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Preparing Stone Soup to Protest GMOs

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Adam Eidinger

The Stone Soup we made outside the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition last month tasted a lot like minestrone with a dash of free speech. Over 300 safe food activists from across America — including children, parents and retirees, as well as seasoned Occupy Wall Street activists — came together to prepare and enjoy a 50-gallon vat of GMO-free soup out on the sidewalk. The family-friendly approach to last month’s protest is largely due to the nature of who makes decisions on food purchases at supermarkets across America: parents.

Parents want to know if the food that they’re feeding their children has been genetically modified. They do not want to bring their children into harm’s way, so they will avoid protests where they have reason to believe that the police will be heavy-handed. Anyone can occupy a public street corner and hold up a sign, but they must first feel empowered and unafraid to stand in the limelight.

Protesters at the Stone Soup FDA protest in Washington, D.C. Photo Credit: MA Right to Know

Of course, to solely credit parents like me is to ignore the wide swath of Americans who share the same concerns. Is our government doing enough to protect us from corporations like Monsanto, or working to line corporate pockets — and to hell with our health? Why is America lagging behind countries like China, Russia, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan when it comes to honest food labels? The answers to these questions are not only relevant to parents, but to all conscientious consumers.

Is a potluck protest with parents and children the new face of the protest movement? Well, yes and no. There are many ways to fight for justice — with kindness as well as traditional forms of resistance. It’s like a to0l kit, and sometimes a gentle touch can go a lot further than a big push.

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