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Food

Have the 'Food Evolution' Filmmakers Mistreated Moms?

The documentary negatively portrays the entire organic food movement.

Anti-GMO rally in Pack Square, Asheville, North Carolina (May 25, 2013).
Photo Credit: J. Bicking/Shutterstock

The trailer of the new documentary "Food Evolution," which negatively portrays both me and the organic food movement, fails to acknowledge the reality of American mothers. Our families are sick and struggling. And yet, when we remove GMOs and related toxins from our diet, we get better. The trailer implies that the movie will focus on the so-called noble promises of GMOs, yet fails to present reality in a noble manner.

In the last paragraph of the description of the film on its website, filmmakers Trace Sheehan and Scott Kennedy say, "And as we take in the scientific process at work, let's do our best to put aside bias so we can have more productive conversations and make the most informed decisions we can."  

Yet, in the trailer—before the movie is even out—they take my words out of context, misrepresenting what I say with heavy editing and belittling the experiences of thousands of American families. That doesn't look like putting bias aside; it looks like an advertisement for GMOs.

In fact, Scott Kennedy’s crew misrepresented their intentions in order to interview food movement proponents Jeffrey Smith, Vani Hari and myself. Claiming that the film would be a balanced representation of both sides of the food movement was misleading and ignoble.

Vani Hari told me she did not grant permission for her image to be used in the film, yet it was used anyway. Jeffrey Smith and I granted permission for one interview with first right of refusal. The filmmakers failed to honor that agreement and never showed us the first cut. Marion Nestle and I have asked for our interviews to be removed from the film, with no response.

A few months after the interview with Jeffrey Smith and Vani Hari, I was surrounded by GMO proponents Kavin Senapathy and Karl Haro Von Mogel at the March Against Monsanto in Chicago. They shouted at me in order to try to antagonize me into appearing like a hysterical activist. I told them they did not have my permission to use my image, but they did anyway. The filmmakers are more interested in appeasing the chemical companies that sell GMOs and pesticides than of accurately portraying concerned Americans.

In the film they edited my interview in order to make it look like I said, “I trust social media more than scientists.” What I actually said was that I trust the mothers who are seeing their children get sick after consuming GMOs and related toxins and are courageously sharing their new reality on social media, more than the scientists who are conducting isolated experiments funded by Big Ag.

I said that when I see my child get sick after consuming GMOs and toxins, and then see him get better when he eats organic foods, I don’t need another scientific study to tell me we should avoid GMOs and toxins. Thousands of moms agree with me and they are sharing their experiences as well. I trust the moms who are sharing their truth. Apparently Scott Kennedy does not.

This film is not only blatantly pro-GMO, it is patronizing. The filmmakers are trying to make the issue look like it’s an issue of emotional moms vs. science. The fact is, GMO proponents are nervous because we have the truth and we have sound science to back us up. The filmmakers would not be trying to invalidate us if we did not have something valid to say.

The film attempts to discredit the organic food movement by belittling the power of social media, but the world knows that social media is now the dominant way to reach people with a message. (Just ask President Trump.) Social media is filled with honest stories of sick children, desperate families and skyrocketing medical costs. Unfortunately, pro-GMO proponents are pushing cherry-picked scientific data from short-term studies, while failing to disclose their funding.  

Their perspectives are limited by their lack of real-world experience and their motivations are questionable. It’s no coincidence that the point the film is trying to make aligns with huge profits for chemical companies.

In the New York Times review of the film, the reviewer writes that while it's true there is an increased use of pesticides with GMOs, "those pesticides are far less toxic."  

What degree of food toxicity is acceptable for you to give to your children? Maybe science doesn't know the answer to that question, but mothers do.

RELATED STORIES

Neil deGrasse Tyson Owes Fans a More Honest Conversation About GMOs than 'Food Evolution'

Neil deGrasse Tyson Narrates New Doc 'Food Evolution': A Blatant Case of Monsanto Corporate Propaganda

Zen Honeycutt is founder of Moms Across America.

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