Yesterday’s University of Victoria Campus Screening of GMO OMG was my start of The Moviement. I first heard this term used by Director Jeremy Seifert, a mix between Movie and Movement. Kind of simple. Kind of Brilliant.
Above I’m with Andrew Weaver, Nobel Prize Winner and MLA for Oak Bay Gordon Head. Note that this was not a premiere. It was not a special advance screening. It was for the University campus and for students and influencers. The date for the Canadian release hasn’t been established.
Below is Murray Rankin, MP for Victoria. He is an environmental Lawyer with a distinguished career.
UVIC Professor Engineer (who’s an economist, not an Engineer), who has attended many Cinecenta events over the years, said it was the best turnout he’s ever seen. We had to turn away tons of people. It was chaos finding a seat. Kind of like musical chairs when the music stops…
I was honoured to host the campus screening of the film and Wowie Wow Wow (in the words of Junie B. Jones) we had such an amazing turnout. On the panel we had Nancy Turner, Distinguished Professor of Ethnobotany (there are only a few Professors at UVIC who are “Distinguished”), Nathalie Chambers organic farmer and Farmland Conservation Advocate, Founder of Chef Survival Challenge that I wrote about recently, and Murray Rankin, Victoria’s very own MP and accomplished Environmental Lawyer. Special guests included Lana Popham MLA, Andrew Weaver MLA, Adam Olsen, Mayor for North Saanich Alice Finall, and Sandra Anderson, wife of David Anderson former Minister. Let’s not forget my Uncle Godfrey Stephens! GMOs are an issue that unites diverse political parties.
Photo op with Andrew Weaver and Nathalie Chambers. So sorry but I don’t know who the other lady is (help)? Nathalie mentioned that we have to form ties in our communities with our farmers, with those who grow and provide our food. She couldn’t be more right and she is living her words.
The film blew everyone’s mind – bravo Jeremy! I was so glad to see at least a dozen kids in the audience. They really related to the film as my friend Lisa pointed out. I think for us mom’s and dad’s (like Jeremy) who’ve been struggling to feed our kids food without poisons, this film is a useful tool. Kids relate to seeing other kids. And perhaps it’s good to see other kids who are concerned about seeds and GMOs.
Most people stayed for the engaging panel discussion after the film. Here are some snacks provided by Nature’s Path, the presenting Sponsor.
In my introduction I mentioned how I met Murray Rankin this year at the Oak Bay Tea Party. I was inspired by Maria Emmer-Aanes telling me that if I’m upset about GMOs then I need to tell my elected representatives. I thought what can that do? But I kept quiet…. I was playing on the Beach with my daughters in the balmy Spring Victoria weather when I saw Murray. I said to myself, “Why not tell my elected representative how I feel about GMOs. Like Maria advised. I suppose it can’t hurt?” I reasoned silently. So I went up to Murray, shook his hand (In case you’re wondering, I’m not shy) and said, “Hi I live in Victoria. Nice to meet you. I’m very concerned about GMOs.” Murray didn’t know just how concerned I was or anything else about me except I was just playing in the sand with my kids. He replied to my unorthodox opener without batting an eye lid, and said, “Well you OUGHT to be concerned.”
We need all politicians and elected officials be aware of GMOs, like Lana Popham, Andrew Weaver, Adam Olsen. The Honorable David Anderson was at the same inspiring talk by Vandana Shiva in March that inspired this blog. Mayor Alice Finall, props to you too. We need all people to understand what is so wrong about GMOs as they are right now being sold in 80% of all N. American processed foods.
Below was an engaging question from Dr. Dionne Laslo-Baker about maternal-fetal toxicology. Our most vulnerable are exposed in the womb to toxins found in GMO production. These toxins are found in our urine, our blood and in our unborn babies. If our goal is to protect our children from the pesticides and herbicides used in GMO production, how can we choose if there isn’t mandatory labelling? As someone said, “It’s very well for the rich, they can afford to feed their families Organic. What about the financially challenged, the uneducated, those who are simply unaware? Is it right that they are fed GMOs unknowingly.”
Take home points from the discussion:
1) Certified organic doesn’t allow GMOs and never has.
2) Take Action in Labelling Initiatives. Flex your citizen Muscle. You have a choice every day to choose food that benefits the planet and health. You have the power to effect change through your purchases.
3) Grown your own food using organic seeds.
4) Spread the MOVIEment and the issue. Talk to your representatives. They are obliged to listen. Help get GMO OMG into Canadian Teatres!
PHOTOS by Simon Des Rochers