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Meet Trish Sheldon of GMO Free Florida

Today we’d like to introduce you to Trish Sheldon.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I co-founded GMO Free Florida after my son was very sick with chronic and unrelenting digestive pain and the doctor’s didn’t know what to do. They just kept giving more medications and invasive treatments and nothing was helping alleviate his discomfort, he was getting worse. I started researching food, I learned about GMOs (foreign genes, from insects, animals or humans utilizing bacteria and viruses, spliced into the food since the mid-nineties).

Subsequently, I learned about glyphosate (roundup), an herbicide that The World Health Organization [2015} deemed a ‘probable human carcinogen’ that must be used with GMO crops and also sprayed on conventional wheat and nut, seed crops as a ripening agent. And also sprayed at schools, parks and public spaces.

I learned of leaked human DNA in the rice supply and I started researching everything my son was eating and eliminating the ‘at-risk’ GMO food crops. After two weeks, he was feeling much better. After a month, all of his symptoms were GONE! (As-long-as he avoided the problematic food.) This is why labels are so important! This is how it all started. If we can help one person, we’ve done our job.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
We have won some and lost some. Such is the life of a watchdog, activist group. Never a dull moment here! In 2015, we helped inspire transparent GMO labeling in accordance with Vermont, which still stands today. (on-package labels) that state: “made with Genetic Engineering” however, a few months after and with a big push-back from the biotech industry, this law can be changed to forcing people to scan a bar code (come 2018-2019) instead of reading the label if they want to know what’s in their food. To do so, one must have a smart phone, be able to scan a QR code and read the docs it takes you to all while grocery shopping — maybe even with kids in tow, so, that’s not very transparent GMO labeling! The good companies will choose to keep the labels.

We are a small group of dedicated volunteers — Florida is a large state. We will do better with more volunteer power and we are actively seeking fundraising ideas to take us to the next level and do everything we’d like to do in our community.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the GMO Free Florida story. Tell us more about the business.
GMO Free Florida is a community supported grassroots, volunteer-run, non-profit ( 501c3,). We are a state-wide watch group educating and organizing since 2010 around all issues of GMOs in Florida and beyond. We create community driven events, teach children about healthier food, have film nights, pot lucks, support our local agriculture and farmers, have great speakers on food solutions and meet with elected officials.

GMOFFL has upwards of 16,000 subscribers and works with many Florida organizations to help gather, thus far, over 20,000 signatures to label GMOs in Florida, these signatures and efforts from all of our group members played a major role in our right to know’ what is in our food and subsequent transparent on-package labeling of GMO Ingredients in accordance with Vermont’s 2015 labeling act. Our goal is to ban the release of all GMOs & Glyphosate into the environment.

Since 2014, GMOFFL has been influencing Representatives and Senators to sponsor and co-sponsor bills in the Florida House and Senate to label GMOs. We have grown to 30 “Florida Right to Know” groups across our state. In combination with our groups and various organizations, we have helped organize events with over 10,000 people marching across Florida with MAM.

Most Recently, GMOFFL has a petition circulating to ban Monsanto’s roundup (glyphosate) usage in the State of FL and with our coalition (Citizens for Safe Science) have been instrumental in helping stall the release of GMO Mosquitoes for the last 5 years. We do NOT consent to the release of GMO Mosquitoes.

At GMO Free Florida, we believe that American’s have not only a ‘right to know’ but a ‘need to know’ what we are feeding ourselves and our families. We advocates for transparency, accountability, trace-ability and liability of food ingredients, we want a responsible, sustainable food supply that protects our planet, heirloom seeds, farmers and can truly, safely feed the world.

Monthly Meetings: We meet the first Thursday of every month at Zen Mystery (off Federal in Dania Beach) at 7:30 PM.

Join our yearly march! #MAMmiami18 #farm24rkfest #Wynwood on Saturday, May 19th 2PM (Details TBA).

Ban Glyphosate in FL:

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck is an interesting thing. It’s a mindset to me. Being in the right place at the right time helps up-the-luck! Having great contacts help. Asking for what you want and believing and dreaming and then putting this all into action. Wanting to make a difference in other’s lives helps. It feels really great to get calls and messages and notes that we have changed someones life. I think they feel lucky! I know my son does. It took me years to get the right help for my son (who knew it was as easy as changing the food)! We hope that everyone that needs us will be able to find us. It’s all these things that come together that creates “luck”.

I feel blessed to be here. Now, we need financial and volunteer luck!!! 😉

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Sharpshooter Marketing
Omar Antonio Silva – huge march image for the front

Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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