GMO 1.0 & GMO 2.0
GMO 1.0 Strategy
IRT’s GMO 1.0 approach was The Tipping Point Strategy. We focused on consumer buying behavior. If a sufficient number of shoppers demanded non-GMO products, the economic advantages for brands to switch to non-GMO suppliers would change the marketplace and suppress the introduction of new GMOs.
The strategy targeted the most receptive demographics with customized outreach and media strategies to achieve our goal in the U.S. of at least 5% of shoppers choosing non-GMO. These included:
- Those already dedicated to eating healthy and natural;
- Moms/caretakers with young children;
- People suffering from disorders possibly linked to GMOs;
- Progressive healthcare practitioners witnessing the impacts of GMOs; and
- Spiritual and religious groups predisposed to reject GMOs.
We translated complex science around GMOs into a focused and compelling message, trained 1,500 speakers, and built and supported the Tipping Point Network with over 10,000 activists in 117 groups throughout North America.
We created educational content to disseminate freely and quickly worldwide. Jeffrey Smith’s book, Seeds of Deception, was the world’s bestseller on GMOs. His textbook-style Genetic Roulette was the bible of GMO campaigners and was used in academia. Over 2 million people from 190+ countries viewed our movie by the same name. And various films were sold, given away, played on PBS stations and local access, and viewed in organized showings.
IRT created dozens of articles, offered freely without royalties, and reproduced in national magazines, online newsletters, and thousands of websites. Brochures and posters were distributed through natural products stores and waiting rooms. A self-standing GMO Education Center was placed in stores nationwide, with books, DVDs, CDs, and brochures.
Lectures worldwide popularized our message. IRT developed a protocol for meeting with enthusiastic audience members and organizing them into active local groups. Lecture tours inspired a network of activist groups. Presentations at more than 2 dozen conferences for healthcare practitioners resulted in thousands prescribing non-GMO and/or organic diets to countless patients.
According to information theory, knowledge has organizing power. Many competent and motivated people assumed leadership positions inspired by our messaging. Robin O’Brien credited IRT with providing the courage to become a speaker and author on the subject. Zen Honeycutt was compelled to start Moms Across America.
Parents of autistic children, owners of health food stores, and others created additional groups, motivated by our messaging. Many more around the world campaigned for new local or national laws.
Today, 51% of US consumers, and 48% worldwide, understand GMOs carry long-term health risks. We believe our education campaign conveying these health dangers formed a major reason why the number of commercially engineered food crops was contained to around a dozen.
In addition to the tipping point strategy employed in the US, IRT engaged in various approaches worldwide, dictated by the needs and status of the nearly 45 countries visited. For some, it focused on educating political leaders. For others, it targeted popular media. IRT also supported local ballot initiatives globally, including GMO-Free counties and statewide labeling campaigns.
GMO 2.0 Strategy
Consumer decisions in the supermarket alone will not stop the release of GM grass, insects, trees, algae, bacteria, etc., which are facilitated by gene editing and other GMO 2.0 technologies. Protecting biological evolution from the onslaught of a massive number of new GMOs released into the environment requires responsible regulation.
A well-funded global disinformation and funding campaign from biotech frames gene editing as safe and natural. Yet it has not yet captured the heart and spirit of concerned and aware global citizens. IRT will use its movement-building skills, messaging strategies, and relationships with key stakeholders developed over the last 20 years to create change and demand regulation.
Time is of the essence. We recognize the need to utilize the speed and viral capacity of social media, popular podcasts, and media appearances to create a wave of immediate interest.
We are therefore also building a coalition of those whose missions depend on a healthy microbiome. These include healthcare practitioners, regenerative agriculture, natural product brands, climate change advocates, environmentalists, and ocean protectors. We will customize and disseminate information through this broad-based coalition to quickly activate millions.
Coalition partners will also help us reach governments through their ongoing lobbying and influence and will help us raise funds. Our initial outreach target is the functional and integrative healthcare practitioner community, which appreciates the role of the microbiome. We have built a Healthcare Practitioner Community on Mighty Networks to support this partnership.
Our message is compelling and urgent, and in a post-pandemic world has the potential to reach the viral levels needed to precipitate change. Kindly consider supporting us in our work.