While there is a lot going on right now that deserves comment, I cannot pass up the opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate an organization that decided to stand up to the fear-mongering and bullying tactics of anti-GMO groups.
Of course, I’m referring to the Girl Scouts of America.
Unfortunately, I never got to be a Girl Scout; I don’t think we had a local group at the time (or maybe my mom just didn’t know about it). I usually only recognize that it’s time for the annual Girl Scout cookie sale because upon the kitchen table at work there appears an order form for cookies. Everyone buys at least a box to be nice, but this year there was even more reason to support the Girl Scouts cookie sale.
Taking advantage of the perfect timing, anti-GMO activists chose to target everyone’s favorite cookies. An online petition (which I will not link to) was started, requesting that Girl Scouts remove all GMO ingredients from their cookies, or the fine folks signing the petition would refuse to buy the cookies. The petition now has a cool 40,000 signatures. The petition itself featured a little Girl Scout, no doubt encouraged by her parents, claiming that she wanted cookies that were GMO-free. (Sorry, but something just feels wrong about using a little girl to push your anti-science agenda.)
Of course, as part of an orchestrated effort, anti-GMO groups jumped into the mix by encouraging followers to boycott purchasing the cookies. GMO Inside (a radical anti-GMO group with ties to the National Organic Action Plan) encouraged followers to buy organic carrots instead. The rhetoric included the same old, tired lies about the supposed dangers of GMO’s (even though lots of studies have been done debunking those same, tired old lines).
But I’m very happy to tell you that there is no reason in the world that we need to boycott Girl Scout cookies — because the organization didn’t cave into the fear-mongering!
On the organization’s website, the FAQ section features a question asking whether Girl Scout cookies contain GMOs. This is the awesome answer:
At the current time, there are genetically modified agricultural crops (GMOs) in Girl Scout Cookies. Our bakers determine whether to use GMOs in Girl Scout Cookies based on a range of market-related factors and depending on the specific cookie recipe.
Girl Scouts recognizes that many people have concerns regarding GMO ingredients, and we monitor member and consumer opinion on this matter. It is important to note that there is worldwide scientific support for the safety of currently commercialized ingredients derived from genetically modified agricultural crops. The World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the American Medical Association all share this assessment. In addition, in the future, GMOs may offer a way to help feed an ever-increasing world population.
Yes, that’s right – the Girl Scouts are standing by sound science and not bowing down to the anti-GMO activists. In a world where more little girls should be encouraged to pursue careers in science and math, Girl Scouts definitely made the right decision! Don’t you just love that they not only acknowledge that genetically engineered crops are safe and cite all the world authorities that agree, they also indicate that biotechnology is an important tool in meeting future food demands?
So, I’d like to officially congratulate and thank the Girl Scouts for standing with scientists and farmers. Thank you!