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Stop Genetic Engineering Teach-In and March

by GE Free LA Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 6:08 PM
gefree@oxy.edu 323-769-5020 P.O. Box 291372, LA, CA 90029

At a teach-in attended by nearly 250 people at Fairfax High on Saturday, August 12, speakers provided real information to correct the lies told by the media, biotech corporations, and US government. Many described the revolving door between federal regulators and the biotech industry which compromises the safety of our food supply. After the teach-in, activists marched to nearby Trader Joe's food store to demand that Trader Joe's stop selling genetically engineered food.

At the teach-in, speakers explained how genetic engineering brings profits to corporations while threatening the health of people and the environment. It does nothing to end hunger or malnutrition since there is already more than enough food to feed the world's population.

Activists from GE Free LA along with more than a dozen other organizations (including Sierra Club, Action Resource Center, Greenpeace, Food First/Institute for Food & Development Policy, Organic Consumers Association, Pesticide Action Network, EDGE, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, and the Occidental College Community Food Security Project) called on the democratic convention delegates to include a platform plank to ban genetically engineered food until full testing by independent scientists has been conducted. They also called on legislators to enact policies that will help build a more just and sustainable food system that puts people and the environment first.

The teach-in was followed by a march to nearby Trader Joe's where the marchers called on Trader Joe's to stop waiting for the federal government to enact labeling laws. They demanded that Trader Joe's stop selling genetically engineered food in their stores. Trader Joe's is owned by the Albrecht family, the fifth wealthiest family in the world. The Albrecht family also owns the Aldi Stores, a huge European chain which has committed to go GE Free. Protesters asked, if they are GE Free in Europe, why not in the US?

Hundreds of postcards from concerned consumers were delivered to the store manager to let the company know that people don't want to eat genetically engineered food. The store manager said that he was not allowed to speak to the issue of why TJs sells GE food since those issues are dealt with at the headquarters. About 100 demonstrators passed out over 1,000 flyers to pedestrians along Melrose and La Brea and to Trader Joe's shoppers, educating thousands of people through the action.

This photo on the web site is from the march:


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