GMO Free Idaho Mission
GMO Free Idaho is dedicated to educating the public about the impacts of genetically modified organisms. We work in collaboration with consumers, local farmers, and food providers to create a powerful coalition within our community. We strive to provide guidance to help those who choose to be GMO free and we support labeling to ensure our right to know what is in our food.
Meet the Board Members
Jenny Easley, President
Several years ago, I watched a documentary that changed my life. Although I was an avid label reader and health conscious person, I had never heard the term GMO. I began researching GMOs in depth after the film. I was shocked and angry that such a major change occurred to our food supply and it was unlabeled and untested. I knew that if I did not know, many others did not know as well. I made it my mission to spread the word.
When I became a mom, I became very health conscious. I educated myself about food and nutrition so I could make the best choices for my kids. My oldest son was born in 1996, the same year GMOs were introduced into our food supply, but I never even knew it. I had faith in our regulating agencies, believing that if something were on store shelves, it had been proven to be safe. Now I know that is not true. I spent the first 13 years of my oldest sons life, feeding my kids GMOs without my knowledge and without my permission. That is wrong, and I knew I had to do something.
I became a co-founder for GMO Free Idaho and we have steadily grown. We have formed important relationships with local farmers, food producers, and other activist groups to help raise awareness and create transparency in the food supply. GMO Free Idaho is part of a national coalition, The GMO Action Alliance. We have partnered with national GMO awareness groups, and we are growing our grassroots movement here in Idaho through social media, speaking events, presentations, film screenings and booths at festivals and markets.
I remain confident that we can make a positive change by empowering individual people to have the knowledge and the resources necessary to be GMO free.
Jeanette Arnold, Treasurer
I have joined GMO Free Idaho because I sincerely believe that our food system is in danger. I grew up on a farm in Southern Idaho where we produced all of our food. Since then I have watched the majority of my family leave farming.
I raised my three children on our own garden or a co-op garden and/or local food markets. Through that experience I have connected with people as farmers, as suppliers, as seed gatherers and as consumers, who describe the gradual loss of their ability to access quality seed and food.
Over time I have observed food go from heirloom to genetically engineered and all that was in between. I have watched our health as a society deteriorate and I drew a correlation between our health issues and our controlled food supply, including processed foods, GMO’s, and pesticide use, to list a few.
I believe in a collective voice that will make a difference and it starts with one person. I have aligned with GMO Free Idaho, a group that accurately reflects my views, and the stance I want to take moving forward. My background is in finance with over 10 years building non-profits to bring the voice of the people forward. With an additional 20 years in the corporate field, I have an understanding of the economic and business position concerning GMOs in our current market. I look forward to bringing this experience to GMO Free Idaho as an educated movement that will result in positive momentum forward.
Celeste Arnold, Secretary
I am a part of GMO Free Idaho in order to work towards a sustainable future. As GMO proponents claim so often we live in a world with over seven billion people – how can we feed everyone? I am currently taking a Sustainable Development course to continue my education on how to incorporate the most effective processes concerning our food supply, agriculture and city development.
For years, we have actually produced more than enough food to alleviate world hunger, without the use of genetic engineering. Inadequate food supply is not the reason people are starving. This is a complex issue concerning politics, war torn countries, geography, lack of infrastructure in low-income countries and much more. As with all multifaceted issues, heralding one solution as the savior to our problems is an oversimplification of the complexities of reality. We need to be weary of a handful of corporations who claim GMOs are a silver bullet to this problem. The disadvantages of GMOs in our environment need to assessed when looking to our future.
After earning two bachelor degrees in French and European Studies at University of Washington, I decided to travel the world. I’ve lived in France, Switzerland, Australia and Taiwan for the last 7 years and in that time I’ve learned a lot about the different ways these countries produce their food. The French culture honors fresh, local food in a way that has inspired me to utilize and encourage knowing your farmer and buying local produce at farmers market. I grew up in Idaho and would like to preserve the rich biodiversity found here, as I enjoy many outdoor activities including swimming, skiing and gardening. Sustainable agriculture practices must consider how GMOs affect our environment and the biodiversity of our crops through dangers of cross pollination, positive insect loss, increased pesticide/herbicide use, loss of heritage seed supply and control of our food by a handful of chemical companies.
Working with GMO Free Idaho, I am optimistic we can build a community with the citizens of Idaho to educate each other about this issue, examine better options and work towards a bright, healthy future.
Eric Brandt, Voting Member
My name is Eric Brandt and I’ve been a student, instructor and practitioner of holistic healing therapies and human bodywork for around forty years. I first heard about “Frankenfoods” (GMOs) when news of them came out in the later 90’s. For many years I wasn’t overly concerned about them, as I was growing and eating mostly organic foods and didn’t think I was at risk. Later I realized that I had been eating some GMO’s and that they were likely causes for some of my health challenges.
I’m certified as an advisor in the Metabolic Typing Diet, Detox and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition systems. I assist those with health challenges that may stem from the effects of GMO’s and other forms of environmental pollution. I utilize my skills as a “Health Coach/Educator” and the tests that our professional, certified medical labs conduct.
In 2006 I bought Jeffery Smith’s two books and his trilogy package of two DVDs and one CD that cover the GMO issue. I decided I had to become a nonGMO activist after absorbing all that information and realizing the immense problem GMOs are to our Earth and it’s inhabitants. I’ve been fairly busy activating and educating others the last eight years on this worldwide bio-catastrophe in progress.
I’ve done the Institute for Responsible Technology’s nonGMO speaker training and am available to do presentations and organize nonGMO acivities.