Friday, July 25, 2008

New PowerPoint on GMO Health Risks

From Jeffrey Smith:

We are happy to introduce our fully scripted PowerPoint on “The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.” You are welcome to download it and use it as the basis of your own presentations. It is quite long (112 slides) so you can select the material to fit your desired length. Some citations are listed in the script; more references and explanations are found in the sourcebooks Genetic Roulette and Seeds of Deception.

Also download either a PDF of the script or the word version, which you can study and then refer to during your presentation. The word document is handy if you want to edit the script and/or change the order of slides.

Content of the Presentation

The presentation starts by listing which foods are genetically engineered and explains how to avoid them. The audience is then asked to rate themselves on a scale of 1-100 as to how vigilant they have been during the previous week in avoiding GMOs. A “post-test” of the same question is posed at the end, asking how vigilant they intend to be next week to avoid GMOs. I do this in my talks and it is very satisfying to see how nearly every audience member has decided to make significant changes in their diets on-the-spot.

Whenever I present the health risks of GMOs, I also explain how such dangerous products could have made it to the market with government approval. Therefore, just after explaining how the process of genetic engineering works, several slides include quotes from formerly secret FDA documents that show how government policy was at odds with more cautious scientific opinion at the agency.

The GMO health risks section highlights many of the adverse findings revealed through laboratory experiments and reported by farmers, doctors, and investigators. It also introduces theoretical risks based on the current state of the science.

All risks are broken down into five categories:

1. The process of creating a GM crop creates unpredicted changes in DNA and plant composition
2. The protein produced by the inserted gene may be harmful
3. The protein produced by the inserted gene may be different than intended
4. There are more herbicide residues in herbicide tolerant crops
5. Genes may transfer to gut bacteria or into our DNA

The final section includes a discussion of a strategy to achieve the tipping point of consumer rejection of GMOs in the US, which is the basis for our Campaign for Healthier Eating in America. The key elements needed are consumer education on GMO health risks combined with clear non-GMO choices. Thus, this presentation itself is an education tool that will help drive dangerous GMOs out of the market.

Although this is not the exact PowerPoint presentation that I use in my talks on GMO health risks, it contains much of the same content. To hear an example of my talk, listen to or download the free audio Don’t Put That in Your Mouth. And for a much more complete treatment of the topic, see Genetic Roulette.

Give it a try

Don’t feel you need to be an expert in order to give this scripted PowerPoint presentation. If audience questions arise that you cannot answer, refer them to Genetic Roulette or email our Institute for Responsible Technology with the question. We will post answers for everyone.

You can also hand out copies of our GMO Health Risks brochure, which you can download or order. And you can have other products on hand for those inspired to read more, watch a DVD, or listen to an audio CD. These products also give people the tools they need to educate others. And believe me, after listening to your PowerPoint, they will want to do something. Most importantly, distribute our Non-GMO Shopping Guide, available soon, so people can more easily fulfill their newly strengthened desire to avoid eating GMOs.

If you come up with improvements, updates, or animations for our slides, please send them along so all can benefit. We also welcome new PowerPoint slides or full presentations that we can post and share, provided they are meticulously accurate. In particular, we would like to expand our offerings to include full talks on ecological risks, agricultural shortcomings, patent and legal problems, and regional issues.

Good luck using and modifying our PowerPoint on the Documented Health Risks of GMOs, and please let us know how it goes. And of course, I may also be available to speak for larger audiences, medical conferences, etc.

Safe eating,


Jeffrey M. Smith

P.S. The script is also embedded in the PowerPoint document. Using PowerPoint’s Normal setting under the View menu, the notes should appear under each slide. (Shorten the slide window from the bottom if the notes are not visible.) Alternatively, choose the Notes Page under the View menu to see each slide and its corresponding script.

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