This Pennsylvania community is ready to ban GMOs and pesticides by carrying out the 2 activities mentioned below;
1. Breast Milk Testing
Lancaster County is an area known for agricultural activities. This made Swartz to say that pesticides pose a much greater threat on the area. There are wide areas of fields sprayed with pesticides that are close to children’s playing ground, Swartz said.
To eradicate the health dangers of pesticides, GMO Free Lancaster organized run a test on 50 mothers’ breast milk in the county for residues of glyphosate (the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide). The highest level discovered so far is 91 parts per billion in a mother living on a conventional farmland where glyphosate is used. Sad enough, the mother has a little baby diagnosed with neuroblastoma-a form of cancer that affects young children greatly.
Organizers of this program GMO Free Lancaster hopes the test results will arouse the morale of Lancaster’s city leaders to take necessary action.
“We hope the breast milk test will compel people to support the ban. We want to ban GMOs and other related chemicals starting with Lancaster city and then later move to the remaining parts of the county.” Swartz said
2. Discovering the Organic concentrated area in Pennsylvania
Lancaster County is a fertile ground; therefore, it’s the right location to take action against GMOs. The county is a home accommodating the highest concentration of organic farms in Pennsylvania with more than 100; the county’s Amish population accounts for many of those farms. Lancaster is also a leader in farmland conservation. The area is characterized by rich soils content
Justin Snyder, an organic farmer with Lancaster Organic Growers said organic is a big issue in this area while other forms of The area has little problem with GMOs and other agricultural chemicals unlike Organics being their worst night mare Lancaster County.
GMO Free Lancaster is also trying to sensitize people on the usefulness of organic food by making available resources for local organic food and also giving presentations.
The coordinator of GMO Free Lancaster’s outreach, Susan Love, has witnessed positive changes in the well being of her family since they started taking organic diet. She has a 20-year-old daughter suffering from Crohn’s disease, an utistic and many ulcers. The girl’s health improved since she switched to an organic diet. A recent colonoscopy discovered she had just an ulcer. She began to talk more and recently, began to work at a local Goodwill office.
“We had lived with chronic illness for 20 years,” Susan Love said. “It didn’t get better until we ate organic.”
“No One has the Right to Keep Us in the Dark About What We Eat”
Getting rid of GMOs and pesticides is just the first step for GMO Free Lancaster.
“We want to create a sustainable food system with urban gardens and people sharing food and growing the local food economy,” Swartz said.
Beyond the health and environmental concerns of GMOs and pesticides, Dan Hinkle has moral and theological reasons for being a part of GMO Free Lancaster.
“Food is sacred,” he said. “At the heart of Christian worship is a sacred meal, called the Holy Eucharist or Holy Communion. Eating means life. No one has the right to keep us in the dark about what we eat or feed our children and families.”
Featured Image: Zoe Swartz, leader of GMO Free Lancaster (left), with daugher Lily (in bee costume) and friend Sheena Good (right), at Lancaster’s March Against Monsanto last May. Credit to EcoWatch
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