Claire Hope Cummings M.A, J.D - Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds:

Can't We Always Pull GMO Foods Off The Shelf If They Turn Out To Be Dangerous?

Filmed 05-26-2015


Claire Hope Cummings - Life on earth is facing unprecedented challenges from global warming, war, and mass extinctions. The plight of seeds is a less visible but no less fundamental threat to our survival. Seeds are at the heart of the planet's life-support systems. Their power to regenerate and adapt are essential to maintaining our food supply and our ability to cope with a changing climate.  The choices we make about how we feed ourselves now will determine whether or not seeds will continue as a generous source of sustenance and remain the common heritage of all humanity. It comes down to this: whoever controls the future of seeds controls the future of life on earth. What's at stake right now is nothing less than the nature of the future.

Steven Druker -  uncovers the biggest scientific fraud of our age. He tells the fascinating and frequently astounding story of how the massive enterprise to restructure the genetic core of the world's food supply came into being, how it advanced by consistently violating the protocols of science, and how for more than three decades, hundreds of eminent biologists and esteemed institutions have systematically contorted the truth in order to conceal the unique risks of its products–and get them onto our dinner plates. Steven Druker also exposes how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was induced to become a key accomplice--and how it has broken the law and repeatedly lied in order to usher genetically engineered foods onto the market without the safety testing that's required by federal statute. As a result, for fifteen years America's families have been regularly ingesting a group of novel products that the FDA's own scientific staff had previously determined to be unduly hazardous to human health.

Jeffrey M. Smith - Eating genetically modified food is gambling with every bite. The biotech industry's claim that genetically modified (GM) foods are safe is shattered in this lecture. This is for anyone wanting to understand GM technology, to learn how to protect themselves, or to share their concerns with others. It is presented in the clear, accessible style that made Jeffrey Smith's Seeds of Deception the world's best-selling book on genetically engineered foods. 


Claire Hope Cummings M.A, J.D

Claire Hope Cummings M.A, J.D

2015 Conference
Claire Hope Cummings, M.A, J.D, is an environmental lawyer, journalist, and the award winning author of Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds (Beacon Press) which won the American Book Award and the book of the year award from the Society for Economic Botany. Claire’s stories focus on the environmental and political implications of how we eat and how food and farming reconnects us to each other, to the places where we live, and the extraordinary knowledge of land based peoples. Claire brings over three decades of broad experience in agriculture to her work. She has farmed in California and in Vietnam, where she had an organic farm in the Mekong Delta. For four years she was an attorney for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Office of General Counsel. After leaving government service Claire represented native people in defense of their ancestral lands. Claire founded The Cultural Conservancy in 1985 and continues to work with traditional people in Hawai’i and North America to preserve their knowledge systems and life-ways. She continues to study and write about seeds and plant knowledge, and how traditional ecological knowledge can meet the challenges of climate change and environmental justice.Claire has been active in the local food and farming movement in the San Francisco Bay Area, helping to found the Marin County food policy council, and serving on the boards of organizations such as Earth Island Institute, The Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Food First, and the Elmwood Institute—the predecessor organization for the Center for Ecoliteracy. Claire was awarded a Food and Society Policy Fellowship in 2001. She advised The Columbia Foundation’s sustainable communities and food system programs for many years.   As a journalist, Claire was food and farming editor for KPFA-FM in Berkeley, Pacifica Network’s flagship public radio station, for six years, hosting a weekly radio broadcast that including Eater’s Digest and as a regular contributor to the popular drive-time Morning Show. She reported for other public radio networks and PBS television on KQED-tv. She has produced award winning radio broadcasts for National Radio Project. Her work is regularly published in print and on line publications. Claire has contributed to and been featured in books and films, including “The Future of Food” and “Ripe for Change”, nationally aired on PBS.

Steven Druker J.D.

Steven Druker J.D.

2015 Conference
Steven Druker is a public interest attorney who founded the Alliance for Bio-Integrity, and as its executive director, organized a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that forced it to divulge its files on genetically engineered (GE) foods. This revealed that politically appointed administrators had covered up the extensive warnings of their own scientists about the unusual risks of these foods, lied about the facts, and then ushered these novel products onto the market in violation of explicit mandates of federal food safety law. In organizing the suit, he assembled an unprecedented coalition of eminent scientists and religious leaders to stand with the Alliance as co-plaintiffs – the first time scientists had sued a federal administrative agency on the grounds that one of its policies is scientifically unsound.   He is a prominent commentator on the risks of GE foods, and has been a featured speaker at symposia at the British House of Commons and the National Congress of Brazil and at press conferences sponsored by the Brazilian Medical Association, the Swedish Consumers Association, and concerned members of the European Parliament.   He has served on the food safety panels at conferences conducted by the National Research Council and the FDA; given lectures at numerous universities (including the Biological Laboratories at Harvard, Tel Aviv University, and the University of Copenhagen); and met with government officials world-wide, including the UK’s Environmental Minister and the heads of food safety for the UK, France, Ireland, and Australia. He also conferred at the White House Executive Offices with an interagency task force of President Clinton’s Council on Environmental Quality.   His new book, Altered Genes Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public, was released in March with a foreword by Jane Goodall hailing it as “without doubt one of the most important books of the last 50 years.” Among the other scientists have also praised it highly are David Schubert, a professor and laboratory director at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, who has called it “incisive, insightful, and truly outstanding”; and John Ikerd, an emeritus professor of agricultural economics at the University of Missouri, who has stated it’s “a great book” that “should be widely read and thoroughly heeded.”

JEFFREY M. SMITH

JEFFREY M. SMITH

2018 Conference
Jeffrey Smith is an international bestselling author, award winning filmmaker, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, and the leading spokesperson on the health dangers of GMOs. The most recognized consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO choices, Jeffrey Smith’s meticulous research documents how biotech companies continue to mislead legislators and safety officials to put the health of society at risk and the environment in peril. His work expertly summarizes why the safety assessments conducted by the FDA and regulators worldwide teeter on a foundation of outdated science and false assumptions, and why genetically engineered foods must urgently become our nation’s top food safety priority. In 2012 Smith’s feature-length documentary Genetic Roulette, The Gamble of Our Lives was awarded Movie of the Year (Solari Report) and Transformational Film of the Year (AwareGuide). Described as a “life-changer” and seen by millions worldwide, the film links genetically engineered food to toxic and allergic reactions, infertility, digestive disorders, and numerous problems that have been on the rise in the US population since genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were introduced. His books include: Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating, the world’s bestseller on GMOs, and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, the authoritative work on GMO health dangers. A dynamic keynote speaker, Mr. Smith has lectured in more than 40 countries, counseled leaders from every continent, and has been quoted by thousands of news outlets including: The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC World Service, The Times (London), the Associated Press, Reuters News Service, the LA Times, Time Magazine and the New Scientist. He appears frequently on radio and television on shows such as the Dr. Oz Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Doctors, CBS News, Fox News, CNBC, NPR and Democracy Now. Mr. Smith is the founding executive director of The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), the most comprehensive source of GMO health risk information for consumers, policy makers, and healthcare professionals. IRT’s educational programs are driving the tipping point of consumer rejection against GMOs, which is already starting to push genetically engineered ingredients out of the market in the US. Mr. Smith resides in California and Iowa— surrounded by genetically modified soybeans and corn. The leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO choices, Jeffrey Smith’s meticulous research documents how biotech companies continue to mislead legislators and safety officials to put the health of society at risk and the environment in peril. His work expertly summarizes why the safety assessments conducted by the FDA and regulators worldwide teeter on a foundation of outdated science and false assumptions, and why genetically engineered foods must urgently become our nation’s top food safety priority.   Mr. Smith’s feature-length documentary Genetic Roulette — The Gamble of Our Lives was awarded the 2012 Movie of the Year (Solari Report) and the Transformational Film of the Year (AwareGuide). Described as a “life-changer” and seen by millions world-wide, the film links genetically engineered food to toxic and allergic reactions, infertility, digestive disorders, and numerous problems that have been on the rise in the US population since genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were introduced.   His books include: Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating, which is the world’s bestseller on GMOs; and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, which is the authoritative work on GMO health dangers.   An admired keynote speaker , Mr. Smith has lectured in nearly 40 countries, counseled leaders from every continent, and has been quoted by hundreds of media outlets including: The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC World Service, The Independent, Daily Telegraph, New Scientist, The Times (London), Associated Press, Reuters News Service, LA Times, and Time Magazine. Also a popular guest, he appears on influential radio shows and television programs, such as the BBC, NPR, Fox News, Democracy Now, and the Dr. Oz Show.   He is the founding executive director of The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), a leading source of GMO health risk information for consumers, policy makers, and healthcare professionals. IRT’s educational programs are driving the tipping point of consumer rejection against GMOs, which is already starting to push genetically engineered ingredients out of the market in the US. Mr. Smith lives in Iowa, surrounded by genetically modified soybeans and corn.


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