Highlights from the Non-GMO Challenge

May 8, 2012

In April of 2012, the Non-GMO Project launched the Non-GMO Challenge in celebration of Earth Month. The objective of the Challenge was to give people an opportunity to make a meaningful non-GMO commitment while learning more about GMOs and having fun in the process. On our website, there were daily and weekly activations that included answering quiz questions, posting pictures of the Non-GMO Project verification mark on products, sharing a non-GMO meal, and swapping out a product that potentially contained GMOs for one that didn’t. We also asked people to tell us the story of their non-GMO commitment in words, pictures, or video.

The amount of participants in the Non-GMO Challenge is an amazing reminder of how passionate our Non-GMO Project community is. More than 54,000 people visited our website, and over 6,000 people did one or more of the Non-GMO Challenge activations.  Far more inspiring than the numbers are the words and images that were shared throughout the month.

From purchasing non-GMO food to planting heirloom gardens and organizing others to fight genetic modification, the Non-GMO Challenge highlighted how action-oriented our community is.

The winner of the Ultimate Non-GMO Dreambox, Myndy Mastracchio told us that she inspired change in her home by having her children seek out the Non-GMO Project verification mark when shopping. She says:

My kids love looking for the Non-GMO Project seal—we have made it into a game. As you know, stores target children by marketing to them with cartoons and colors. My six year old son will find a product appealing, but then become disappointed when he reads that it contains high fructose corn syrup among other ingredients that he knows are GMO. I found that teaching them early what to avoid is VERY important!

Myndy won the Ultimate Non-GMO Dreambox. Included in the box is a year’s supply of Nature’s Path product and two months worth of Sambazon beverages. Thank you to all of the companies that donated product and coupons for the Challenge: Nature’s Path, Sambazon, Enray, Wayfare, Lundberg Family Farm, Follow Your Heart, R.W. Garcia, Funky Monkey, Sophie’s Kitchen, Kashi, Attune, GoMacro, Manitoba Harvest, NibMor, Wayfare, Guayaki, Follow Your Heart, Peanut Butter and Co., Choice Organic Teas, Coconut Bliss, ProBar, Beanfields, Natural Vitality, San J., Wholesome Sweeteners, Kashi, Alvarado Street Bakery, WholeSoy and Co., Garden of Eatin’, Fruit Bliss, Crofter’s, and HomeFree!

Congratulations to the winners of our weekly Non-GMO Dreamboxes:

We received so many great entries! A favorite was this video from “A Patented Life.”  A Patented Life is a project launched by three social workers who documented their six week “personal rejection of the genetically modified seeds that compromise the food on our tables, small farms around the world, and our relationship to the land.” What an amazing undertaking!

Here is a small selection of the thoughts and stories people shared during the Non-GMO Challenge:

I cannot believe that GMO’s are safe for myself, others, or the planet.  Everything needs to be in balance, to stay in balance.  When we change the genetics, it will have far reaching consequences that we cannot begin to fathom.  I believe it has negative effects already.  We cannot see the future negative consequences for our children, and our children’s children… little by little what I can to make changes to live a  non-GMO life.  Education is extremely important, in learning as well as sharing with others so that they also can make an informed choice.  Planting organic seeds, food, cleaning products, beauty, & health care are my focus of change.  I have made changes, & will continue to do so.  To do so, I believe, is to live the best life possible.  - Barb Ogilvie

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Trying to turn things around by bringing awareness. As a holistic health coach I often give workshops on the topics of nutrition and health. My more recent talk was just a month ago and I had about 50 people in attendance gather at our local library. The workshop covered organics vs pesticides, factory farming, processed foods and GMO’s. It was a huge hit and my attendees were astonished at what was going on. The more people know the less control those bio-tech ag companies will have. That’s my adventure!”  - Charissa Sharkey

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Picked up a sample of New Chapter Organics Perfect Energy vitamins at our Co-op’s Owner Appreciation Weekend. Didn’t see the label til this morning – it never donned on me before that GMOs are in supplements! Egad. - Jessica

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I can’t even to begin to express how thankful I am for the The Non-GMO Project! Labels are now being seen all over food products here in Hawaii. I get so excited to see the label, and feel so much better knowing I am eating a non-GMO food that has been verified. Thank you!!!!” – Mama T Gonsalves

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Shopping with 4 kids is time consuming as it is. I love that I can quickly look for the Non-GMO Project seal and know I can trust the product. Thank you so much! – Tatiana Fox

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I’m a 32 year old cancer survivor. I’m mindful of everything I put in my body, including not eating foods that have been genetically modified, their DNA structures changed, or otherwise unhealthy or questionable. Unfortunately, I can not trust the food manufacturers to be honest or respectful of the quality of ingredients put in their food, and the Non-GMO Project helps me with this.  – Michael Coker

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I am committed to non-GMO products for the safety and wellness of myself and my family.  I refuse to put anything in our bodies that is not organic. - Elizabeth Snyder

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I began to come into an awareness of the issues associated with GMO contamination in our lives over 2 yrs ago when my daughter started feeding me tidbits of information and my knowledge grew from there.  I now have such a revulsion when I see how corrupted the food supply has become.  I am convinced that it is one of the main factors responsible for wreaking havoc on not only the bodies that our Heavenly Father has given us, but the seeds of His creation as well.  Thank you for all that you are doing to help provide informed choice on the matter of GMO foods. – Margie Mayfield

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I am committed to non-GMO for the sole purpose of our future generations that should have the opportunity to live, breathe and eat the food that mother nature intended for us. We are responsible for taking care of mother earth for us and future generations. It is our duty to take a stand and do what is right and purchase the products that preserve the planet and take a stand NOT to fund the organizations that promote the death of the human race and the planet. - Athena McAfee

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I am so committed to providing my family the best food available!  So it’s non-GMO and organic foods that I grow for myself and for my extended family on a small mountainside farm that I manage…Nutrition is the answer to remaining healthy and as we all know if you have your health you have everything! – Dave Sky

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Thank you to all of the people who took the Non-GMO Challenge and who are working alongside the Non-GMO Project to help protect a non-GMO food supply.