MOA GMO Plenary Friday Sessions with

MOA Annual Conference 2015: GMO Plenary Agenda
Friday, February 6, 2015
The MOA 2015 GMO Plenary, with some of the top scientists and activists that are spearheading the fight against
Genetically Modified Organisms, will explore the ways that GMO’s and their attending pesticides (Glyphosates) are daily
affecting our environment, our food supply, our soils, our health, and the economic impact on our lives.
8-8:15 AM
Introduction of the Panel
Jim Gerritsen, Moderator
8:15-9 AM
The Scriptural Aspects of Organic and GMO Farming
Edwin J. Blosser, Midwest Bio-Systems Founder,
Amish Mennonite Church Member
Edwin will discuss the connection between scriptural teachings and GMO technology. . “Our view of God
and His Creation and how this technology violates the natural process of growth designed by
our Creator.” Edwin’s presentation will bring a different perspective to the voices raised
against GMOs.
9-9:45 AM
Why Genetically Engineered Foods Are Unacceptably Risky and Unequivocally Illegal…and Why
Most People Are Utterly Unaware of It”
Steven M. Druker, Executive Director, Alliance for Bio-Integrity
Steven M. Druker is a public interest attorney who initiated a lawsuit against the FDA that forced it to
divulge its files on genetically engineered foods. His book, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture
to Genetically Engineer our Food Has Subverted, Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically
Deceived the Public, will be 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.” He will explain why GE foods entail unacceptable
risks, how they illegally entered the U.S. market, why their presence is still illegal, and how a massive
disinformation campaign by the scientific establishment has enabled this all to happen.
9:45-10 AM
MOA Organic Expo, Networking Break
10-11 AM
Beyond GMO Labeling: A Call to Action for Our Future, Our Health
Robyn O’Brien, Founder "AllergyKids"
A former financial and food industry analyst, Robyn O'Brien triggered a “food awakening” in the food
industry when she asked, "Are we allergic to food or what's been done to it?" Since that time, she has
shaped that “food awakening” among consumers, corporations and politicians. Regarded as an expert on
children’s health policy, Robyn founded the 501©(3) non-profit, “AllergyKids” to make clean safe food
affordable for all families. Robyn will discuss her work leading the movement to label GMO products, and
will challenge all of us to continue fighting for organic foods and GMO labeling.
11-11:45 AM
Genetically-Engineered Crops, Glyphosate and Soil Biology
Dr. Robert J. Kremer, Adjunct Professor of Soil Microbiology, University of Missouri
Transgenic or genetically-modified (GM) crops are in widespread cultivation since their introduction in 1996
with the promise of more efficient production, reduced pesticide use, and promotion of environmental
conservation. Much of this optimism has not been realized and lost in the optimism in the GM agricultural
revolution were the impacts of these production systems on soil ecology, biology and function. The
consequences of continuous production of GM crops combined with the near mandatory use of glyphosate
(Roundup) has adversely affected the soil environment as well as GMO plant growth through direct and
indirect mechanisms. A summary of many years of scientific research is intended to inform the public
concerned with how GMO cropping is affecting nutrient cycling, soil microbial community structure, and
plant susceptibility to disease. Developing production systems based on natural ecosystems and
integration of alternative management may limit impacts of conventional GM crops and overuse of
11:45-12 PM
Q&A and Panel Summary
12-1 PM
Lunch (not provided), MOA Organic Expo, Networking Break
1-1:45 PM
The Effects of GMO’s on Small Family Farms and Businesses
Jim Gerritsen, Wood Prairie Farm
Jim Gerritsen owns and operates Wood Prairie Farm in Bridgewater, Maine, where his family grows
certified organic and Maine certified seed potatoes. In March 2011, as president of the Organic Seed
Growers and Trade Association, Jim filed a lawsuit against the Monsanto Corporation on behalf of 270,000
family farmers, gardeners, and consumers to challenge the validity of Monsanto's GE seed patents and
protect family farmers. In January 2014, the Supreme Court refused to hear OSGATA et al v. Monsanto,
letting stand the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling which gave farmers a partial victory. Jim continues to
challenge the use of GE crops and promotes GMO transparency and labeling for consumers. Gerritsen will
offer a farmer’s perspective on the panel, addressing the advantages and challenges facing organic
agriculture today.
1:45- 2:45 PM The Effects of GMOs on Our Crops and Our Livestock
Howard Vlieger, Iowa Farmer
Howard Vlieger is a third generation Iowa family farmer. Howard’s first direct experience with GMOs came
in 1997 when he planted a test plot comparing BT (GMO) corn to the conventional version of the hybrid.
The seed cost was more than $10 an acre higher for the BT corn and yield was 3 bushels less per acre. In
addition, the BT corn was 5 percent wetter at harvest than the conventional corn. When it was all said and
done, he lost $57.99 per acre. He planted BT corn the following year and again lost money, this time
$58.95 per acre. In 2013, Howard coordinated and co-authored with Dr. Judy Carman, the only scientific
study of its kind, “A Long-Term Toxicology Study on Pigs Fed a Combined Genetically Modified (GM) Soy
and GM Maize Diet” published in the Journal of Organic Systems. The study paired identical groups of
hogs which were fed GMO and non-GMO grain for the entirety of their lives. His insight will motivate greater
study and active involvement in the pressing issues that are responsible for the deteriorating health of our
2:45-3 PM
MOA Organic Expo, Networking Break
3-3:45 PM
The Effect of GMOs on Our Environment
Dr. Brian Baker
Dr. Brian Baker has conducted organic agriculture research since 1983. Dr. Baker will present a summary
of the research on the direct and indirect ecological impacts of genetically modified crops and will critically
examine some of the claims made about risks posed by the introduction of GMOs into the environment and
the food system.
3:45-4:30 PM The Effects of GMOs on Human Health
Dr. Michael McNeill
Dr. McNeill holds a PhD in Plant Breeding and Statistical Genetics from Iowa State University.
His career includes a position as Research Biologist with the US Army where he studied soybean
and corn diseases. In 2011 Dr. McNeill was one of the select group of scientists, including plant
pathologist and retire US Army Colonel and germ warfare expert, Dr. Don Huber, who traveled
to Washington DC to meet with USDA officials. There the scientists expressed grave concern
and urged caution based on observations from ongoing research which shows serious negative
consequences from the overuse of the herbicide Roundup. Dr. McNeill will be sharing some of
his and other scientific research on the physical health effects on livestock fed GMO feeds; but
his main focus for this presentation will be to share chilling documented research based on
observations and photos of babies and children with serious birth defects being born in South
America where Glyphosates are being sprayed indiscriminately over homes, schools and
4:30-5 PM
The Rising Demand for Non-GMO Foods
Ken Roseboro, Editor, The Organic and Non-GMO Report
Ken Roseboro has been called “the nation’s reporter on all issues surrounding genetically-modified foods.”
He has written extensively about GM foods and the non-GMO trend since 1999. Ken is a sought after
lecturer and his articles have appeared in leading food and agriculture publications. Ken will discuss his
observations on the increase in demand for organic and non-GMO foods and the opportunities for organic,
transitioning-to-organic and non-GMO farmers to market their products.
Note: Speakers and individual educational sessions subject to change or cancellation