Following Connecticut’s failed attempt to pass GMO labeling legislation, environmental activist Diana Reeves, “fed up with the overwhelming corporate influence on her state’s government,” launched GMO Free USA in 2012. Her goal was to lead “national boycotts of food companies that used GMO ingredients in their products,” in hopes of pressuring the firms “to remove those GMO ingredients.”
GMO Free USA has ongoing boycotts against Kellogg’s cereal company and baby food maker Gerber. The organization targets these big names in the food industry because “when one Big Food company is forced to remove GMOs, their competitors are at a disadvantage and soon follow.” The Gerber campaign is especially important, GMO Free USA says, because “Avoiding GMOs and toxic agrichemicals are [sic] important to …. the health of growing, vulnerable babies and children.”
In September 2018, GMO Free USA joined Beyond Pesticides and Organic Consumers Association in a lawsuit against Pret A Manger restaurant chain “for the deceptive marketing of …. baked goods as ‘natural food,’ after the products tested positive for glyphosate, a component of Roundup weedkiller.” The three organizations argued in the lawsuit that Pret A Manger “willfully misrepresents” its products and exposes its customers to a chemical linked to “serious adverse health effects including cancer, infertility, and non-alcoholic fatty liver and kidney diseases.”
GMO Free USA counts Claire Robinson and Henry Rowlands among its board members. Robinson co-founded the website GM Watch, which “seeks to counter the enormous corporate political power and propaganda of the GMO industry and its supporters.” Rowlands operates the pro-organic website Sustainable Pulse. He has also worked with the anti-GMO group Moms Across America to argue that the weed killer glyphosate is found in human breast milk, and can cause “cancer and neurological disorders” in children. Rowlands is alleged to have hacked the emails of researchers who challenged Moms Across America’s claim about the dangers of glyphosate.
GMO Free USA raises funds via online product sales and solicits individual donations through its website. The nonprofit receives some larger donations from other organizations, including environmental group Patagonia Action Works, though it does not disclose its other donors or how much they give.
Annual Revenue: $75,329 (2016)
Total Assets $49,948 (2016)