Web Communications Intern, available to start immediately

Opportunity: Learn, gain experience, and develop professional skills with a nonprofit organization that is a visionary leader in the fields of Science and Sustainable Agriculture.

Report to: Program Director

Role: Provide support for a wide range of public relations, editorial, social media, and marketing functions, and handle administrative tasks, which may include the following responsibilities:


Public relations

Develop and update media lists and email distribution lists

Distribute press releases, via targeted emails and wire distribution services

Contact media to pitch stories, send photos, coordinate interviews, etc.

Draft press releases and update community calendar listings

Post online calendar listings for all events and delete when event has passed

Monitor HARO (Help a Reporter Out) for possible media interviews

Track media coverage

Attend community awareness events and help with networking at booth

Strengthen collaboration between consumers, local farmers, and food providers. Send info when requested to support GMO education.



Assist in updating websites

Assist in creating and publishing an online directory of Idaho’s Organic and non-GMO Farms and Food Suppliers


Social Media

Engage with social media audiences on twitter, Facebook, etc to build following and generate awareness of GMOs

Generate content for posting on social media-current news, relevant articles



Grow online presence. Goal- increase Facebook likes by 30% in 3 months.

Assist in executing and analyzing Google Analytics and Adwords campaigns

Participate, where necessary, in development and execution of marketing materials and post all events to social media and web page

Provide suggestions for Co-Marketing and Partnership opportunities to related organizations (organic, food supply, sustainable ag, genetic science)



Assist with research into appropriate foundations, corporations for fundraising solicitations; and advertising/promotional opportunities

Provide weekly list of Grant/Funding opportunities to Executive Team

Create list of relevant scientific papers, data, and research to post on Resources section of web site and post online articles to social media with appropriate hash tags


Qualifications: College or Graduate student based in Boise with interest in Science, Sustainable Agriculture, and a Healthy World. Willing to work 2-5 hours per week for a period of at least 3 months.

Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal skills, ability to multi-task, detail-oriented, highly organized, keen attention to details, resourceful, familiarity with social media and web development platforms. Must feel comfortable with networking in a professional environment





Bye Bye Butterfly?

gmo butterflyDo you rely on the Non-GMO Project Verified butterfly when making your purchasing decisions? Do you buy food from producers who label their products non-GMO at stores and farmers markets?


A bill recently passed by the US House of Representatives would prohibit farms and food producers from labeling their products as non-GMO, pending the creation of a new bureaucracy, which is not yet in existence. HR 1599, officially titled the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, but dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act, preempts state’s rights to pass GMO labeling legislation or initiatives. The Act, which is supported by food and biotech industry leaders, also requires farms and food producers to go through a new, complicated approval process in order to let customers know their foods do not contain genetically modified organisms. Presumably, this would eliminate the Project Verified Certification that millions of Americans have grown to trust, as well as place a burden on our local farms who let customers know their foods are non-GMO.


HR 1599, SEC. 291B, mandates the creation of a new “certifying agency” which will be tasked with reviewing food producer requests to voluntarily label their foods. Under the new law, a food producer must submit a non genetically engineered food plan to the certifying agent, who will then determine if such plan meets the requirements. This certifying agency, which is not yet in existence, would take some time to set up leaving us without any certification in the meantime.


There is nothing more frustrating than industry using the federal government to put additional burdens on America’s small farmers and food producers who wish to voluntarily label foods non GMO foods for their consumers. It is bad enough that HR 1599 eliminates state’s rights to pass GMO labeling, but to further burden farmers and producers by requiring another approval process in order to maintain transparency is going too far!


As a consumer, I have come to rely on my relationship with local farmers, and the Project Verified Certification to help guide my purchasing decisions until a federal mandatory labeling law is passed. Not only does HR 1599 move us further from mandatory labeling, but it inserts itself into the farmer/customer relationship, by taking over the definition of what it means to be GMO free, and subjecting farmers to another bureaucracy. Interestingly, farmers whose livestock consumes genetically engineered feed would be allowed to label their products non-GMO under this new law.


The House of Representatives already passed this bill, and the Senate will consider the DARK Act next month. Now is the time to contact your Senators and tell them to vote NO on keeping American’s in the DARK.


Jenny Easley

President GMO Free Idaho


Protect States’ Rights

Oppose HR 1599: Protect States’ Rights and Consumer Choicedark act

H.R. 1599 would improperly pre-empt state and local control over genetically engineered foods, often referred to as genetically modified organisms or GMOs. In place of state laws, H.R. 1599 would establish a federal policy of voluntary labeling for GMOs that is doomed to failure. The bill also creates a federal government bureaucracy for non-GMO labeling, even though there is already a private system that’s working well, and prevents state and local governments from implementing any sort of oversight of GMO crops, even when the federal government has declined to regulate them.

1. States should have the right to decide for themselves whether to require GMO labeling.

It is inappropriate to take away states’ autonomy on the issue of GMO labeling. The supporters of H.R. 1599 claim that preemption is needed because food manufacturers would have trouble complying with a patchwork of state laws. But every state law on GMO labeling that has been adopted, and the overwhelming majority of the bills that have been proposed in recent years, share the same core elements, including the definitions of key terms, what level of GMO ingredients trigger the labeling requirement, and the exemptions. No patchwork currently exists, nor is there likely to be one.

2. Mandatory GMO labeling is low-cost and would allow the free market to function properly.

Changing a label imposes almost no costs, as evidenced by the fact that companies frequently change their food packaging for reasons ranging from a new marketing strategy to the holidays. Over 64 countries have banned or required labeling of GMOs, including the European Union, Australia, China, New Zealand, and Russia. American food manufacturers sell their products, either GMO-free or with GMO labels, all over the world, and have presented no evidence of higher costs as a result.

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog found significant factual errors in the claim that GMO labels would cost the average family hundreds of dollars annually.i The claim is based on what it would cost food manufacturers to shift to non-GMO ingredients, and include the cost of sourcing nonGMO ingredients, warehousing the new ingredients, and producing the new products. That’s not the cost of labels — it’s the cost of going GMO-free.

The cost estimates reflect the companies’ own belief that American consumers don’t want to buy GMO products and that market forces will require them to shift to non-GMO if labels are required. That may or may not prove to be true, but it is the free market at work – informed buyers making choices. There are a variety of reasons that consumers may wish to avoid products with GMO ingredients, including religious beliefs, a desire not to support a system of patented seeds, the environmental concerns connected to GMO farming, allergies to the inserted foreign proteins, and more. Whatever their reason, consumers should have that choice within a functioning free market.

3. State and local governments have the right to protect their agricultural industries.

Because of the market demand for non-GMO crops, farmers can suffer massive losses due to contamination by GMO crops. For example, when unapproved GMO varieties were discovered in American rice in 2006, it triggered the biggest marketing and financial disaster in the history of the U.S. rice industry. The scandal affected 63% of U.S. rice exports, with an overall cost to the industry estimated at over $1.2 billion. Bayer, the company responsible for the contamination, settled with the affected farmers for $750 million.ii Contamination of non-GMO crops can occur even with very limited plantings of GMO crops. For example, in 2013 and 2014, GMO wheat was found in Oregon and Montana even though it had only been planted in test fields and never commercially developed. Several trade partners stated that they would not take any contaminated wheat, triggering extensive testing.iii

As a result, some state and local governments in areas with high-value non-GMO crops have adopted, or are considering adopting, protections for their agricultural industries. For example, Oregon adopted a law limiting the growing of GMO canola, which can contaminate crops such as kale, rutabagas, and mustard greens. The seed industry for these crops is worth over $32 million, while the canola crops are worth less than one tenth of that market.iv

Pre-empting the right of state and local governments to protect their agricultural industries, as H.R. 1599 would do, could severely damage portions of our agricultural industry.

4. The science is not settled on GMO safety

The FDA has no mandatory safety tests for GMO products. In practice, the companies that wish to sell GMO crops simply notify FDA that they think the GMO food is “substantially equivalent” to its nonengineered version. Yet, at the same time, the companies have patented the GMO crops, with the result that all research is effectively under their control. Much of the research has been short-term and looks at factors not relevant to human health, such as whether livestock gained weight as quickly on GMO feed as on non-GMO.v And without labeling, we can’t track the epidemiological affects of GMOs; it is impossible to associate health problems with people who ate GMOs, because we don’t know who ate them. We need independent, long-term research.

In addition to the potential direct effects of GMO foods, there are known health risks from the chemicals that are associated with them. Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance, causing the use of toxic herbicides like Roundup to skyrocket. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has been found to be a “probable human carcinogen.”vi As weeds become resistant to the overuse of Roundup, new GMOs are being developed to enable the use of even more toxic chemicals.vii These issues and concerns should be resolved at the local and state level, not pre-empted by a federal bill that enshrines a failed policy of voluntary labeling and ineffective oversight.

Special thanks to Organic Consumers Association for compilation of information. Form created by Judith McGreary Contact: Judith McGeary, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, 254-697-2661, Judith@FarmAndRanchFreedom.org

i Michelle Ye He Lee, Would GMO labeling requirement cost $500 more in groceries per family a year?, The The Washington Post (April 6, 2015), http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2015/04/06/would-gmo-labeling-requirement-cost-500-more-ingroceries-per-family-a-year/

ii Ian Berry, Bayer to pay rice farmers for gene contamination, The Wall Street Jounral (July 1, 2011), http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304450604576420330493480082

iii Monsanto GMO wheat contamination discovered in Montana, (Sept. 27, 2014), http://rt.com/news/191088-monsanto-wheat-montanagmo

iv Mateusz Perkowski, Compromise canola bill foreshadows controversy, Capitol Ag Press (June 24, 2015) http://www.capitalpress.com/Oregon/20150624/compromise-canola-bill-foreshadows-controversy; Canola Threat in Willamette Valley, Ten Rivers Food Web, http://www.tenriversfoodweb.org/blog/canola-threat-in-the-willamette-valley/

v Food & Water Watch, Genetically Engineered Food: Human Health Risks (Jan. 2015), available at http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/factsheet/genetically-engineered-food-human-health-risks/

vi Kathyn Z. Guyton et al., Carcinogenicity of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate, The Lancet Oncology Vol. 16 No. 5, pp.490-491 (May 2015), http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045%2815%2970134-8/fulltext

vii Benbrook CM, Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the United States: The first thirteen years, The Organic Center, November 2009

Dark Act Heading to House Floor

woman cover eyes with handsThis week, HR 1599, passed through the House Agriculture Committee, and is heading to the House Floor. It is imperative that we contact our House representatives to ask them to vote no on this bill. According to Organic Consumer Association analysts, if the bill passes it will:

  • Prevent mandatory labeling from becoming law
  • Prevent states who have passed mandatory labeling from implementing the law
  • Prevent counties and states from designating GMO-free zones to prevent crop contamination
  • Put the FDA in charge of writing guidelines for what constitutes as GMO free
  • Continue current policy of voluntary consultation process in lieu of mandatory pre-market safety review

We cannot allow this bill to pass. Our representatives need to hear from us. That is why the board of GMO Free Idaho met with Representative Mike Simpson’s office yesterday. We delivered the following message to him:

Congressman Simpson,

On behalf of the 2035 members of the Organic Consumers Association in your district, as well as more than 3000 Idahoans who follow GMO Free Idaho, we would like to discuss the importance of mandatory labels on foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

There is an urgency to this request, as H.R. 1599 recently passed through the House Agriculture Committee, and will be on its way to the house floor. We understand that you have co-sponsored this bill, and we would request that you revoke your sponsorship and vote no.

The vast majority of people (88%), including those here in Idaho, support mandatory labeling for foods which have been genetically modified, or contain genetically modified ingredients. H.R. 1599 prohibits such mandatory labeling, and reverses the state decisions in Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut to label GMO foods. This bill prevents states and counties from enacting mandatory labeling, or regulating the planting of GMO foods. As a defender of state’s rights, you must oppose this bill.

The American Medical Association has called for genetically engineered foods to be subjected to mandatory pre-market testing. H.R.1599 prevents mandatory pre-market testing by requiring only voluntary consultation. Representative Simpson, for a technology that is ever changing, you must see the danger in requiring only voluntary safety consultation.

H.R. 1599 strips farming communities of their right to protect high value non-GMO agriculture by preventing them from creating GMO-free agricultural zones. These types of recently created zones in Oregon counties have been held up in the courts. Organic and non-GMO farmers cannot protect their crops from contamination without such zones. It is the responsibility of our representation to consider the rights of all farmers, not just those who employ genetically engineered technology. States and counties should be able to regulate their own agricultural needs without one-size-fits-all federal mandates.

While we agree that a federal mandatory consumer labeling program is preferable to individual state labeling, this bill is not the answer. We already have a voluntary labeling system, and that is not what your constituents want. Americans have a right to know what is in their food. Anything short of mandatory GMO labeling is insufficient. If the federal government fails to provide such mandatory labeling, you have an obligation to protect state’s rights to do so.

I have included some additional reading material on genetically modified organisms. It is my hope that you consider it, and vote no on H.R. 1599. Uphold state’s rights, and the right of individuals to know what they are purchasing.


GMO Free Idaho

Four Meals in One Cooking Session

! A couple notes first, I do eat meat, I do eat grains and I do eat dairy. These meal ideas do not fit every persons diet style! I also cook for 6 people who all have adult appetites.

About a week ago, I stumbled upon a blog from a woman who does meals in bulk by prepping everything, putting it in freezer bags and then using the crockpot to reheat the meal. While I liked her idea, she used a lot of canned foods to build her meals and I don’t. But, it got me thinking, and I came up with the idea of cooking four meals at once to put in the fridge for the week. My goal was to create different dishes using as many of the same ingredients as I could to minimize my time in the kitchen. Read More→

Warm up with GMO Free Hot Chocolate!

This is a great time of year to indulge in some hot chocolate! My kids absolutely love this drink. It does take more time than opening an envelope of hot chocolate mix, but it is worth the time and effort.



Hot Chocolate

1/2 cup cane sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbls flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups cold water

6 cups organic whole milk

1 tbls vanilla or omit the cinnamon and use mint flavoring

Stir sugar, cocoa, flour, cinnamon and salt in a sauce pan. Stir in cold water. Stir constantly while you bring it to a boil. The mixture will thicken. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes while stirring. Stir in milk and heat but do not boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla. This recipe serves 6.


Non GMO Breakfast

          I will admit it. My budget is recovering from Christmas and so I am being extra cautious with the food budget which means cooking more from scratch. Store bought non GMO Cereal can be expensive, so whenever I get to chance to do it, I make granola. It helps my mornings go more smoothly if we have something ready to eat. Last weekend, I set aside a little time to make homemade granola.  I rarely follow a recipe exactly and I change something every time I cook or bake. Here is what I did this time:




1 cup organic cane sugar with 3 tablespoons of molasses mixed in

1/2 cup of coconut oil

6 cups of oatmeal

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup shredded coconut

Mix can sugar, coconut oil, and molasses and heat in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved and coconut oil is liquified. On large cookie sheet with sides, mix oatmeal and cinnamon. Stir melted oil/sugar mixture into the oatmeal and stir thoroughly. Spread into a thin layer and bake at 375. Stir granola after ten minutes and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, watching closely. Remove granola from the oven and stir in raisins and coconut. Allow it to cool.

          You can use grapeseed oil instead of coconut, and honey or maple syrup in place of the sugar. I have used diced dried pineapple, apricots, apples and dates. You can stir in walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seed. I have added orange or lemon oil to the liquid and have used a variety of spices including cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. The only limit to this recipe is your imagination.


GMA Report Shows Organic, NonGMO Farming is Sustainable

Grocery Manufacturers Association defines Sustainability and takes note of changes to consumer preferences.

          Grocery Manufacturers Association knows what you want, but they are working to undermine it by using their money and political influence to prevent mandatory gmo labeling laws. Read More→

Investing in Secrecy

How the Grocery Manufacturers Association is committed to preventing you from knowing what is in your food.

          Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents companies like Pepsico, Kraft, Kelloggs, Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences and Land O’lakes has taken another step in their efforts to prevent you from knowing GMOs are in your food. GMA is well known for contributing millions to defeat mandatory labeling efforts in California.  It is also responsible for half of the $22 million dollars raised by opponents of labeling in Washington State.  According to a document obtained by Politico, GMA  is pursuing a national labeling standard for GMOs. That sounds like what we want, right? Wrong. Let’s take a closer look. Read More→

2, 4D Resistance Crops One Step Closer to Market

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is moving toward deregulation of Dow AgroSciences new 2,4-D resistant corn and soybeans. These new products are intended to offer farmers the ability to use additional chemicals, due in part to the weed resistance caused by use of other chemicals, including glyphosate which is heavily used on Roundup Resistant crops.

Those of us who have been working for transparency and labeling for genetically altered foods have seen this coming for a few years. It became obvious to those in the biotech industry and to GMO activists alike, that weed resistance was becoming a problem. Their solution is to double down and add more chemicals and more altered genes. These new crops are tolerant to multiple herbicides including 2,4-D and glyphosate. Read More→