help!