Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mothers for Natural Law (Measure 27)

Mothers for Natural Law was founded in June 1996 to transform the overwhelming problems

facing families into simple, practical action steps every mother can take to safeguard the health,

well-being and innocence of her children. Our agenda originally embraced everything from the

environment to crime, education, health and the economy. However, because of its extreme

urgency, we made genetic engineering our only focus for our first four years, and put all of our

other plans on hold.

In July 1996, Mothers for Natural Law launched a national public awareness campaign on the

dangers of genetically engineered foods, and an initiative to secure rigorous pre-market safety

testing, mandatory labeling and a moratorium on these foods. In just one year the organization

became a nationally recognized clearinghouse on the issue, working closely with industry and

consumers alike to create financially viable, environmentally responsible solutions to the

challenges the issue raised for all of us. The following are highlights of some of our


• Public Education—Knowledge has organizing power. As one of the primary consumer

spokespersons for the GE issue in the US, our executive director, Laura Ticciati is

regularly invited to speak at conferences and conventions all over the country, give print

and radio interviews, work with TV reporters to develop stories, create informational

materials, newsletters and action alerts to increase public understanding, enliven

awareness and empower consumers to take action. Our initial vehicle for raising public

awareness, our Information Packet (developed in July 1996), was designed to translate

the scientific details of genetic engineering into lay language for consumers. The packet

has been used not only by other American organizations, but by groups in countries as far

away as Japan and Pakistan. Safe Food News, an unprecedented 32-page full color

expose on GE, sold out (500,000 copies) to health food stores nationwide, within weeks

of its summer 2000 printing. Our materials have generated support from consumers and

businesses in every state, and have led to the creation of Mothers for Natural Law in

other countries.

• Natural Products Industry Support—The first step we took in this area was to find out

what the industry knew and felt about genetic engineering. In response to our initial

inquiries, we developed a version of our Information Packet, specifically designed to provide support materials for manufacturers, distributors and retailers on the safety,

environmental, ethical and consumer concerns about genetic engineering. Our orientation

was to provide solutions which will bring strength to the industry, and position it as a

haven for non-genetically engineered foods for the American consumer. We were the

primary non-commercial and cost-free resource for locating non-genetically engineered

ingredients for manufacturers so that their products can be kept genetically natural. Our

sourcing research was responsible for a large number of non-genetically engineered

alternatives both in the U.S. and Europe. During our 1998 campaign, we created a GE

Retail Kit to help natural products retailers educate their customers. Our work has been

covered by almost every industry-related publication including Natural Foods

Merchandiser, Delicious!, Vegetarian Times, Coop Grocer, Conscious Choice, Natural

Health, Provender Alliance, Natural Business, Business and the Environment, and

Nutrition Science News, as well as every major news outlet, including the New York

Times, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, the Associated Press, the Financial Times,

National Public Radio and PBS.

• Protecting the Organic Market—In February '97, we helped create a national coalition

of over forty scientists, consumer groups, business leaders and organizations to keep

genetically engineered organisms out of the organic market. (Members included, Citizens

For Health, Pure Food Campaign, Farm Verified Organic, Seventh Generation, Eden

Foods, Council for Responsible Genetics, Whole Foods Markets.) This coalition

generated national press coverage, including reports by the LA Times, NPR, UPI and

Christian Science Monitor Radio. Members of this coalition also launched a nationwide

response to the proposed USDA regulations on organic standards resulting in the largest

public response in USDA history. In March 1998, Mothers was invited to represent the

organic consumer at the largest annual natural products industry press conference, with

50 reporters present, leading to several interviews with prestigious mainstream media


• Certification Procedure—With a small group of industry members, we initiated a pilot

study—to uncover and resolve all the challenges from seed to consumer—in order to

create a non-GE label. This study led to the creation of a 'genetically natural' certification

'sticker' available to manufacturers now through Genetic ID, the primary GE certification

and testing company in the world.

• Consumer Right to Know Campaign—In 1998 we put all of our attention on

mandatory labeling. We used this aspect of the genetic engineering issue both as an

educational tool and a simple action step everyone can take to get involved—signing a

petition. The CRTK petition had two forms—VIP, with nearly 200 signatories including

Susan Sarandon, Whole Foods, Seventh Generation, Wild Oats, New Hope Natural

Media, Senator Diane Watson, Paul Hawken, Physicians Committee for Responsible

Medicine, NOW Foods, Eden Foods, the Humane Society, Stephen Collins, Rabbi

Michael Lerner, Mothers and Others, the Environmental Media Association and more—

and a grass roots petition, which generated nearly 500,000 signatures. This petition was

distributed through health food stores, regional coordinators and on university campuses, as well as tens of thousands of signature gatherers all over the country, and continues to

generate thousands of signatures even now. In 1999 we expanded the petition to include

safety testing, accountability and a moratorium, though we have not launched a new


• First US Consumer Book on GE—Laura Ticciati and Robin Ticciati, Ph.D., M4NL

Executive Director and scientist husband, wrote the first book for consumers on GE in

the US. This introductory book on genetic engineering is in its second printing and was

featured on the national PBS series, Healthy Living, hosted by Jane Seymour. Genetically

Engineered Foods: Are they Safe? You Decide. (Keats/NTC Publishing Co., 1998)

• National Summit on the Hazards of GE Foods, June 1999, Washington, DC—On June

17, 1999, M4NL presented the first 500,000 signatures on our petition for mandatory

labeling at a three hour press conference. Our speakers included eminent scientists,

physicians, international and national food industry leaders, clergy, farmers, consumers

and trade, finance and public policy experts. This summit was hooked up via

teleconference to government officials and dignitaries from fifteen European Union

nations visiting the United States to discuss the GE issue. The Summit was covered by

almost every major national and international media service and heralded as the turning

point for this issue in the U.S. Immediately following this summit, Laura Ticciati and Dr.

John Hagelin met with House Democratic Whip David Bonior to initiate the first wave of

legislative action on the GE issue on Capitol Hill.


Mothers for Natural Law is recognized and respected throughout the country, as professional,

competent, stable, reliable and honest. Our approach to every situation is to uphold and

support—to take problems and turn them into solutions. People hear us because we speak from

the perspective that we are all on the same side. We translate the science and technical details

into down-to-earth, common sense language. We work to transform the economic challenges into

practical opportunities. We simply tell the truth. And people are listening.

Right now our food is at risk. The biotech industry is buying up the world's seed supply. If we

don't engage the support of our government for serious caution, for rigorous safety testing, for a

moratorium, genetically engineered foods will become the norm, labeling will be redundant and

our children will live in a world where real food, natural food, is no longer available. We urge

you to work with us. Help us raise public awareness, and create a wave of understanding for the

far-reaching implications of genetic engineering in the United States, so that our nation can join

the rest of the world in its desire for safety first.

About Our Name

Natural law is the organizing power that governs the universe. From the tiniest seed, to the beating of our hearts, to the stars in the galaxies, natural law is the seamless web that

nourishes and connects us all.

When we started our organization, we had a long list of problems to be solved. But we didn't

want our name to be about problems, we wanted our name to be about solutions. We chose

the name “Mothers for Natural Law” to reflect our belief that when we align ourselves with

the laws of nature, we gain the support of nature's unlimited strength, intelligence, and

creativity—the solution to all problems.

We recognize that the phrase “natural law” may have little impact on the ordinary person in

the street. To let it go, however, would be to sacrifice our fundamental mission—to

reawaken the experience and understanding of natural law in the individual as the only

practical means to solving the serious problems facing our world.

Mothers for Natural Law

PO Box 1177 • Fairfield, IA 52556

Safe Food—Campaign 2001 hotline: (800) REAL-FOOD

Genetically Engineered Foods: Are They Safe? You Decide
Genetically Engineered Foodsby Mothers for Natural Law executive directors Robin and Laura Ticciati—the first consumer book on genetic engineering, published by Keats.

Genetic engineering has the potential to alter the genetic heritage of life on earth for all future generations. Mistakes and pollution from other technologies can be cleaned up over time, but there is a possibility that genetically engineered organisms will influence life for ever. In this situation, it is not possible for science to demonstrate long-term safety. The debate on genetic engineering should be opened to the public, so that "we, the people" can decide
which way to go.
This little book summarizes the issue for the consumer. It covers the following points: (1) the differences between genetic engineering, cross-breeding, and natural evolution, (2) the broad categories of concern, (3) the current situation—crops, enzymes, animal feed, regulations—, (4) how to avoid genetically engineered foods, and (5) what to do to preserve the option of a genetically natural diet for future generations.

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