Last month I attended the Borlaug Dialogue in Des Moines, Iowa to learn about the direction of the GMO industry. Started by Norman E. Borlaug 101 years ago, the gathering is an international symposium of GMO chemical company CTO's like Dow, Dupont and Monsanto mingling with food companies like Cargill and Land O' Lakes. Big Ag suppliers and international banks like the Bank of Africa mixed with notables such as Chelsea Clinton, Google, Starbucks, Secretary of Agriculture Tom VilsackThomas J. VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE, Warren Buffett's son Howard, Pamela Anderson of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, many foreign dignitaries, along with our tax-payer-dollar-supported USDA officials. 

The entire conference was a GMO commercial. The attendees should have been paid to be there.  Apparently GMO is "activist lingo" now, so instead they spoke of the latest "agriculture technology."  It sickened me to see them repeatedly lie about yield, nutrition and improved technology. They failed to tell the whole story, which is that the yield is not consistent, the nutrition is lacking, the chemicals destroy the soil, poison waterways and people, and the technology overall is failing. 

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I asked a question about organic farming at a smaller panel with African farmers led by Julie Borlaug. I pointed out that the UN had recently released their own report titled "Wake Up Before It's Too Late" which stated that small organic farms are the only way to feed the world. She immediately dismissed this report as opinion when it was created by 60 international scientific experts from around the world.

As leaders of the agriculture industry, these attendees have a legal and moral obligation to inform the international community of the risks of GMOs and related chemicals like glyphosate. Unfortunately that is not what was discussed throughout the entire conference. 

I got to speak to Erostus Nsubuga, chairman of the Uganda Biotechnology and Biosafety Consortium, from Uganda. His main defense of GMOs was not that GMOs and related chemicals are safe, but that they have been trying for 20 years to grow bananas naturally and they have not been successful, implying that they need GMOs. He never indicated that Uganda might be a better place to grow other types of crops besides bananas. 

At the next event, Chelsea Clinton of the Clinton Foundation was joined by CTOs and CEOs from Monsanto, Google, Starbucks, and our Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. They only took questions via Twitter. I was not surprised that my questions were not chosen. 

Later on, to a different panel about small farmers, in the same room in front of 1,200 people, I was able to ask a question about organic farming, glyphosate and GMOs. It was uncomfortable but I was compelled to speak up for the children who are sick. 

The GMO industry's agenda to feed the world does not trump the reality that they are making people sick, leading to early death and miscarriages. Hundreds of scientific studies now link GMOs and related chemicals to the destruction of life and this health crisis in America can no longer be ignored. 

Throughout the two days I learned of several angles that the GMO industry is applying under the auspices of “a noble cause of feeding the world.”  

The primary target is Africa because they have the most arable land and are predicted to have a 6 fold population increase by 2050. The GMO industry is convincing Africans that they deserve the best technology and no one else should stop them from having a choice, literally stealing the phrase, "Freedom to Choose" from the clean food movement. They have a free curriculum "Bringing BioTech to Life" for middle schools, and other programs for high school and college. The college students that I spoke to parroted the industry’s talking points verbatim.

The industry is promoting fisheries in Africa which will likely give the fish GMO feed, just like in the United States. 

The Trans Pacific Partnership reduces the tariffs on U.S. soy and corn by 80 percent making it easier to sell their chemically farmed food all over the world.

The CEO of Cargill actually said to the dignitaries of foreign countries, "Resist the urge to go after domestic food security."  Statements like this show how the GMO industry wants the world to be dependent on U.S. exports. 

I am stunned by the audacity of any country to suggest to other countries that they should not try to be self-sufficient and feed themselves.  

We must be aware that the same chemical companies who make these chemicals that can make us sick also sell the pharmaceuticals that purportedly make us “better.” It is a perfect profit circle for them, one that we must opt out of. 

There are many effective non-GMO options. I hope to remind farmers that they are ingenious and that they have been farming for thousands of years without GMOs and toxic chemicals. 

Amish Farmer John Kempf, of Advancing Eco Agriculture, teaches farmers how to grow crops that completely resist pests and weeds without GMOs and toxic chemicals. Wisconsin farmer Will Allen grows 1 million pounds of food a year, including fish through aquaponics on three acres.
This is a crucial time in history. The global community has to choose between deceptive corporate marketing or protecting our families and prosperity for generations to come.

Honeycutt is the founder of Moms Across America.