Running For a GMO Free USA Run Stats

Running For a GMO Free USA Run Stats

January 18, 2014 – July 19, 2014
150 Running Days
183 Total Days or 6 months and 2 days
Average miles/day: 19.77
Total miles: 2965
Longest day (June 9): 33.75 miles
Shortest day (January 22): 3.4 miles
Longest week (June 23-28): 163.01 miles, averaging 27.19 miles/day
Elevation Gain: More than 108,440
Elevation Loss: More than 108,443
Painkillers and anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals: Zero

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

My Garmin watch worked quite well for a good half of the trip, then something short circuited and the display light would not turn off. That meant I would only get about 4 1/2 hours per charge. When this problem first manifested, I’d have to use Google Maps to calculate the distance after the watch died for the day. Eventually we bought David another Garmin watch and as mine died, we’d turn David’s on. When I used Google Maps to calculate the distance, I did not get an elevation reading for that part of the run. That’s why I noted the elevation gain and loss with “More than . . .” I have no idea how much actual elevation gain and loss we did not record, probably no more than 3 or 4% of the total figures. I also estimated time on the road on a few days when we had to use Google Maps or when the watch gave a screwy reading.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

We were quite meticulous in starting the watch exactly or slightly behind where we turned it off the previous day. Of course over the six months we were on the road, we we on our feet for many more miles than the 2965 officially recorded miles.

David ran in six pairs of shoes. I ran in four.

20140823_150505

Run # Run Name Start Time Distance Elevation Gain Elevation Loss
1 From Huntington Beach 1.18 Sat, Jan 18, 2014 12:23 PM 2:04:56 9.21 108 83
2 Santa Ana River Trail 1.20 Mon, Jan 20, 2014 9:13 AM 1:50:21 9.37 181 37
3 Anaheim 1.21 Tue, Jan 21, 2014 10:08 AM 2:53:23 12.84 273 69
4 Approaching Corona 1.22 Wed, Jan 22, 2014 10:43 AM 00:45:00 3.40 120 48
5 Riverside 1.23 Thu, Jan 23, 2014 9:08 AM 4:40:58 18.04 1,015 688
6 Moreno Valley 1.24 Fri, Jan 24, 2014 9:12 AM 4:37:30 15.78 1,779 728
7 Beaumont 1.25 Sat, Jan 25, 2014 1:38 PM 4:51:04 16.81 1,321 680
8 Beaumont-Banning-Cabazon 1.27 Mon, Jan 27, 2014 11:29 AM 3:38:13 12.60 266 749
9 Cabazon to White Water 1.28 Tue, Jan 28, 2014 12:52 PM 4:32:54 16.01 525 1,279
10 To Desert Hot Springs 1.29 Wed, Jan 29, 2014 12:59 PM 2:34:32 7.25 398 306
11 Desert Hot Springs to Yucca Valley 1.30 Thu, Jan 30, 2014 10:13 AM 5:28:18 17.27 2,873 1,044
12 29 Palms 1.31 Fri, Jan 31, 2014 11:04 AM 5:48:27 21.51 229 1,561
13 Leaving 29 Palms 2.1 Sat, Feb 1, 2014 8:46 AM 6:31:44 24.59 1,230 785
14 Approaching Amboy 2.3 Mon, Feb 3, 2014 1:46 PM 3:49:06 15.15 0 1,703
15 Beyond Amboy 2.4 Tue, Feb 4, 2014 10:02 AM 5:42:41 19.33 367 236
16 Essex 2.5 Wed, Feb 5, 2014 10:26 AM 6:45:23 23.46 1,082 88
17 Goffs 2.6 Thu, Feb 6, 2014 9:25 AM 5:06:34 18.00 865 0
18 Goffs Shortcut Bee Farm 2.7 Fri, Feb 7, 2014 10:10 AM 6:11:15 20.71 39 1,409
19 Into Arizona 2.8 Sat, Feb 8, 2014 12:12 PM 5:08:54 17.29 84 852
20 Through Oatman 2.10 Mon, Feb 10, 2014 8:57 AM 6:53:19 20.37 2,513 183
21 Nearly to Kingman 2.11 Tue, Feb 11, 2014 1:05 PM 6:14:29 21.88 1,584 1,458
22 Through Kingman 2.12 Wed, Feb 12, 2014 8:57 AM 4:12:06 16.00 665 257
23 Through Valentine 2.13 Thu, Feb 13, 2014 10:48 AM 6:57:31 24.85 811 188
24 To Buck and Doe Rd 2.14 Fri, Feb 14, 2014 12:28 PM 4:01:30 14.19 1,286 138
25 To Grand Canyon Caverns 2.15 Sat, Feb 15, 2014 11:24 AM 4:15:00 15.16 982 376
26 Leaving Grand Canyon Caverns 2.17 Mon, Feb 17, 2014 11:57 AM 4:49:38 20.44 384 473
27 Through Seligman 2.18 Tue, Feb 18, 2014 1:01 PM 5:14:45 19.83 880 973
28 Ash Fork Detour 2.19 Wed, Feb 19, 2014 9:45 AM 6:27:21 20.56 913 411
29 To Williams 2.20 Thu, Feb 20, 2014 10:10 AM 5:54:14 21.50 1,731 693
30 Leaving Williams 2.21 Fri, Feb 21, 2014 10:12 AM 6:16:54 21.20 1,210 680
31 Bellemont to Flagstaff 2.22 Sat, Feb 22, 2014 1:55 PM 4:30:39 16.93 276 704
32 Leaving Flagstaff 2.24 Mon, Feb 24, 2014 10:22 AM 3:52:17 22.45 280 1479
33 Entering Leupp 2.26 Wed, Feb 26, 2014 10:30 AM 5:04:24 18.96 285 1,158
34 Leaving Leupp 2.27 Thu, Feb 27, 2014 7:40 AM 1:06:00 5.15 47 35
35 To Pyramid (Epic scenery marathon run) 2.28 Fri, Feb 28, 2014 9:33 AM 7:25:03 26.42 997 233
36 To Dilkon Leaving Dilkon 3.1 Sat, Mar 1, 2014 12:21 PM 3:34:21 15.88 765 138
37 To Greasewood Springs 3.3 Mon, Mar 3, 2014 9:07 AM 6:39:33 25.44 869 1,091
38 Leaving Greasewood 3.4 Tue, Mar 4, 2014 10:00 AM 5:15:32 19.31 603 197
39 Through Ganado 3.5 Wed, Mar 5, 2014 9:39 AM 5:40:49 20.19 1,416 453
40 Defiance Plateau into New Mexico 3.6 Thu, Mar 6, 2014 8:50 AM 7:18:20 21.61 833 1,083
41 To Gallup 3.7 Fri, Mar 7, 2014 12:45 PM 5:24:41 21.46 784 1,326
42 Leaving Gallup 3.8 Sat, Mar 8, 2014 1:57 PM 3:30:31 12.57 505 344
43 To Thoreau 3.10 Mon, Mar 10, 2014 12:21 PM 5:53:53 21.54 542 232
44 Leaving Thoreau 3.11 Tue, Mar 11, 2014 11:56 AM 5:07:50 20.72 37 535
45 Through Milan and Grants 3.12 Wed, Mar 12, 2014 9:28 AM 5:42:11 17.04 154 437
46 To Laguna Pueblo 3.13 Thu, Mar 13, 2014 11:53 AM 6:43:59 24.59 390 843
47 Free Way Run 3.14 Fri, Mar 14, 2014 12:23 PM 6:30:48 24.45 774 1,132
48 BJ Timoner, Cold Wind 3.15 Sat, Mar 15, 2014 1:56 PM 3:45:42 11.37 687 437
49 Through Albuquerque Mon, Mar 17, 2014 11:58 AM 6:37:56 22.84 1,011 864
50 Past Sedillo (Mike and Susan evening) 3.18 Tue, Mar 18, 2014 3:25 PM 3:57:55 15.99 1,447 531
51 From Mike and Susan’s Place 3.19 Wed, Mar 19, 2014 1:36 PM 5:02:07 20.12 218 686
52 Through Clines Corners Thu, Mar 20, 2014 9:38 AM 5:40:36 23.05 1,094 895
53 Birthday Run to Rest Stop 3.21 Fri, Mar 21, 2014 10:36 AM 6:01:23 25.32 797 1,640
54 To Santa Rosa 3.22 Sat, Mar 22, 2014 11:08 AM 6:09:17 21.86 558 1,404
55 Santa Rosa to Cuervo 3.24 Mon, Mar 24, 2014 11:29 AM 5:50:27 21.00 1,122 941
56 Cuervo to Montoya (Two Ghost Towns) 3.25 Tue, Mar 25, 2014 10:27 AM 5:31:02 22.75 343 884
57 To Tucumcari 3.26 Wed, Mar 26, 2014 10:10 AM 4:28:04 20.00 427 681
58 Tucumcari to Logan 3.27 Thu, Mar 27, 2014 9:27 AM 5:47:39 23.82 390 619
59 Leaving Logan 3.28 Fri, Mar 28, 2014 5:49 PM 1:34:19 8.29 256 171
60 To Nara Visa 3.29 Sat, Mar 29, 2014 4:04 PM 3:33:17 16.02 385 118
61 Entering Texas 3.31 Mon, Mar 31, 2014 1:57 PM 5:09:11 20.24 486 590
62 Late Start Short Run Toward Dalhart 4.1 Tue, Apr 1, 2014 6:13 PM 2:04:31 8.44 31 75
63 To Dalhart 4.2 Wed, Apr 2, 2014 9:41 AM 5:49:24 20.44 182 229
64 Leaving Dalhart 4.3 Thu, Apr 3, 2014 8:34 AM 6:03:52 22.54 70 324
65 Through Stratford 4.4 Fri, Apr 4, 2014 1:20 PM 5:26:09 21.53 89 348
66 Entered Oklahoma 4.5 Sat, Apr 5, 2014 10:50 AM 4:56:19 19.25 79 290
67 Through Guymon 4.7 Mon, Apr 7, 2014 10:07 AM 6:01:58 19.45 216 460
68 Through Hooker 4.8 Tue, Apr 8, 2014 12:49 PM 5:26:57 21.06 100 193
69 Entered Kansas 4.9 Wed, Apr 9, 2014 10:38 AM 4:38:22 14.75 299 374
70 Through Plains (Widest Main Street) 4.10 Thu, Apr 10, 2014 10:37 AM 7:23:40 25.79 571 607
71 Through Meade 4.11 Fri, Apr 11, 2014 3:10 PM 5:13:35 21.33 303 557
72 Through Minneola 4.12 Sat, Apr 12, 2014 11:58 AM 5:47:39 23.23 417 302
73 Approaching Greensburg 4.14 Mon, Apr 14, 2014 4:06 PM 4:03:32 18.46 312 591
74 Through Greensburg 4.15 Tue, Apr 15, 2014 10:00 AM 4:09:06 18.89 351 472
75 To Pratt 4.16 Wed, Apr 16, 2014 10:44 AM 6:13:07 25.32 361 643
76 Leaving Pratt 4.17 Thu, Apr 17, 2014 10:50 AM 6:53:10 24.88 486 758
77 Through Kingman 4.18 Fri, Apr 18, 2014 4:07 PM 4:09:58 15.67 446 495
78 Approaching Goddard 4.19 Sat, Apr 19, 2014 3:15 PM 5:07:39 22.13 386 498
79 Through Wichita 4.21 Mon, Apr 21, 2014 2:55 PM 5:20:41 19.63 146 286
80 Leaving Wichita 4.22 Tue, Apr 22, 2014 10:01 AM 5:34:42 19.25 443 536
81 Leaving Augusta 4.23 Wed, Apr 23, 2014 12:25 PM 4:24:05 17.00 518 291
82 To Severy 4.24 Thu, Apr 24, 2014 12:01 PM 5:47:39 24.19 810 1,111
83 Leaving Severy 4.26 Sat, Apr 26, 2014 11:01 AM 6:26:29 24.27 884 1,132
84 By Fredonia and Neodesha 4.28 Mon, Apr 28, 2014 11:00 AM 5:04:41 21.37 332 444
85 To Parsons 4.29 Tue, Apr 29, 2014 11:06 AM 5:06:48 22.42 771 647
86 Leaving Parsons 4.30 Wed, Apr 30, 2014 10:27 AM 5:13:22 19.78 299 346
87 Through Cherokee 5.1 Thu, May 1, 2014 5:47 PM 2:49:21 12.19 224 166
88 Entered Missouri 5.2 Fri, May 2, 2014 9:51 AM 5:58:28 20.07 253 267
89 Day Before Spring Planting Festival 5.3 Sat, May 3, 2014 2:32 PM 5:18:47 20.95 433 213
90 First Night at Willard 5.6 Tue, May 6, 2014 9:13 PM 4:22:19 17.66 652 759
91 Through Everton 5.7 Wed, May 7, 2014 3:12 PM 6:57:23 22.53 1,260 1,195
92 To Bolivar 5.8 Thu, May 8, 2014 1:20 PM 1:39:17 6.51 170 273
93 Leaving Bolivar 5.9 Fri, May 9, 2014 10:08 PM 3:10:20 13.50 627 600
94 Crossed Pomme de Terre Lake 5.10 Sat, May 10, 2014 5:41 PM 5:58:47 20.89 1,000 1,033
95 Through Climax Springs 5.12 Mon, May 12, 2014 4:09 PM 6:54:35 23.44 916 949
96 To Toll Bridge of Lake of the Ozarks 5.13 Tue, May 13, 2014 8:13 PM 5:08:24 17.84 1,357 1,602
97 Through Lake Ozark and Crossing the Bagnell Dam 5.14 Wed, May 14, 2014 4:40 PM 6:34:51 21.21 1,180 1,084
98 To Monticello Road 5.15 Thu, May 15, 2014 3:02 PM 4:54:57 15.56 511 708
99 Through Jefferson City 5.19 Mon, May 19, 2014 9:42 AM 8:33:48 22.94 1,424 1,490
100 From Tebbetts to Bluffton 5.20 Tue, May 20, 2014 1:14 PM 7:15:58 20.71 828 859
101 From Bluffton to Bernheimer 5.21 Wed, May 21, 2014 8:53 AM 7:24:08 22.36 745 768
102 To Augusta 5.22 Thu, May 22, 2014 10:00 AM 7:22:26 23.11 767 770
103 To Discovery Bridge 5.23 Fri, May 23, 2014 9:51 AM 7:47:06 24.48 1,180 1,137
104 To Monsanto 5.24 1.7 miles already subtracted Sat, May 24, 2014 8:13 AM 7:18:11 13.41 520 475
105 Through St. Louis 5.26 Mon, May 26, 2014 11:13 AM 6:51:44 17.34 363 615
106 Through East Saint Louis 5.29 Thu, May 29, 2014 2:13 PM 6:16:19 17.84 328 175
107 Three Rains to Highland 5.30 Fri, May 30, 2014 11:32 AM 1:59:31 15.80 68 132
108 Through Pocahontas 5.31 Sat, May 31, 2014 9:32 AM 7:08:00 21.49 260 225
109 Through Vandalia 5.2 Mon, Jun 2, 2014 10:19 AM 7:05:00 21.17 56 105
110 To Effingham 6.3 Tue, Jun 3, 2014 7:50 AM 6:00:00 23.38 82 39
111 Leaving Effingham 6.4 Wed, Jun 4, 2014 9:51 AM 5:15:00 21.26 98 88
112 Through Casey To Martinsville 6.5 Thu, Jun 5, 2014 11:48 AM 5:00:00 19.58 90 106
113 Nearly to Terra Haute 6.6 Fri, Jun 6, 2014 1:10 PM 5:30:00 22.96 431 443
114 Through Terra Haute 6.7 Sat, Jun 7, 2014 2:20 PM 3:10:00 13.21 66 135
115 Through Brazil 6.9 Mon, Jun 9, 2014 8:38 AM 11:00:00 33.75 351 203
116 Approaching Indianapolis 6.10 Tue, Jun 10, 2014 11:47 AM 6:00:00 24.35 277 280
117 Through Indianapolis 6.11 Wed, Jun 11, 2014 4:26 PM 3:00:25 9.43 131 92
118 Through Philadelphia 6.12 Thu, Jun 12, 2014 11:54 AM 5:00:00 19.83 148 90
119 To Dunreith 6.13 Fri, Jun 13, 2014 9:25 AM 4:15:00 17.04 178 183
120 To Centerville 6.14 Sat, Jun 14, 2014 2:25 PM 6:00:00 24.87 184 253
121 Through Lewisburg 6.16 Mon, Jun 16, 2014 9:26 AM 10:00:00 33.05 555 402
122 Through Englewood 6.17 Tue, Jun 17, 2014 9:59 AM 4:45:00 18.50 512 679
123 Through Springfield 6.18 Wed, Jun 18, 2014 9:00 AM 6:00:00 22.90 253 82
124 Through Jefferson City 6.19 Thu, Jun 19, 2014 8:48 AM 6:15:00 25.69 258 323
125 To Columbus 6.20 Fri, Jun 20, 2014 3:16 PM 3:28:08 10.95 54 257
126 To Reynoldsburg 6.21 Sat, Jun 21, 2014 3:38 PM 3:00:00 11.91 92 65
127 To Linnville 6.23 Mon, Jun 23, 2014 7:37 AM 10:00:00 32.71 796 725
128 Through Zanesville 6.24 Tue, Jun 24, 2014 9:31 AM 6:56:50 23.61 1,423 1,373
129 To Old Washington 6.25 Wed, Jun 25, 2014 8:59 AM 9:33:21 28.95 2,017 2,152
130 Detour through Small Towns 6.26 Thu, Jun 26, 2014 9:53 AM 8:29:50 26.47 2,010 1,561
131 To Wheeling 6.27 Fri, Jun 27, 2014 9:49 AM 7:13:19 21.76 2,078 2,672
132 To Washington 6.28 Sat, Jun 28, 2014 8:11 AM 9:34:05 29.51 3,067 2,690
133 To Monongahela 6.30 Mon, Jun 30, 2014 11:41 AM 5:13:47 17.35 1,508 1,464
134 Through Monongahela 7.1 Tue, Jul 1, 2014 10:39 AM 7:18:15 19.97 2,078 2,089
135 Massive Hot Hill 7.2 Wed, Jul 2, 2014 10:44 AM 6:42:03 19.79 2,593 1,954
136 To Somerset 7.3 Thu, Jul 3, 2014 10:53 AM 5:30:40 18.44 2,478 2,007
137 To Bald Knob Summit 7.4 Fri, Jul 4, 2014 9:13 AM 7:17:44 21.91 1,942 1,928
138 To Sleepy Hollow Camp 7.5 Sat, Jul 5, 2014 6:36 PM 2:06:24 7.96 622 1,351
139 To Breezewood 7.7 Mon, Jul 7, 2014 8:45 AM 6:48:55 23.94 1,793 1,863
140 Two Huge Mountains 7.8 Tue, Jul 8, 2014 9:03 AM 8:40:15 28.74 3,899 4,424
141 Through Chambersburg 7.9 Wed, Jul 9, 2014 10:15 AM 7:07:36 20.47 993 852
142 Almost to Gettysburg 7.10 Thu, Jul 10, 2014 1:27 PM 4:28:17 15.19 761 1,109
143 Through Gettysburg 7.11 Fri, Jul 11, 2014 12:30 PM 6:52:28 23.71 748 846
144 To Columbia 7.12 Sat, Jul 12, 2014 11:03 AM 6:58:31 22.12 749 950
145 Through Lancaster 7.14 Mon, Jul 14, 2014 11:49 AM 6:49:10 21.63 1,009 974
146 Through West Chester 7.15 Tue, Jul 15, 2014 10:50 AM 8:22:32 29.87 1898 1963
147 To Liberty Bell 7.16 Wed, Jul 16, 2014 10:34 AM 6:53:51 23.71 874 1,255
148 From Independence Square 7.17 Thu, Jul 17, 2014 10:15 AM 8:04:43 22.40 396 286
149 To May’s Landing 7.18 Fri, Jul 18, 2014 2:03 PM 5:10:06 23.43 265 392
150 May’s Landing to Ocean City 7.19 Sat, Jul 19, 2014 8:55 AM 4:50:21 22.20 167 178
Posted in Blog, GMOs, Running, Running The Country | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sitka Family Adjusts to Life Not on the Run

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
Source: http://sitkasentinel.com/7/2012-05-10-22-08-10/local-news/7632-sitka-family-adjusts-to-life-not-on-the-run

A month after David Wilcox became the second youngest person to run across the country, life has just about returned to normal for the Wilcox family. Well, as normal as it gets for this busy family.

JS17OliviaKrisDavidBrettThe Wilcoxes pose in Ocean City, NJ, at the end of their cross-country trek. (Photo provided)

A recent visit to the Wilcox home found David, 15, catching up on the last of his six months’ worth of home school coursework on a laptop computer and recovering from a running injury. Sister Olivia, 13, who accompanied David in the support van, is curled up in a living room chair with her eyes glued to a smartphone. Mom Kris is talking with a visitor while tending to the needs of a new pit bull-mix dog they picked up on the cross-country journey, while dad Brett is salvaging meat from an old salmon for the two family dogs.

By most counts, the cross-country run was a success, with David and his dad averaging 18 to 20 miles a day on the 2,966-mile trip, finishing in time for David to be back for the start of the school year.

At stops along the seven-month journey, the family distributed a message expressing their opposition to genetically modified food products and to the corporate giant Monsanto, which developed and markets the genetically modified seeds from which a high percentage of farm products are grown today.

The Wilcoxes’ run started at Huntington Beach, Calif., on Jan. 18 and finished on July 19 in Ocean City, N.J., where the whole family celebrated with a dip in the Atlantic Ocean.

Brett said he felt the long-distance run and the message about genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) went well together to promote a healthy lifestyle. “For us, it’s all one and the same,” Brett said in an earlier interview.

Are they happy to be home?

For Olivia, the answer is an emphatic “yes,” but the others had to think a little before answering.

David is swamped with homework from last semester, while nursing an injury he sustained on the run and which has kept him sidelined from the start of high school cross country competition this year.

Kris is happy to be home, and eagerly waiting to move back into the family house, which they rented out for the first half of the year.

Brett commented: “I have mixed feelings about it – I was on an adrenaline high for two years, doing everything to prepare, talking to people, talking about my book.” (Brett’s self-published a book, “We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie after Lie” was completed last fall.)

David, a talented high school distance runner, originally had the plan for running across the country, inspired by a similar feat by another U.S. teen. Brett, also a running enthusiast, was quickly on board, deciding to accompany his son in the challenge. Kris was also eager to support her son’s dream, and served as the support and logistics team with Olivia.

The group left Sitka on Jan. 8, and took a detour through the Southwest before starting the run on Jan. 18. They had a rough first day, starting after only three hours of sleep and covering only nine miles, far short of the 17 to 18 miles a day they had planned.

“It sucked so much,” David said of his low-energy day. It was better after that.

“Later, we went past 20 and kept going, and it stopped being such a big deal,” he said.

The Wilcoxes mainly stuck to their schedule, giving interviews with TV stations and newspapers when possible, passing out some of the 3,000 packets of GMO-free garden seeds they carried, and speaking to groups. Some days were busier than others.

“In the desert, in the southwest, we would go two or three days without passing out a seed packet,” Brett said. “The big shift happened after we crossed the Mississippi.”

David and Brett were mostly on their own as they ran, pushing a stroller containing their flyers as well as food and water for themselves and sometimes for the family dogs.

Kris drove the truck, pulling a travel trailer, while managing the $45,000 budget for the trip and locating cheap – or free – places to stay. Olivia helped keep house, prepare meals and set up camp.

They said their message about genetically modified crops was generally well-received, as they passed out the donated lettuce seed packets from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. to passersby.

Brett and Kris said it was gratifying to go into the poorer neighborhoods, and to be able to talk to people outside on the streets and on porches. East St. Louis, Mo., West Philadelphia, Pa., and Camden, N.J. – all known as rough cities – were high points, Brett said.

“We ran right through and had a blast doing it,” he said. “We had a lot of nice conversations.”

Among the speaking engagements they had were one at The March Against Monsanto demonstration at the company’s headquarters in St. Louis, where Brett and David were keynote speakers. The family said they were surprised at the level of security for that event. Brett said that by his count there were eight different law enforcement groups present.

“They had enough security (as if) we were criminals,” Brett said.

While most of the trip went as planned, there were a few surprises. For Brett, it was the validation and support the family received for their GMO-free message across the country. “I was expecting resistance and hostility,” he said. “Nearly every person we met in 3,000 miles said, ‘we support you,’ ‘good on you.’”

Many people weren’t aware of the GMO issue, and Brett was more than happy to spread the word. “We did our part the best we could,” Brett said.

David said his “good surprise” was meeting a semi-professional runner at a shoe store in Flagstaff, Ariz., and learning about trying to make it as a pro, and some of the challenges.
“It was just cool meeting someone who runs at that level, although he’s not professional and may not make it all the way,” said David, who was the Region V 3A champion in last year’s cross country season.

He commented that a “not nice surprise” was speaking at the May 24 March Against Monsanto, where he said he was not particularly comfortable talking to the crowd of 100.

“He did fine,” his dad said. “He did a great job.”

For Brett and Kris, a low point was when injuries slowed David to a walk for two months until they found the right medical help in McMurray, Pa. A chiropractor who was recommended to them promised David he would be up and running within two days. And he was.

“As parents we were always questioning whether what we were doing was in David’s best interest,” Brett said, adding, “He’s still injured now.”

But overall, the family said it was a good experience, and a learning experience for everyone. “It changed the way I look at people in a huge way,” Kris said. “So many people were so open. They opened their homes, they opened their hearts. Some of the time it was our cause, some if it just because they saw it was a family doing something cool.”

Kris said the family held fundraisers before starting the run, and wanted to do as much as possible on their own, but found it was not possible to do everything. “People jumped in, and did something – because they wanted to,” Kris said. “I never want to be relying on other people, but we found people were there to hold us up. … We couldn’t be all on our own.”

“I’m glad we did it,” Brett said. “It was a once in a lifetime. It’ll always be there. It was hard; it was a challenge, but absolutely.”

Brett said David is now the second youngest person to run across the U.S.

David’s Nov. 9 blog says that the title for youngest goes to a boy named Tobias Cotton, who did it in 1928 when he was a few months younger than David was when he started his run. Tobias was one of 198 competitors, and one of five African Americans, in a foot race across the United States, finishing in 35th place.

David said that although Tobias didn’t win the $25,000 prize, the famous entertainer William “Bojangles” Robinson, who was appearing in a musical at the time, organized a special fundraising performance with all earnings going to the Cotton family.

Posted in Blog, GMOs, Running The Country | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The GMA and The Customer Servitude Industry

On my first day back on the job with my former employer, I sat through my second Customer Service presentation. Which means I sat through my second viewing of Bob Farrell’s video and presentation titled “Give Them the Pickle.”

bob-farrell

Among other business ventures, Bob has launched several different restaurant chains. Back when Bob was just starting out, he got a letter from a disgruntled customer who explained that on his most recent visit to Bob’s restaurant, the waitress informed him that she’d be happy to bring him his requested pickle . . . for 75 cents. Pay for the pickle? That was a first. And consequently the customer informed Bob that he would never return to Bob’s restaurant again. Ouch!

Who Funds Anti Labeling Campaigns

Obviously a smart man, Bob recognized that he gained far more than he lost when his employees gave out pickles as requested. He told his employees, “Give them the pickle.” That line became his mantra and the basis for his successful career as well as his “Give ‘em the pickle” presentations.

The first time I watched Bob’s presentation some nine years ago, I considered its meaning in relationship to the people I serve at work. Although I had similar thoughts this time around, in as much as my son and I recently finished our transcontinental Run For a GMO Free USA, I couldn’t help but also apply Bob’s solid customer service principles to the GMO industry—an industry that includes the White House, Congress, regulatory agencies, universities, The Grocery Manufacturers Association, chemical companies such as Monsanto, Dow, and Dupont Pioneer, the junk food and soda industry such as Mars, Pepsico, and Coca Cola, grocery stores, farmers, and consumers.

junkfoodmafia

Bob Farrell is one of many good spokespersons for the customer service industry. The Grocery Manufactures Association is one of many giant organizations representing the customer servitude industry, an industry that is so large and so powerful that it has, thus far, successfully controlled government policy at the top while snubbing consumer preference on the bottom. In contrast to Mr. Farrell’s Give-’Em-The-Pickle business model, the GMA makes its money by routinely giving consumers the finger.

In Bob’s world, the customer is king and boss. The customer pays Bob’s mortgage, his kids’ educations, vacations, etc. In the GMA’s world, the industry itself is boss, king, and lord over mindless hordes of hungry consumers. It maintains sufficient control of the food supply that it leaves Americans with little if any choice at all at the grocery store.

The GMA represents, protects, and promotes some of the biggest players in the GMO industry including of course Monsanto, one of the most hated companies in the history of the world. The successful introduction of GMOs into the food supply provides proof of the monopolistic power of the GMA over America’s food policies. Consider this: No one has ever gone to the grocery store to intentionally buy genetically modified organisms or products containing GMOs. In other words, there is no consumer market for GMOs. None. Zip. Nada. Not only is there no consumer market, millions of Americans want GMOs banned, and if not banned, they want them at least labeled so they can readily and easily avoid buying them.

Bob Farrell recognizes the wisdom in giving people a pickle, but he wouldn’t dream of forcing his customers to buy and eat pickles filled with unnatural ingredients they neither need nor want. He wouldn’t dream of overrunning D.C. with lobbyist to get those unnatural ingredients labeled as natural.

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Not so with the Omnipotent GMA. The GMA insists on selling people GMO-contaminated products they neither need nor want, while also insisting that those unwanted and unneeded products remain unlabeled. And when millions of people rise up and declare that they don’t want to eat those products, or at the very least, they want those products labeled, the GMA responds with multi million-dollar misinformation campaigns to scare people into voting against labeling. And when Vermont passed the first no-strings-attached GMO labeling bill, the GMA filed suit against the state of Vermont. There is something seriously wrong with an organization that wields sufficient power to thwart what little remains of American democracy!

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The GMA claims it’s committed to promoting the health of American consumers. Such claims would be laughable if they weren’t also deadly. Regardless, it can claim to be interested in the health of American consumers until the genetically modified cows come home, but Americans are seeing through the lies. Ultimately, the hubris of an organization that profits by giving people what they don’t want while refusing to give people what they do want, not to mention its obscene level of political influence, will some day prove to be its downfall.

We’re tired of being lied to. We’re tired of being told to shut up and eat our unlabeled, poison-saturated GMOs. We’re tired of being told that we’re not smart enough to understand the meaning of GMO labels. In spite of the GMA’s money, influence, and lies, millions of people from California to New Jersey are standing together, demanding GMO labeling and in some cases demanding GMO Free zones. (We had the privilege of meeting hundreds of these people in our run across the USA.)

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The GMA doesn’t know it quite yet, but Bob Farrell is right. We customers are king. And it’s long past time for us to banish the likes of the GMA and reclaim American democracy. A crucial first step to doing so is to label GMOs.

So when GMO labeling hits the ballot in your state, be prepared for the GMA to roll in with its propaganda and its lies. And remember that the GMA has only shown up to get you to shut up, fork over, and chow down. Don’t do it. Raise your voice and cast your vote.

And when you ask for a pickle at one of Mr. Farrell’s establishments, make sure it’s free—GMA and GMO free.

Sources:

http://www.giveemthepickle.com/bob.htm

http://www.RunningTheCountry.com

http://www.gmaonline.org/

http://www.fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2014/jan/18/big_foods_arrogant_move_in_the_gmo_labeling_wars

http://www.gmaonline.org/news-events/newsroom/gma-statement-on-defeat-of-proposition-37-in-california/

http://www.gmaonline.org/news-events/newsroom/gma-files-lawsuit-to-overturn-vermonts-unconstitutional-mandatory-gmo-label/

http://www.gmaonline.org/about/for-consumers/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/10/gmo-labels-congress_n_5576255.html

http://organicconnectmag.com/two-gmo-victories-oregon/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/GMO-Free-Los-Angeles/130864966978664

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Coast to Coast Thanks to You!

On January 18, 2014, 15-year old David and I launched our transcontinental Run For a GMO Free USA from the Pacific Ocean in Huntington Beach, California. Kris and 13-year old Olivia served as our support crew.

On July 19, 2014, we completed our run in Ocean City, New Jersey. Our epic finish was made even more so due to the fact that Kris and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on that date. We owe the deepest debt of gratitude to hundreds of people who contributed to the success of our run and mission. Following are but a few:

Sitka Conservation Society financially partnered with us. This partnership allowed and continues to allow supporters to make tax-deductible donations at our website, RunningTheCountry.com/donate.

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Owen Kindig devoted weeks to the creation of two Indiegogo fundraising campaigns. (See the first campaign here and the second campaign here.) The professional quality of those campaigns resulted and continues to result in significant donations from far and near.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company supplied us with some 3000 seed packets, which we freely gave to people as we crossed the country. Those packets, prominently labeled “GMO Free USA,” served to pique the interest and start important conversations.

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Luan Van Le and Diana Reeves with GMO Free USA repeatedly publicized our run, mission, and ongoing need for donations. David Waredy or “Coach David,” winner of the 1992 “TransAm” transcontinental race and advisory board for the Race Across USA, was present for our run launch in Huntington Beach and offered support, advice, and encouraging words throughout our run. Ted Laufenberg took care of all the details involved in renting our home and apartment in our absence. Patty and Rod Ady handled our mail, keeping us up to date on important correspondence. Clint Simic took care of the licensing requirements for our truck and travel trailer. The Fulton family opened up their home to David while Kris, Olivia, Angel, Jenna, and I made our way back to Sitka via road and ferry. Michael and Crystal Bricker provided a home for us to stay in for a few weeks while our home is still rented out. Hundreds of other people donated, time, talent, housing, and other resources along the way.

Our Run proved to be financially and physically difficult, but extremely validating. We learned that virtually everyone in the USA shares our concern with the multiple problems associated with chemically saturated, genetically modified, monocrop agricultural systems. We are now witnessing that when we consumers act together, we have the power to protect the environment and put healthier foods back on our plates.

Kris and I agreed to support David in his quest to run across the country because we wanted David to learn that, with enough effort, dreams can become realities. We deeply appreciate everyone from Alaska to California to New Jersey and beyond who helped David achieve his dream.

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Our run is finished, but our work continues. Kris and I will be paying off the run’s expenses for a good, long time. And in the coming months I’ll publish at least one more GMO related book and will produce a documentary based on our run.

We deeply appreciate ongoing contributions to help us with these efforts. Tax-deductible donations can be made at our website RunningTheCountry.com/donate. Contributions can also be made online until August 31st at Indiegogo.com. Search for “Help the Wilcox Family Finish Strong” in the search bar.

Much thanks, tons of hugs, and as always, many organic blessings to you!

Posted in Blog, GMOs, Running The Country | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Our Final Day’s Run for a GMO Free USA!

When we initially planned our route to run across the USA, we chose Atlantic City, New Jersey, as our final destination. Karen Stark with GMO Free PA and Barbara Thomas with GMO Free NJ didn’t want to step on our blistered toes, but they said that Ocean City would provide us with a more enthusiastic welcome. We told them we didn’t know one New Jersey city from another. Timbuktu, New Jersey, would work for us if it worked for them.

As it turns out, beyond “working,” ending our run in Ocean City was pure inspiration. Thanks to a phone call or two from Donna Conner, our last night’s house host, professional photographer, and personal friend of food critic and radio show host, Ed Hitzel, we were scheduled to be on Ed’s show in Linwood on our final day’s run, just six miles shy of our Ocean City destination.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

The run would be a piece of cake: 13 miles to Linwood, then another six miles to the ocean. All we needed to do was follow the blue line on my phone’s map. Easy enough, right? Wrong. I took a wrong turn that turned our 13-mile run to the radio station into 15 miles. No problem. We covered the distance and arrived at the station with three minutes to airtime. Donna photographed the last few steps of our run to the station. She also joined us in the recording studio and took some great shots during the interview. David, Jenna, and I had a good time with Ed, his co-host, Pastor Dave Delaney, and two other guests.

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Following the radio show, Ron Stark joined us for our final six mile run to Ocean City. As we ran along a beautiful bike path, Ron told us that Ocean City is a “dry town.” No sale of alcohol is permitted. He wasn’t the first to tell me that, but I was still in shock. Donna had explained over an amazing late night dinner the night before that Atlantic City had enjoyed many years as a gambling and drinking boom town, but with gambling sites popping up all over the East coast and on-line, Atlantic City was in decline.

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Ocean City, however, had built itself as a family friendly town and destination, and as such, it’s thriving.

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When we arrived at the World War Memorial Bridge we met Clint, our personal motorcycle riding police escort. Kris’s sister, Julie, pedaled down the bridge wielding a camera and a Go Pro.

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Shortly after starting up the bridge, a group of local runners joined us. And then Kris joined in, something she had been unable to do during our six months on the road because she was always occupied with the truck, trailer, meals, shopping, laundry, logistics, phone contacts, finances, etc. You get the picture, Kris was one busy woman and our run would not have been possible without her presence!

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Our run through the Ocean City streets was certainly a highlight of the entire run. As was the clapping and cheering crowd awaiting our arrival on the boardwalk. Of course, the crowd had been informed of our arrival and had also received GMO Free USA seed packets.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Barbara Thomas with GMO Free NJ graciously introduced us and mentioned that we still need help covering the considerable costs of our transcontinental run. Karen Stark with GMO Free PA presented us with beautiful flower bouquets including a dozen red roses for Kris in honor of our 25th wedding anniversary. Yes, we finished our run on our 25th wedding anniversary! (Thank you, Karen, for taking care of details that I clearly missed!)

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

We said a few words, then headed to the beach to complete our six month, nearly 3,000 mile Run For a GMO Free USA.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

We owe the deepest debt of gratitude to many, many people—people who enriched our run and mission in countless ways. More on that later, but for now:

Thanks to all of you! Thanks for your commitment to a GMO Free USA and world. And as always, Organic Blessings to You!

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Our run is finished, but our work and common mission continues. For the sake of our future, our children, and the Earth we share, let’s make it happen!

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

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Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

Photo Credit: Donna Conner. Available at gettyimages.com.

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We completed our Run For a GMO Free USA on July 19, 2014, but we’ll be paying off our expenses for a very long time. We deeply appreciate donations of any size made either at RunningTheCountry.com/donate or to our Indiegogo campaign titled Help The Wilcox Family Finish Strong.

Posted in Blog, GMOs, Running The Country | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

GMO Free Event in Collingswood, New Jersey

Before David and I ran through Collingswood, New Jersey, it was just another town like the hundreds of other towns we ran through as we traversed the USA.

Or so we thought.

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But now that we’ve finished our six month, 3000 mile run, Collingswood stands out in a remarkable way: Collingswood is the birthplace of GMO Free NJ. And from what we’ve seen, Barbara Thomas planted and nourished the initial seeds that grew into New Jersey’s vibrant, grass roots GMO Free movement.

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While David and I were busy running across hilly Pennsylvania, Barbara was busy planning an event for our arrival in Collingswood. The Big Day started out with a GMO Free event in Philadelphia’s Independence Square, an event that I will always cherish. Of course, Barbara was present in Philly showing her support.

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Following that event, David and I made our way across the Ben Franklin Bridge, accompanied for the first time since we started our run on January 18th in Huntington Beach, California, by two friends and photographers running by our sides documenting the day’s run: Kris’ sister, Julie, shot stills with her camera, and Karl Stark, son of Karen and Ron Stark, with GMO Free PA, shot video with the Go Pro.

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Camden is the first town on the Jersey side of the bridge and it has a lot of character. Some people will view my use of the world ‘character’ as a euphemism for crime and poverty. No doubt, those things are present, but it’s also got large artistic murals that celebrate the beauty of the local people—many of whom we talked with as they were seated on porch chairs, enjoying the scenery and cooling themselves outside of their un-air conditioned apartments.

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One man, in particular, stands out in Camden. When we handed him a GMO Free USA seed packet, it was as if we lit a fire under him. He talked at length about the evils of the GMO Empire. He said he’s opening a restaurant in Camden and he’s going to do his best to prepare GMO Free meals for his customers.

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After Camden we only had a few more miles before arriving in Collingswood. Kris called me and said a crowd had gathered and they were anxious to meet us. When we finally ran down the sidewalk approaching the library, the crowd cheered, whistled, and clapped. Once the initial greetings were done, we assembled on the steps of the library.

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Commissioner Joan Leonard praised us for our run and mission, and then she presented us with a small clock, modeled after the same design as the clock on the street. She also gave us a check donated by a local bank. Needless to say, I found the moment to be extremely validating.

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Only our run launch back in California compares with a similar level of enthusiasm and support. What made this event even more special was the fact that Commissioner Leonard was acting in the capacity as Commissioner during the event. Her courage served as a symbol for all the government leaders across the U.S.A. that are beginning to stand up and serve their constituents by working for GMO labeling and GMO free zones.

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Barbara continues to be one of our biggest supporters, something we deeply appreciate. But I want to repeat today what I said in Collingswood. We are running on the backs of the GMO Free leaders who have been advocating for clean, healthy, and natural food for decades.

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If our run has any significance at all, it is significant because of the great and challenging work many other people have done prior to our run, during our run, and continue to do now that our run has ended.

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That said, when we ran through Collingswood, there was a special synergy present. We are honored for the part we were able to play at that synergy, and we are deeply grateful for the people of New Jersey (and Pennsylvania) who worked so hard to make it possible.

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GMO free blessings to all!

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Brett and David Wilcox completed their transcon 3,000 mile Run For a GMO Free USA on July 19, 2014. Their run expenses far exceed donations received. You can help change that fact by making a donation of any amount through their Indiegogo campaign fundraiser.

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Sitka’s KCAW Covers our Run For a GMO Free USA

Robert Woolsey from Sitka’s public radio station, KCAW, spoke with us a few days ago when we were parked at the ferry terminal in Cape May, New Jersey, getting ready to ferry our truck and trailer to Delaware. Thanks for the write up, Robert!

Sitka father, son finish 3,000 mile trans-America run
by Robert Woolsey, KCAW
July 21, 2014

Source: http://www.kcaw.org/2014/07/21/sitka-father-son-finish-3000-mile-trans-america-run/

A father-son team from Sitka has completed a six-month run across the United States.

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Brett and David Wilcox ran into Ocean City, New Jersey, on Saturday (7-19-14), after covering 3,000 miles on foot. The project was intended to raise awareness about the hazards of genetically-modified foods.

There were some lonely times for the Wilcoxes, especially in the vast stretches of the Southwest.

But on the eastern seaboard, that had changed.

“We hit the big bridge going into Ocean City, and got a police escort. We were joined by a local runners club, so there were 10 or 12 of us. Kris (Wilcox) joined us. And with a police escort, they would stop all the traffic, even if we had a red light we got to keep running through it. And we ran right on to the boardwalk. There was a huge crowd waiting. They had been informed that we were coming. They were very excited. People had passed out GMO-free USA seeds. So they had some inkling of what our mission was….And it was the culmination of six months of actual running, and a year-and-a-half of preparation and time leading up to that moment.”

53-year old Brett Wilcox and his 15-year old son David are now the first father-teen son team to run across the country. They started on January 18 in Huntington Beach, California. David is the second-youngest runner to accomplish the feat.

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Wife and mom, Kris Wilcox, piloted the support vehicle and handled endless logistics. Team member and sister, Olivia, provided support and dog wrangling.

Covering 20-miles a day, six days-a-week, Brett Wilcox is glad the United States is only 3,000 miles across.

“I’m down 8 pounds, and I bet David is down a few pounds, and up a couple of inches. I don’t think we could sustain that sort of schedule long-term. I think we were eating muscle. And we’re pretty worn out and pretty exhausted.”

The Wilcox family was on a campaign to raise awareness about GMO’s — or genetically-modified-organisms — and their prevalence in the American diet. Trying to live by their ideals, they were often frustrated trying to buy GMO-free food in stores along the more remote parts of their route.

But Wilcox says their message seemed to catch up with their run as they crossed the Mississippi and entered more densely-populated areas of the country.

“The final few days were pretty epic. There were some key people in Pennsylvania and New Jersey who got hold of our run, and really turned it into a mission. From GMO-Free PA and GMO-Free NJ, and they did all sorts of things to make sure the media was aware of what we were doing.”

The Wilcoxes maintained a website and blog during their run, and the number of media events increased significantly as the family moved eastward — and almost sabotaged their grand finale, as they ran to a radio interview only 14 miles from the finish line in Ocean City.

“And I took a wrong turn, even though we have the phone which told us exactly where to go. So 14 miles turned into 16 miles, and we made it to the interview with three minutes to spare, dripping wet.”

The Wilcoxes gave up their jobs, and started an Indiegogo campaign to accomplish their activist run. Their house and apartment in Sitka are leased through August. Though he’s optimistic that he’ll be able to get his old job back as a behavioral health counselor, Brett Wilcox and his family are essentially jobless and homeless.

KCAW – Do you feel it has all been worthwhile, or is it too early to tell?
Wilcox – Right now I would say it has absolutely been worthwhile. It’s been very challenging, very difficult. Day-by-day struggles just making it work, and dealing with the exhaustion and the potential injuries — it has been hard. But I wouldn’t want to have missed this experience for anything.

David Wilcox suffered from an injury for part of the trip. His dad credits a chiropractor in Pennsylvania for diagnosing and correcting the problem. David will be entering 10th grade in Sitka this fall, where his ambition is to try out for the Cross-Country team. Olivia will be entering 8th grade.

And due to some last-minute re-arranging of the itinerary, Brett and David crossed the finished on Saturday, rather than on Monday.

For Kris Wilcox, it was a special day.

“I did tell them that this would be a great wedding anniversary gift for me, if they finished on the 19th.”

Brett and Kris have been married 25 years. They’re headed to Washington DC next, for some additional activism on GMO’s, and plan to be back in Sitka sometime in August.

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Wilcox family of Sitka completes cross-country run from California to New Jersey to raise awareness about GMOs in our food

Thanks to Charles Bingham for writing and posting the following article at Sitka Local Foods Network.

Source: http://sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/2014/07/21/%E2%80%A2-wilcox-family-of-sitka-completes-cross-country-run-from-california-to-new-jersey-to-raise-awareness-about-gmos-in-our-food/

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After nearly 3,000 miles and six months of running, the Wilcox family from Sitka reached its finish line Saturday, July 19, in Ocean City, N.J., to complete its cross-country run across the country to raise awareness about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food system and the roles of large agribusiness companies, such as Monsanto, in making it difficult for consumers to know which food contains GMOs.

Fifteen-year-old David Wilcox decided he wanted to run across country back in 2010, when he read about another teenage runner to complete the USA crossing, so he and his father, Brett, 53, started training. In January, Brett quit his job as a behavioral health clinician and David’s mom, Kris, put her cleaning business on hold, and the family rented out its home in Sitka. Brett and David started the run on Jan. 18 in Huntington Beach, Calif., and started running about 20 miles a day, six days a week. While Brett and David ran, Kris and David’s younger sister, Olivia, 13, drove ahead on the course in the used pick-up truck and trailer the family purchased for the trip. Along the way, Brett and David took turns pushing a runner’s stroller loaded with their supplies for the day, water bottles, lunch, some GMO-free lettuce seeds, GMO literature, a few copies of Brett’s book, We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie After Lie, Book One, and the 15-year-old family dog, Angel. (Note, after a while, Angel decided she didn’t like riding in the stroller and preferred riding in the truck, so the Wilcox family adopted a new dog, Jenna, while in Texas.)

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“Being able to run 20 miles with David is a good thing,” Brett said. “Running with him for 20 miles a day, day after day for six months across 13 states is a great thing. I got to know David far better than I would have in our routines back in Sitka. I have a lot of respect for David for sticking with it even when it was tough going. Of course our run would not have been possible if Kris and Olivia had not been there to support us. Our last day’s run included a big radio interview and a police escort to the beach. Kris and several other runners joined in and ran with us. We passed through a cheering crowd as we entered the boardwalk. It was a special moment. Of course, the fact that Kris and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on the same day we finished our run gave the whole occasion a fairy tale sort of ending.”

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The Wilcox family decided to use the run to raise awareness about our food supply because the family is vegetarian, and they don’t like seeing more GMOs enter the food supply, and consumers not being able to find out which foods have GMOs. “Running For a GMO Free USA was the perfect cause for us. We learned that virtually all people — regardless of location — oppose chemically-saturated genetically modified organisms,” Brett said.

Trying to find GMO-free food on the run did become an issue for the family, and for part of the trip they stopped eating corn tortillas because of how much of our nation’s corn now has GMOs (they did find some Navajo corn tortillas they decided to try). GMOs also are in soy, sugar beets, and several other plants, and they may soon be coming to potatoes used by large fast food corporations. Along the way, the Wilcox family passed through St. Louis just in time to participate in the annual March Against Monsanto (an international event on May 24 this year) right outside Monsanto headquarters. Last year, the Wilcox family hosted a March Against Monsanto event in Sitka.

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When they planned the run, the Wilcox family hooked up with several anti-GMO groups across the country, and those groups helped connect the family to local media outlets and runners where they could spread their message. The anti-GMO groups helped the Wilcox family raise some funds and find places to stay for the trip, and there were two Indiegogo crowd-funding campaigns coordinated by Owen Kindig of Sitka (the first campaign raised $7,500 when it closed in January, and the current campaign still has 40-plus days left to run and has raised roughly $1,400). Along the way, Brett and Kris regularly updated the family’s Running the Country blog and Facebook page. Different media groups covered the run (here’s a link to our story before the run), and the media coverage increased as Brett and David neared the finish line. In recent weeks there has been coverage from small media outlets and large ones, such the Philadelphia Inquirer and Runner’s World magazine. Here is a link to the KCAW-Raven Radio story that aired July 21 about the Wilcox family run.

Brett and David trained for the run, but soon realized their training was a little lacking in LSD (long, slow, distance) runs. David won the Southeast Conference (Region V) cross-country running title in October, but most of his runs during the season were about five miles. Brett, a regular bike commuter, also ran shorter distances, and he and David had one or two longer runs a week. Running 20 miles a day, six days a week resulted in a lot of blisters, several worn-out pairs of shoes, and a couple of injuries along the way. Brett was hobbled early in the run by a bad foot, David had a bad leg, and Brett said he plans to have minor surgery in the near future for another injury.

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“I had a couple of months where I couldn’t run, so instead I just walked,” David said. “Probably the best day for me was the day the fourth chiropractor fixed me. He was really nice to us, he let us take a shower. I told him where it hurt, and he told me what was wrong and he told me he was going to fix it and I was sort of wondering if he could really fix it. A muscle that’s supposed to be on the inside of my hip was on the outside. He pulled it over and told me I was fixed. Then he adjusted something else that I didn’t even know was wrong. He also worked on my mom and dad.”

As the miles piled up, the Wilcox family enjoyed the scenery. But sometimes the weather was a bit too hot for folks used to a temperate rain forest and then there were the ticks.

“Pennsylvania was probably the most beautiful state, but I could never live there because it’s too hot and humid,” David said. “I can’t wait to get back to Sitka so I can run the trails and not have to worry about ticks.”

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Now that the Wilcox family is done with the run, the next plan is to go to Washington, D.C., to talk with members of Congress and various agencies about GMOs. They already have meetings scheduled with Rep. Don Young and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and hope to add a meeting with Sen. Mark Begich. “It will be fun to pass on to them what we learned from our cross-country run,” Brett said.

The family also will be doing more fundraising to help pay for the trip. “Our run is now over but we’ve spent far more than we’ve received from donations,” Brett said. “If you’d like to help us out with our expenses, please donate online at RunningTheCountry.com or at Indiegogo.com. The name of our Indiegogo fundraising campaign is ‘Help the Wilcox Family Finish Strong.’ Thanks to all the people who have helped us help David achieve his big dream to run across the USA.”

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Runner’s World Covers our Transcon Run For a GMO Free USA

Brett and David Wilcox are the second father/son team to do transcontinental run.

By Matt McCue
Published July 21, 2014
Runner’s World Running Times

Source: http://www.runnersworld.com/general-interest/father-and-son-finish-run-across-the-united-states

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On Saturday, Brett Wilcox and his 15-year-old son, David, finished running across the United States. They began in Huntington Beach, California on January 18 and ended in Ocean City, New Jersey. The 2,785-mile route took them across the Arizona desert, through the sticky Midwest humidity and over the Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania.

Although there is no official record documenting transcontinental runs, USACrossers.com, a site that tracks coast-to-coast runs, recognizes David as the second youngest person to complete the run. (Toby Cotton, who ran across the country in 1928, also at age 15, is the youngest.) Brett, 53, and David are also the second father-and-son team to cover the continent, according to USACrossers. Tom and Warren Knoll, who did their transcontinental run in 2008, were the first, but, in contrast to the Wilcoxes, they didn’t run together the whole way.

David hatched the idea in 2010 after he learned about Jasmine Jordan completing the run at age 17. “When I got that in my head, I thought it would be really cool, but I never realized how hard running 20 miles day after day is,” David told Runner’s World Newswire.

“I was encouraged to have such a son who had such a big dream, but David was just a boy with a big dream,” Brett said. “I told him it was cool, but we can talk about it later.” David kept bugging his father about it, even after he started running high school cross country in their hometown of Sitka, Alaska.

Brett discussed it with his wife, Kris, and they decided to do what they could to help David to achieve his goal, “even though it doesn’t make very much sense,” Brett said. Kris put her cleaning service business on hold, and Brett quit his job as a mental health therapist. They bought a 1998 Ford F-150 and a white camper that they towed behind it. The trailer became the home on wheels for David, Brett, Kris and David’s 13-year-old sister, Olivia, who went along the ride. (To help soften the fact that she would be away from her friends for seven months, Olivia got her first cell phone for the road trip.)

David, who won Alaska’s Region 5 cross country meet last fall, admits he “didn’t train nearly enough” for the transcontinental run. “I pretty much did cross country training, with runs up to five miles during the weekdays and on the weekends my dad and I would go for a longer run of up to 15 miles,” he said. Brett, who started running in his 40s, prepped in a similar fashion.

The two averaged 20 miles a day in six runs per week. They took turns pushing a baby jogger that contained their supplies for each day. (Kris and Olivia often drove ahead and let them run alone.) The baby jogger was also supposed to hold the family’s 15-year-old dog, Angel, but Angel quickly made it clear that seeing the country from the seat of a stroller was not on her bucket list, and opted for the F-150 for the duration of the run. In Dalhart, Texas, the family stopped at a dog shelter and adopted Jenna, a one-year-old border collie and lab mix. “Jenna was in the stroller about every day since Texas,” Brett said.

David and Brett passed the time with stream-of-conscious conversation. David told his father about his favorite runners, and Brett often waxed philosophical about his favorite topic, genetically modified organisms. (The trip was designed, in part, to advocate for GMO-free food.) “I would talk about stuff that I’m seeing, and then a few weeks after that, I could talk about the same stuff because my dad would have forgotten it by that time,” David said.

David took Internet classes to fulfill his freshman-year schoolwork. “After running six hours a day, it’s hard to focus on school,” he said. “I’m not close to finishing [the work] from the last semester.” He will spend the rest of his summer knocking out the remaining assignments. “It’s quite a serious issue because someone in the school district will have to make the decision whether David has been out playing hooky or has given it his best shot and will be able to compete in cross country this fall,” Brett said.

Father and son battled nagging aches that threatened to stop them. Pain in the balls of Brett’s feet required them to do nothing but walk one day in California, early in the run. “David wasn’t happy about it, but I told him the run was on the line, and that I couldn’t injure my foot,” Brett said.

“You’re never going to have a few days in a row where something isn’t hurting, but if the same thing is hurting a few days in a row, that’s bad,” David said.

By the time they reached Missouri, David’s body became unglued. He felt an angry twinge in his inner thigh that inched up into his hip flexor. “A muscle up at my hip had somehow gotten up and over the hip and on the other side of it,” he said.

The Wilcoxes walked through the majority of Ohio, and David met with three chiropractors, but none could fix him. “I was worried if I would ever be able to be able to run again,” he said. Finally, at a church the family attended near McMurray, Pennsylvania, one congregation member told David’s mother about their local guru, chiropractor Joseph Berger. He was apparently so good that patients needed to see him only once. David visited immediately. “He had to pull the muscle back over [my hip],” David said. “It was a lot less painful than I expected.”

USACrossers lists 279 people as having completed a transcontinental run between 1909 and 2012. The site creator, John Wallace III, finished the trek himself in 2005. Wallace acknowledges it’s not a complete list, but he put a great deal of effort into combing through historical newspaper records as well as scouring the Internet for any alerts he could find on previous and current crossers.

One of those was Toby Cotton. According to the book Bunion Derby: The First Footrace Across America, Cotton was 15 and living in Los Angeles when his auto mechanic dad injured himself on the job and was no longer able to work. When Cotton, the oldest of three boys, heard that the race across America was awarding $25,000 to the winner, he entered to try to win the money for his family. Cotton averaged 41 miles a day, and reached New York City in 84 days, in 35th place. A Broadway star got wind of Cotton’s story and hosted a fundraiser in New York City to raise money for Cotton and his family. It seems like the stuff of lore; then again, a teenager running across American before he gets his driver’s license also sounds like a folktale.

“There is a reason 15-year-olds don’t run across the country,” Brett said. “It’s not a walk in the woods, and it has taught me that David is a special young man. I’m proud to have shared the journey with him.”

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Ten Reasons GMOs are Dangerous

The mantra of the chemical/biotech industry is “GMOs are Safe.” If repetition made something true, then GMOs would be safer than mother’s milk. But sadly GMOs are far from safe, and sadly, even mother’s milk is now contaminated with Monsanto’s glyphosate. Following are ten points illustrating the environmental, social, political, and physical dangers associated with agricultural systems based on genetically modified organisms.

CamdenFriend

1. GMOs are invasive species. Most invasive species replace native plants or animals. GMOs contaminate organic and conventional crops. As long as GMOs contaminate, they will continue to be unsafe.

2. GMOs have resulted in severe economic consequences.
StarkLink GMO corn cost as much as $288 million in lost revenue. Bayer’s Liberty Link rice cost some $1.29 billion in lost exports.

When a farmer discovered Monsanto’s unapproved Roundup Ready wheat on his farm, Japan and Korea immediately stopped importing ALL U.S. wheat.

The only reason GMOs have a U.S. market is because, up to this point, the chemical companies and the U.S. government have successfully kept people in the dark regarding the GMOs in their food.

3. Chemical based GMOs create super weeds and super bugs.
Every new weed or bug gives the chemical companies another opportunity to profit on yet another more dangerous chemical.

4. Chemical based agriculture turns farmers into environmental drug addicts. Both drug addicts and farmers develop tolerance and dependence on their drugs or poisons. They both need to use more of their substances to get the desired high or effect. Many drug users eventually die and many farmers eventually kill the soil (or they develop illnesses and diseases due to their exposure to Roundup and other poisons). The cycle ends only when the substance users stop using their substances.

5. Patents on seed turn farmers into indentured servants. Seeds have existed in the public domain since the beginning of time. Patented seeds turn farmers into servants of the chemical companies that own the patents. This servitude is especially dangerous for the peasant farmers in developing countries where they are not supported by farm subsidies and insurance. Thousands have already committed suicide in India to escape insurmountable debt related to GMO agriculture.

6. Patented GMOs destroy biodiversity and increase the risk of crop failure and famine. Much of America’s farmland is covered with GMO corn, soy, and cotton. America’s large-scale monocultures have the potential to make Ireland’s potato famine look small by comparison.

7. Surrendering the control of our seed and food supply to a few chemical (poison) companies results in a food system monopoly. We all know that those who control the food supply control the world. If we’re going to surrender our seeds and food to a corporation, do we want it to be Monsanto, the same company that produced and profited from Agent Orange, DDT, and PCBs?

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8. Opening the GMO door leaves it open to GMO salmon and other laboratory-modified animals. Salmon are sacred to many people. Over 9,000 stores have pledged not to sell genetically modified salmon. Corn is no less sacred to many Mexicans and Native Americans than salmon. Whether GMOs grow from the soil or swim in the sea, they are an affront to mankind’s cultural and environmental heritage.

9. GMOs are proof that American democracy has been lost to corporate interests. Virtually everyone we met on the road in our 13 state, 3000 mile, coast-to-coast run opposes GMOs. Virtually everyone wants GMOs labeled or banned. Of course they want GMOs labeled so they can avoid buying them. And yet, by and large, “our” government is largely unresponsive to what the voters want. The government, however, actively colludes with the chemical giants to keep GMOs in the food supply.

10. Health and Environmental Destruction. Thousands of independent studies implicate GMOs and their companion poisons in human health issues and environmental degradation. From soil organisms, to bees, fish, wildlife, and human beings, GMOs and companion chemicals poison life. Speaking of GMOs and Roundup in our food supply, Dr. Don Huber states, “Glyphosate is a pittance compared to DDT.” He adds, “We’ve pretty much sacrificed an entire generation of children. The longer we go, the more damage that is going to accumulate.”

Sources:
Angry mothers meet U.S. EPA over concerns with Roundup herbicide
Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/27/us-monsanto-roundup-epa-idUSKBN0E72IH20140527

Monsanto Legal Risks Linger With Suit as Wheat Futures Rebound
AgWeb
http://www.agweb.com/mobile/newsdetail.aspx?ArticleId=336468

Largest U.S. grocery stores will not sell genetically engineered salmon
http://www.foe.org/news/archives/2014-03-kroger-safeway-join-trend-away-from-gmo-food

Glyphosate Studies
GMO Free USA
http://gmofreeusa.org/gmos-are-top/gmo-science/glyphosate-studies/

Dr. Don Huber: GMOs and Glyphosate and Their Threat to Humanity
Food Integrity Now
http://foodintegritynow.org/2014/04/08/dr-don-huber-gmos-glyphosate-threat-humanity/

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The Liberty Bell and a GMO Free USA

“Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” – Leviticus 25:10

Thanks to the work of Karen Stark and Annmarie Butera Cantrell with GMO Free PA and Barbara Thomas with GMO Free NJ, our family participated in a GMO Free event just outside the Liberty Bell in Independence Square.

Few locations could provide greater symbolic significance. We Americans are waking up and discovering that we’ve largely lost our seed freedom, food freedom, and food sovereignty. The GMO Free movement is a grass roots for the people, of the people, and by the people movement for freedom and independence.

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I consider it a privilege, honor, and sacred responsibility to have addressed our government’s role in the GMO industry–an industry based on greed and corruption.

Let Freedom Ring!

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BrettDavidKarl

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Rocky Steps, 6ABC news, and our Run For a GMO Free USA

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Thirty-eight years ago Sylvester Stallone made famous a scene and a set of stairs in his hit movie Rocky. Our run through Philadelphia would not have been complete without running up “The Rocky Steps.” 6ABC news reported (albeit oh so briefly) on our run for a GMO Free USA.

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Thanks to everyone across the country and around the world for your support of our Run For a GMO Free USA.

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Cross-country cause: Food labels

A father and son clock 3,000 miles from California to draw attension to GMOs. The final goal: Ocean City.

By Clark Mindock, Inquirer Staff Writer
POSTED: July 19, 2014

Source: http://articles.philly.com/2014-07-19/news/51714755_1_gmo-labeling-navajo-nation-ocean-city

Brett David Collingswood NJDavid Wilcox, 15, thinks he’s gone through at least six pairs of shoes since January, when he and his father left the Los Angeles area. He and father Brett will finish the trip in Ocean City. (CLARK MINDOCK / Staff)

In his sixth – or perhaps seventh – pair of running shoes this year, David Wilcox, 15, ran from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to downtown Collingswood. His father, Brett, his aunt, Julie Stuehser, and the family dog, Jenna, ran along with him.

Since January, David and Brett Wilcox have been running across the country, 20 miles a day, to promote awareness of genetically modified organisms and mandatory GMO labeling on products.

The journey started in a Los Angeles suburb; the goal is to reach Ocean City, N.J., which could be accomplished in days. As they jog through neighborhoods and encounter passersby, the father-and-son team hands out seeds and hopes the message will germinate.

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“I’ve been phrasing him as the modern-day Johnny Appleseed,” said Karen Stark, cofounder of the group GMO Free Pennsylvania.

Coming off the Ben Franklin Bridge, David and Brett ran through the streets of Camden. They talked with people out on their porches Thursday afternoon, inquiring about their food choices and what they knew about GMOs.

Waiting in downtown Collingswood with a dozen supporters of GMO labeling was Kris Wilcox, David’s mother. She prepared a camera and microphone setup to record the small ceremony that would take place once the runners arrived.

Kris and Olivia, David’s little sister, have been making the trip as well, tasked with finding the next spot to park their trailer – pulled by a 1998 Ford F50 they bought for $4,900 with 109,000 miles on the odometer. They’ve added about 3,000 more as they’ve made their way to Ocean City.

“I think they’ve stopped to talk to a few people,” she said, peering down Haddon Avenue, wondering where they were. As a runner approached, the cheers increased, but it was a false alarm – just another jogger.

Along the way, Kris has been faced head on with the message they’re trying to address. When looking for food, it’s hard to find what they want to keep their family healthy – GMOs are ubiquitous. Passing through northern Arizona and New Mexico, they simply stopped buying corn tortillas. Their time going through the Navajo Nation was their one reprieve; they took a chance on Navajo cornmeal.

Brett Wilcox is a mental-health therapist who quit his job for the cross-country run. To fund the effort, they’ve rented their house in Sitka, Alaska, and started an Indiegogo campaign. Brett also wrote a book, We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie After Lie. They accept donations at runningthecountry.com.

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GMOs have been scrutinized recently as more consumers raise concerns that the foods are harmful to people. GMO Free Pennsylvania and GMO Free New Jersey are two groups working to influence state legislators to require GMO labeling on food packaging. They also hold rallies to raise awareness.

One modification often cited by GMO opponents makes plants resistant to herbicides, allowing farmers to spray the herbicide liberally to kill weeds. The action breeds “super weeds,” which require even more treatment of the crops.

Monsanto, the world’s leading producer of genetically modified seeds and herbicides, says on its website that genetically altered foods are necessary to meet increasing food demand globally. The website adds that engineered scientific advances have been at the front of historic human advancement.

In New Jersey, efforts to pass legislation that would require GMO foods to be labeled as such are “stalled in committee,” according to Barbara Thomas, cofounder of GMO Free New Jersey. The legislation has popular support, she said, but has been met with difficulties from individual lawmakers.

Back in Collingswood on Thursday, the father and son came into sight. They are almost at the end of their journey – one partially inspired by David’s desire to one-up a 17-year-old girl who had run across the country.

The Wilcox family brought a father’s passion for GMO advocacy together with a son’s passion for competition and long-distance running.

“We ran 3,000 miles for this!” Brett Wilcox said, thrusting his arms into the air victoriously as they reached the crowd. “Yes! Somebody cares!”

cmindock@phillynews.com
856-779-3237 @clarrkmindock

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N.J. finish line for cross-country GMO food awareness run by Alaska family

New Jersey News
by Michelle Caffrey

Source: http://newsinnj.com/n-j-finish-line-for-cross-country-gmo-food-awareness-run-by-alaska-family/

The Wilcoxes from Sitka, Alaska, won’t be the only family of four trekking to the shore this weekend, but they’ll probably be the only one that travelled more than 3,000 miles across the country, two of them on foot, to get there.

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Brett Wilcox and his teenage son David set off from Huntington Beach, California, in January to make the journey, all in an effort to raise awareness about GMO foods and the push for GMO labelling laws.

Joined along the way by Wilcox’s wife Kris and daughter Olivia driving with them along the way, the pair are the first father-son team to run across the country. David, 15, will also be the second youngest runner to ever complete the task, which will wrap up in Ocean City on July 19.

Speaking from the road in Newton Square, Pennsylvania, Wilcox said they’ll stop at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia this morning, where they’ll be welcomed by supporters, and then make their way over to Collingswood, the homebase of nonprofit advocacy group GMO Free NJ.

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They’ve been stopping along their travels, meeting with people, handing out seed packets and asking what they know about the issue, anything to spark a conversation about GMOs, or genetically modified organisms.

There’s been a swell of debate around the subject in recent years, as advocacy groups such as GMO Free NJ push for laws that would require companies to label products containing GMO ingredients, most often corn and soy that are modified to resist pesticides.

Advocates from the organization recent rallied at Assemblyman Paul Moriarty’s (D-4 of Washington Township) local office, urging him as chairman of the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee to support a GMO labelling law.

Previous attempts to get a labelling bill before the New Jersey legislature have failed, but a handful of other states have passed labelling laws that would go into effect if a percentage of other states passed them as well. Only one, Vermont, has passed a no-strings attached labelling law, and has allocated more than $1 million to fight legal challenges from food manufacturers.

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“I think we’re making progress, and I think if we can truly get GMOs labelled with a serious label, people will wake up,” said Wilcox, the author of “We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie After Lie.”

“We vote with our dollars,” said his wife, Kris Wilcox. “If we just make one change, if you start with baby steps and start with one change, giving up buying GMO corn … that way you are giving yourself a healthier body and healthier life. It’s really kind of a no-brainer.”

While the recent ramping up of GMO awareness campaigns and backlash against Monsanto — a massive agricultural biotechnology and agrochemical company —have made headlines, a number of organizations and individuals have expressed caution, saying enough serious research hasn’t been done to prove GMOs negatively impact human health, especially when they can allow farmers to raise crops more efficiently.

Wilcox met a few of those GMO supporters along the way, and did his best to lay out his case.

“We met a farmer who said there’s all sorts of benefits to farmers,” like being able to spray an entire field and have everything die except corn and soy, genetically modified to withstand Roundup pesticides, Wilcox said. “But consumers don’t see those benefits. They don’t find any benefit to eating food that’s been saturated with Roundup.”

That’s the message they’ve been spreading since they started on the long run, first thought up by David after he heard of then 17-year-old Jasmine “Jazzy” Jordan’s run across America.

“‘He said, ‘I want to do that,’” Wilcox said, adding David pressed and pressed to make it happen.

They sat David, already a cross-country champion, down and told him everything it would entail — long, grueling days, both of his parents quitting their jobs to be on the road with him, putting himself in the public eye — but it didn’t phase him.

“‘He said ‘OK, I want to do it,’” Wilcox said. “So it was all systems go.”

The journey began in California in January, and continued through the warm Southwestern states through the winter. They hit the Midwest in spring, and despite physical issues that left Wilcox battling blisters and David unable to run until a recent fix by a chiropractor, the pair averaged about 20 miles each day.

Each morning, Kris Wilcox and Olivia drive the family’s trailer to whatever that particular day’s ending point is, while Wilcox and David spend the day running there, pushing a stroller full of supplies.

Wilcox said it’s been a challenge to make sure their journey stays afloat on their meager budget — there’s an ongoing campaign to raise funds for the trip — but a joy to spend every day with his family in a world where “families rarely speak to each other, and just pass each other in the hallways.

“I’ve gotten to really get to know David, to get to know Olivia and spend good time with Kris,” said Wilcox. “That’s all been the number one [best part of the trip.]“

David said it hasn’t been easy but he’s loved the scenery he’s passed, from the sprawling mountains to flat farmland, and finally to the hilly countryside of Pennsylvania.

“Seeing all of that was really cool,” said David, adding he also appreciated the chance to meet new people at every stop.

But once he finally gets to Ocean City — his first time seeing the Atlantic, a real treat for a teen who grew up along the Pacific Ocean and hasn’t seen the sea in six months — he knows exactly what he’ll be looking forward to the most.

“I’m excited to just sort of wake up and then lay in bed and just be lazy,” he said.

Contact staff writer Michelle Caffrey at 856-686-3686 or mcaffrey@southjerseymedia.com

Source: http://www.nj.com/

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Running into Philly

Is it possible? After six months on the road are we finally running into Philadelphia, only sixty miles from our destination in Ocean City, New Jersey?

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What an adventure and what a blessing it’s been!

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David and I are running strong. We put in 30 miles of sweat and wet yesterday. Another 23 or so miles today and we’ll arrive at the Liberty Bell.

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Prior to launching our run tomorrow morning from the Liberty Bell, we’ll meet with GMO Free enthusiasts and supporters. Meet us there at 9 am.

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The location, of course, has symbolic significance. The American people have spoken again and again; more than 90% of Americans want GMOs labeled. And yet, overall, our government continues to collude with the chemical industry to keep GMOs unlabeled, because they know the GMO label is a skull and crossbones to their GMO empire. But we’re making progress. Vermont recently passed the first no-strings attached labeling bill. The people of Jackson and Josephine counties in Oregon beat the chemical industry by banning GMOs entirely from their counties. And the people of Hawaii continue to fight against the poisoning of their paradise.

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Virtually every person we’ve talked with between California and Pennsylvania favors GMO labels. Most want GMOs banned altogether.

Together we can make it happen. Seed freedom and food freedom for all!

If you see us on the road today as we run into Philadelphia, honk to show your support for a GMO Free USA.

Clink on this link to see a map of today’s run: http://bit.ly/1r36Suk

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Fine Print of the Food Wars

by Dr. Vandana Shiva – The Asian Age, 16 July 2014

seedindustry

Graphics Source: Seed Industry Structure -
Philip H. Howard Associate Professor, Michigan State University – https://www.msu.edu/~howardp/seedindustry.html

Source: http://www.asianage.com/columnists/fine-print-food-wars-538

Creating ‘ownership’ of seed through patents and intellectual property rights and imposing it globally through the WTO, the biotech industry has established a monopoly empire over seed and food

Monsanto and friends, the biotech industry, its lobbyists and its paid media representation continue to push for monopoly control over the world’s food through its seed supply.

This “empire” is being built on false foundations: that Monsanto is a creator/inventor of life and hence can own the seed through patents and that life can be engineered and machined like an iPhone.

Through ecology and the new biology we know that life is self-organised complexity — life makes itself; it cannot be “manufactured”. This also applies to food production through the new science of agroecology. Agroecology gives us a deeper scientific understanding of how ecological processes work at the level of soils, living seeds and living food. The promises made by the biotech industry — of increased yields, reduction of chemical use and control of weeds and pests — have not been kept. Last month an investment fund sued DuPont for $1 billion for pushing herbicide-resistant crops knowing fully well they would fail to control weeds and instead contribute to the emergence of “superweeds”.

Creating “ownership” of seed through patents and intellectual property rights and imposing it globally through the World Trade Organisation, the biotech industry has established a monopoly empire over seed and food. While they claim ownership of the seeds they sell and collect royalties, when it comes to checks and balances on safety, the biotech industry is systematically destroying international and national laws on biosafety claiming their products are “as nature made them”. It’s ontological schizophrenia!

Biosafety is the multi-disciplinary assessment of the impact of genetic engineering on the environment, on public health and on socio-economic conditions. At the international level, biosafety is international law enshrined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. I was appointed to an expert group to evolve the framework by the United Nations environment programmme to implement Article 19.3 of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Monsanto and friends have been attempting to deny citizens the right to safe food by opposing Article 19.3 since the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992.

Currently they are attempting to dismantle national laws on biosafety in India, Pakistan, the European Union, across Africa and Latin America. In the United States, they are distorting the Constitution by suing state governments that have passed labelling laws for GMO (genetically modified) foods by claiming that the citizens’ right to know what they eat is superseded by the biotech industry’s right to impose hazardous foods on uninformed consumers as the freedom of speech of a corporation, as if it were a natural person.

Their PR machine is deployed to unscientifically attack scientists working on biosafety, such as Árpád Pusztai, Ignacio Chapela, Irina Ermakova, Éric Séralini and myself. Many journalists, having no scientific background themselves, have become soldiers in this PR assault. Privileged white men like Mark Lynas, Jon Entine and Michael Specter, with no practical experience in agriculture, armed only with BA degrees and ties to corporate-controlled media, are being used to undermine real scientific findings about the impact of GMOs on our health and ecosystems.

Biotech industry uses its PR puppets to falsely claim that GMOs are a solution to world hunger. This denialism of real scientific debate about how living systems evolve and adapt, is backed by an aggressive and massive PR assault, including the use of intelligence agencies such as Blackwater.

In 2010, Forbes named me one of the seven most powerful women in the world for “putting women front and centre to solve the issue of food security in the developing world”. In 2014, Jon Entine, a journalist, wrote an “opinion” piece on the Forbes website, falsely claiming that I have not studied physics. While I have studied physics at a post-graduate level and done my doctorate on the foundations of quantum theory, I have spent 40 years studying ecology in India’s farms and forests, with nature and wise peasants as my teachers. This is the basis of my expertise in agroecology and biosafety.

Good science and proven technologies do not need PRs, intelligence agencies or corrupt governments to prove the facts.

If unfounded attacks on a scientist from a developing country by a non-scientist is one of their tools in shaping the future, they have got it all wrong. They don’t see the growing citizens’ outrage against Monsanto’s monopoly.

In sovereign countries, where the might of Monsanto and friends is limited, the people and their governments are rejecting their monopoly and failed technology. But this news is suppressed by the PR machine.

Russia has completely banned GMOs with deputy prime minister Dmitry Medvedev saying, “If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then. We don’t need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food”.

China has banned GMOs in military food supplies. Italy has just passed a law, Campo libre, making planting GMO crops punishable with a prison sentence of one to three years and a fine of 10,000-30,000 euros. Italian minister of agriculture Nunzia De Girolamo said in a statement: “Our agriculture is based on biodiversity, on quality, and we must continue to aim for these without ventures that, even from the economic point of view, wouldn’t make us competitive.”

PR pieces in Forbes and the New Yorker cannot stop the awakening of millions of farmers and consumers to the very real dangers of genetically-modified organisms in our food and the shortcomings and failures of the industrial food system which is destroying the planet and our health.

The writer is the executive director of the Navdanya Trust

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Genetically modified organisms at heart of family’s six-month trip

Thank you, Lauren, for the interview and article!

By Lauren Cappuccio
Public Opinion
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Source: http://www.publicopiniononline.com/News/ci_26118740/Family-runs-cross-the-United-States-to-put-an-end-to-GMO-foods

Brett,David,Jenna

CHAMBERSBURG >> Since January, Brett Wilcox and his son David have been running across the United States to bring an end use of genetic modified organisms as food.

A GMO is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish and mammals. Many farmers use GMO seeds to help their production.

Brett said these organisms are harmful to humans when ingested.

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The Wilcox family, from Sitka, Alaska, also includes Brett’s wife Kris, and daughter Olivia, who are following them and cheering them on the family vehicle.

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They started their journey Jan. 18 in Huntington Beach, Calif., and have averaged about 20 miles a day. The family hopes to reach Atlantic City, N.J., by July 19 — after 3,000 miles and six months of traveling.

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The idea for the run started when David, 15, a championship cross-country runner, mentioned doing a run across the United States after reading a story about a girl who completed the journey. After dismissing the idea, Brett said he reconsidered and decided that it would be for a purpose.

Getting the word out about GMO products has been something Brett, a licensed counselor, has been passionate about for years and led him to release the first book of a future series in 2013 called “We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World Lie after Lie.” In it, he discusses one of the companies producing GMO products, Monsanto, which produces seeds, weed control products and technology for farmers.

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“The biggest lie is they say to feed the growing population, we need GMO foods,” Brett said. “It is proven that these foods are unsustainable. We are eating insecticide,” he said.

After some backlash, the company tried to change their image to look like an agricultural company, he said, and started selling the chemicals under the pretense that it would grow more product and kill all pests.

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Some farmers he has talked to have agreed that GMO’s do help them and said he respects their opinion.

Brett recommended that while GMO products are not easily distinguishable at first, many of them contain corn, soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, products made from sugar beets and processed foods.

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He recommended looking at GMO shopping guides online to see what products are certified organic, which do not have any GMO’s.

You can follow the Wilcox’s journey at https://www.facebook.com/RunningTheCountry or http://www.runningthecountry.com. Friends of theirs started an online campaign to help with some of the costs for their family as they travel, as both of them took a leave from work to pursue the run: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-the-wilcox-family-finish-strong.

Lauren Cappuccio can be contacted at 262-4754.

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Right and Wrong vs Profit and Loss

David and I have a lot of time to talk on the road. I’ve learned a lot about David in the process. And I’m sure David has learned a lot about me.

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David knows that I grew up in a home with parents who instilled traditional values in their children. And when I say traditional values, I mean the traditional values of working class Christians: Love you neighbors whether you like them or not, do good to those that despitefully use you, we’re all members of the same human family so treat everyone with love and respect, sleep in your own bed, honesty is the only policy, and the Golden Rule.

I grew up believing that all parents at some level believed and taught their children those same values.

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But I was wrong.

A few states ago, I struck up a conversation with a young man at church. Our conversation turned to values and why it is that the ruling class seem to operate by a different set of values. He went on to say that lower working class people are taught to obey societal and religious rules and that the ruling class are taught that they make the rules, and because they make the rules, they are free to break the rules as they see fit.

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And while the working class are doing just that: working, working 9 to 5, working sunup to sundown, working 40, 60, or 80 hour weeks, working their fingers to the bone, working an honest day’s labor for an honest day’s wages, working and wearing their lives away, the ruling class are buying and selling and investing. They’re making millions, sometimes billions, off of the labor of the working class. They’re buying companies, firing employees at will, then turning around and selling the same companies at obscene profits, giving no thought to the fact that their company flipping places working people on the streets and on the dole.

And while the working class are paying their taxes, the ruling class are pulling the strings on their political puppets to create the tax loop holes that enable them to gain millions, by and large, tax free.

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And while the working class are genuinely concerned about the welfare of the human family, the ruling class are concerned only that the working class keep their noses to the grindstone, their shoulders to the wheel, and their mouths shut so the ruling class can continue to profit from other people’s labor.

And while the working class wouldn’t resort to shady means to make a buck, the ruling class don’t give a rat’s ass how they make their bucks or who ends up hurt or dead in the process.

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This analysis may be a bit over simplified and may be a bit too black and white, but then again, maybe it’s a dead ringer.

How else can one explain the fact that corporations like Monsanto, Dow, Dupont Pioneer, BASF, Bayer and Syngenta continue to operate on the values of Profit over Loss, Regardless.

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Regardless of the fact that their chemical and GMO-based agricultural systems are killing the soil, polluting waterways, and poisoning all life, including the lives of their own children.

Regardless of the fact that their large scale, monocultures destroy precious biodiversity and displace millions of peasant who join the ranks of the poorest of the poor.

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Regardless of the fact that many who farm GMOs find that suicide is the only escape from an endless cycle of debt.

Regardless of the fact that by patenting plants and animals, the poisoners become biopirates committing biopiracy as they steal from Nature and from the collective commons.

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Regardless of the fact that their corrupt collusion with politicians makes of mockery of democracy.

Regardless of the fact that virtually nobody wants their poison saturated bastardized imitation food and that the only way they can continue to get people to eat such stuff is to continue to keep GMOs unlabeled, even if that means threatening and suing entire states such as Vermont, or creating global “Free Trade” agreements like the TPP that declare participating governments shall do nothing to infringe on corporate profits including the labeling of GMOs.

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Regardless of the fact that many countries refuse to buy GMO-based corn and soybeans and those commodities are so overproduced in the USA and their value is so low that GMO-based agriculture can only be sustained by billions of dollars in government subsidies.

Regardless of the fact that most farmers are barely making a living and most of the subsidies they receive end up in the bank accounts and investment funds of the poison peddlers.

Regardless of the fact that the poisoners must shield their eyes from the sight of the deformed, disabled, diseased and dead people their policies and poisons have produced.

Regardless of the fact that they must cover their ears to block the cries of their victims.

Regardless of the fact that their alleged science-based research is little more than the science of fraud and deception.

Regardless of the fact that their profit is commensurate only to their skill as liars.

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I am grateful that I was raised with the values of Right and Wrong rather than the values of Profit and Loss. But I want my children to know and understand that there are people in this country and in this world—people they will likely never meet—who care only for their own profit and that those people make and break the rules as they see fit. And those people use their power and influence to ensure that only their political puppets—both democrats and republicans—enjoy the financial backing to win elections or the connections to be appointed to key governmental positions, including the regulatory agencies that are supposedly in place to protect the people and the environment.

I want our children to know that they must assume full responsibility for their own health and well-being. I want them to know that in violation of the Constitution, their conversations are being monitored and recorded, not so much to catch thieves, crooks, and terrorists, but to catch the people who catch government thieves, crooks, and terrorists.

And someday, when enough people have awakened from the collective delusion that corporations care and that the government represents them, I pray that the people who value Right and Wrong will rise up and create a system of government based on the values of Right over Wrong, on the value of loving rather than bombing, on the value of caring for rather than pillaging the Earth and her resources, on the value that all have access to clean and healthy food, education, and health care.

For the sake of the Earth and her inhabitants, may that day come soon.

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Brett and David Wilcox are within two weeks of finishing their transcon 3,000 mile Run For a GMO Free USA. To date, their run expenses far exceed donations received. You can help change that fact by making a donation of any amount through their Indiegogo campaign fundraiser.

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Help the Wilcox Family Finish Strong

When David first announced that he wanted to run across the country, Kris and I didn’t take him seriously. How could we? Running 3,000 miles at 20 miles per day, six days a week would take at least six months, not including the gearing up and winding down time before and after the run. In addition, seven or eight months away from our jobs was simply not realistic.

Unless . . .

Unless we cast aside our fears and our doubts and we took a 3,000-mile leap of faith.

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Faith that of the millions of people who favor a GMO Free world, even just a few of them would step forward and show their support for our run and mission.

With the help of our good friend, Owen Kindig, we launched an Indiegogo campaign. And thanks to 132 generous contributors, our campaign brought in $7,500. To be sure, seven point five grand is a lot of money. But unfortunately, we’ve spent more than that amount in health insurance alone since we’ve been on the road. (Maybe the next time we run across the country, we should run for the creation of a reasonable and corruption free health care system!!!)

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In addition, many other people have contributed either through our website or directly to us as we’ve run across the country. And we are grateful to every person and for every contribution made thus far, but as of this date our expenses still far exceed contributions received.

We made it clear before we started our Run for a GMO Free USA that we would run regardless of the amount of contributions donations. And so we have.

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No doubt, 3,000 miles ago, many people doubted our ability and our commitment to the run. No doubt, many held back with their donations because there was no guarantee that we would or could actually complete our run and mission. To be honest, we had the same doubts. We now know like some 300 other people know than that running across the USA is no easy task. And for David, running 3,000 miles as a 15-year old boy shows tenacity and spunk not seen since 15-year old Tobias Cotton completed The Great American Foot Race in 1928.

But the time for doubt has passed. We’ve nearly completed our coast-to-coast run and, along the way, we’ve made every effort to speak the truth whether at events such as the March Against Monsanto in Saint Louis, Missouri, or on the streets, or to the media.

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On July 17th at 9 a.m. we’ll speak once again. This time we will join with like-minded people at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, before running the final 60 miles to the beach at Atlantic City, New Jersey. Join us at The Liberty Bell if you can. Run with us if you can.

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Kris and I celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary on July 19th, the day David and I plan to jump into the Atlantic City. What a blessing it would be if we could complete this run free of the debt we’ve picked up while pounding the pavement for the past six months.

That blessing is now entirely possibly because Owen has created a second Indiegogo campaign titled Help the Wilcox Family finish strong.

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If you value our run and our mission, take a look at the campaign Owen created. Watch the videos (5 or 6 to date) and, if you feel so moved, then by all means contribute.

Yes, we’re finishing our run on July 19th, but the work will continue. Once we’re back in our home of Sitka, Alaska, I will wrap up my second book in which I expose and refute another 50 of Monsanto’s lies. We will also be working hard producing the documentary DVD based on our run. (The We’re Monsanto books and the documentary are included as perks in the current Indiegogo campaign.) After that, I plan to compile a book of essays written by religious thinkers and leaders from various faiths in which the writers provide theological and religious arguments against GMOs and supportive of natural agricultural systems.

There’s so much yet to do! Please help us finish strong and to continue our work for a GMO Free USA and world. Contribute now.

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Thank you so much!

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Do GMOs Feed or Enslave the World?

Jason Tutu with Food Sovereignty Ghana posted the following article on July 4, 2014. Mr. Tutu exposes the truth behind the use of GMOs in all developing countries: Agricultural systems based on GMOs are financially, environmentally, politically and environmentally toxic. They are a modern form of colonialism and slavery. So while we Americans celebrate our independence, let us declare our independence from and put a stop to the corporations and governments hell bent on destroying independence on a global scale.

Dr. Shiva Ghana

By Food Sovereignty Ghana

Source: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/atikpo-flails-away-never-lands-a-blow-on-shiva/

Atikpo Flails Away, Never Lands A Blow On Shiva

Dr. Atikpo and OFAB appear brilliant at building straw men to argue against and tear down with much ferocity. Unfortunately they do not address the points made by Dr. Shiva regarding GMOs. They do not address the real dangers of GMOs to Ghana or to the people who live here. Nor do they address the expressed concerns of Ghanaian farmers and citizens. They ignore Ghanaians who care about the sovereignty and independence of our beloved Ghana.

Dr. Atikpo and OFAB claim that GMOs are not toxic. There are two aspects to the question of toxicity. Dr. Atikpo addresses neither of them and instead batters away at her straw man. We know very little about GMOs themselves because the corporations that own the patents do not permit independent testing. What effects GMOs have on our bodies, what effects they may have over time or that may be inherited through us to successive generations, are not known.

The effects GMOs may have on the environment, on the plants, animals, soil, water, air, have not been explored. The evidence we have so far is not reassuring. The corporations that own the GMO patents work very hard to keep them from being researched or becoming known. They are so afraid of potential problems that they do not even want GMO products labelled GMO. This is the true anti-science position.

The extreme and known toxicity of GMOs is due to GMO plants being pesticide plants. GMO plants are saturated with pesticides. GMO crops vastly increase the use of pesticides. Even though the corporations holding GMO patents try to hide and obscure this fact, much is known about the toxic effects of pesticides.

GMO crops are genetically engineered to have pesticide such as Bt in every cell of the plant, or to absorb huge amounts of applied herbicides without being killed. When we consume the plants, or eat animals that consume the plants, we consume quantities of these pesticides that can injure our heart, lungs, organs, nerves, digestion, blood, skin, immunity, and sexual function and development.

When you eat a genetically modified food crop you are eating pesticides. When you wear genetically modified fibre you have toxin resting on your skin.

Research is piling up showing just how deadly these chemical cocktails can be on all the systems of our bodies, on the growing bodies of our children, and on the development of our unborn babies. Allergies, diseases, birth defects, damages to all the organ systems of the body, even autism have been linked to toxic pesticides. GMOs are designed in the laboratory so that they require these chemicals in order to grow. Do you want these chemicals sprayed and spread through Ghana, on our food and on our families? Does your MP want you fed and sprayed with pesticides?

GMOs threaten Ghana’s independence as a nation. Dr. Shiva warned us that GMOs mean seed colonization and seed slavery. This is the massive looming threat that Dr. Atikpo and OFAB completely ignore. The straw men they build and attack so vigorously are constructed to hide this massive danger. Dr. Atikpo and her cronies are dishonest about the toxicity of GMOs, and try to use the toxicity issue to distract our attention away from the GMO threat to our freedom and the GMO theft of our seed DNA heritage.

The Plant Breeders Bill is part of a foreign corporate plan developed by the G8 and engineered by USAID to control all of Ghana’s agriculture. Parliament has met with the Americans and ignored Ghanaians.

So far Ghana’s Presidents and MPs of both the dominant political parties are going along with this plan. The long term intention of these corporations is that every seed that is planted in Ghana will be owned by the giant agribusiness corporations. They will own the intellectual property rights to every seed. Farmers will have to buy seeds from them for whatever they want to charge. In India seed prices have risen as much as 8000%. Farmers who save seeds will have to pay royalties to corporations if they want to plant their saved seeds.

The Agribusiness corporations can take the DNA, the germplasm of Ghana’s seeds into their laboratories, patent the seeds, and then charge Ghanaian farmers for the same seed germplasm Ghanaians have painstakingly developed over decades and centuries. This is biopiracy. Ghanaian seed breeders will be left out. They do not have the resources to compete with the multinational corporations.

The Plant Breeders Bill puts the multinational corporations above the laws of Ghana, making it impossible for Ghana’s government to protect our agricultural wealth from these predators or protect our farmers and citizens from their predations.

With the Plant Breeders Bill enacted, only those seeds produced and sold by foreign corporations will be available to plant. The rich diversity of Ghana’s crops and seeds, our best protection against climate change, will be lost. Our food supply, what we eat and whether we eat, even the use of our water and soil, will be at the mercy of foreign corporations. The decisions of those corporations are based on how much money and resources they can extract from Ghana. Whether we live or die is a matter of indifference to them. That is what Dr. Shiva means by colonization and seed slavery. Do we want colonization and slavery returning to Ghana’s shores?

The only constituencies supporting the Plant Breeders Bill are the MPs that seem determined to pass it regardless of how it impacts Ghana, the American Embassy, and some Ghanaian academics and researchers whose funding is likely to depend on the GMO agribusiness corporations. Based on all their public utterances, Ghana’s MPs have done nothing to address the concerns in the various petitions to Parliament regarding the Plant Breeders Bill. Short of massive national and international attention, they may go ahead and pass the Bill! They appear to us to be completely ignoring Ghana’s best interests and Ghanaian public opinion.

If your MP is thinking of voting for the Plant Breeders Bill, if your MP ignores Ghanaians and votes for the Plant Breeders Bill, you do not want that person representing you in Parliament. When the announcement was made in Parliament during the sitting on Thursday, 19th June, by the 1st Deputy Speaker, Hon. Ebow Burton-Oduro, Hon. Musaka Mubarak, NDC MP for Asawaso, and Majority Chief Whip, rose to his feet to declare that the Committee would present an “oral report”. Is our Parliament trying to tell Ghanaians, they do not even need to properly let us know whether or not the petitions make any sense to them? And if not why? Is our Parliament trying to tell Ghanaians, they do not even need to properly let us know whether they hear the petitions or respect the petitioners?” Contact your MP and tell them to defeat the Plant Breeders Bill!

OUR FOOD UNDER OUR CONTROL!
For Life, The Environment, and Social Justice!

Jason Tutu
Member, Communications Department
Food Sovereignty Ghana.
Contact: 0540113569
Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana

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‘It’s an adventure’: Father, son running across the country

BY CURT LIBBRA
News Leader
June 4, 2014

Source: http://www.bnd.com/2014/06/04/3240649/its-an-adventure-father-son-running.html

As the Wilcox family of Sitka, Alaska, travels across the country, they hope to sow inspiration in their children, opposition to genetically modified foods, and also, a little lettuce.

Brett and Kris Wilcox, two of their children, David, 15, and Olivia, 13, as well as their dogs, Angel and Jenna, a shelter dog they adopted while crossing through Texas, made a brief stop in Highland last week. They camped Thursday at Glik Park before taking off Friday morning on their way to Atlantic City, N.J.

Highland photo
HALF WAY THERE — The Wilcox family is making their way across the country and stopped in Highland last week. From left Olivia, 13, holds the family’s new pet, Jenna, while her mother, Kris, holds their other dog, Angel. The ladies drive the family’s truck and camper trailer while Brett Wilcox and 15-year-old son David go across the country on foot. The family is talking against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as they move across the nation.
CURT LIBBRA/NEWS LEADER

The idea for their journey emerged a few years ago when Brett was reading an online article about a teenage girl who had made the cross-continental trek on foot.

“We showed that article to David, and he said, ‘I want to do that,’” Brett recalled.

And the thought never left David’s mind.

“He kept bringing it up,” his father said.

So the Wilcoxes started to put a plan in motion — although the thought of actually going through with it left them feeling some trepidation.

“It scared the heck out of us, because this is not a responsible thing to do,” Brett said.

Responsible or not, the wheels began turning in January. Brett and Kris both quit their jobs — his as a mental health/substance abuse counselor, and hers in a cleaning business. They flew to Salt Lake City and bought a truck and camper trailer, which Kris, Olivia and Angel go down the road in, while the boys and Jenna follow on foot.

They departed Huntington Beach, Calif., (about 30 miles south of Los Angelas) on Jan. 18, with a crowd of well-wishers to cheer them on.

“There were people there to meet us. We didn’t know any of them, just by Facebook,” Kris said.

They made nine miles that first day but have been averaging about 20 miles per day since, even with David nursing a hip flexor strain.

“If I wasn’t injured, I’d be going faster. We’ve just been walking (for about two weeks),” David said.

Going faster is the reason David wanted to take on the challenge in the first place. As a freshman this past year, he won his regional cross country meet. But he hopes for even bigger accomplishments.

“I thought, if I do this, I will come back faster and be able to beat more people,” he said.

But for Brett and Kris, there were parental, as well as political, motivations behind agreeing to the 3,000-mile undertaking.

Brett said he grew up in a working-class household where an experience such as the one he and his family are now on could have only been a pipe dream.

“I really wanted to help David accomplish a big dream… This is an opportunity to rewrite history, to say to David, ‘If you have a big dream, you can achieve it,” Brett said.

“It’s an adventure,” Kris said.

And adventure is something this family is big on. Brett and Kris, who moved to Alaska after having taught English in Japan for several years, also have two older daughters, both of whom they encouraged to do exchange programs. They did, one in Bolivia and one in Thailand.

“I think the world is just an incredible place. I want them to get out and see it while they’re young,” Kris said.

See it they have — 2,000 miles worth across California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri before hitting the Prairie State and resting in Highland.

“Every town has a claim to fame, and we’ve seen them all,” Kris said. “But a big highlight is the people we’ve met.”

As they meet new faces, they tell whoever will listen of their belief that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are harmful. To help cultivate their message, they hand out packets of organic seeds along their way.

A GMO-free world is something they strongly believe in. Brett has even written a book on the subject, We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie After Lie, which targets the world’s foremost GMO company. Just after walking into St. Louis on May 24, Brett and David both spoke at a “March Against Monsanto” rally at the company’s global headquarters.

You can follow the family’s travels on their website, www.runningthecountry.com, or on Facebook. You can also donate to their cause via the website.

“We are not even coming close to covering the cost (of the trip),” Brett said.

But that’s OK.

“We are doing it for faith, not for money,” Brett said.

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Cross-country run passes through Valley

Thanks to Faye Irey for being such a gracious hostess in Monongahela and for calling Chris Buckley at the local newspaper! Thanks to Chris for interviewing us. Because of good people like the Irey’s and Chris, we enjoyed our time in Monongahela. Our best to all of you!

By Chris Buckley
The Valley Independent

Sourece: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmonvalley/yourmonvalleymore/6378419-74/wilcox-brett-david#axzz36Jbbjdmb

Monongahela photo Chris Buckley | The Valley Independent

David Wilcox remembers the day a couple years ago when he read an Internet story about a 17-year-old girl who ran across the country.

“Without thinking about any of the challenges, the competitive part of me said, ‘I want to do that,’” recalled Wilcox, now 15.

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His father, Brett, wondered if his son was prepared for such a challenge. But David Wilcox, who won a cross country title as a freshman at Sitka High School in Alaska, was undaunted.

Still, the teen learned there is a difference between the speed of running 5Ks at 5½ minutes per mile and the much slower pace needed to log the miles it takes to cross the country.
“The first day, we weren’t prepared enough and I thought maybe we made a mistake,” David Wilcox admitted. “But after that …”

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Brett Wilcox notes that he is 53, adding with a laugh, “but my face is 2,600 miles old.”
The cross country trek has only been made by one other 15-year-old, Tobias Cotton, who did it in 1928.

“There’s a reason 15-year-olds don’t do this,” Brett Wilcox said. “It’s a brutally long and disciplined trip. David’s now done something only one other 15-year-old has done. That shows a level of tenacity and commitment.”

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In January, the father-and-son team flew from their Alaska home to Utah to pick up a truck that is their support system. Brett Wilcox’s wife, Kris, is the driver. They drove the truck to Huntington Beach, Calif., and on Jan. 18, began their transcontinental run.

The trip was designed around David’s cross country season. He studied online during the spring semester.

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“It’s been a run of faith — to believe what we’re doing is right and to believe that enough people would support us,” Brett Wilcox said. “For me, the greatest challenge is letting go and believing that God will get us safely through this with missiles flying by at 60 to 70 miles per hour.

“I just have to trust that God is going to take care of us.”

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In Dalhart, Texas, on April 1, the father and son picked up a dog, Jenna, who has made the trip with them since. She sometimes rides in the three-wheel baby stroller where the Wilcox family stores items such as water and food.

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The Wilcoxes arrived Monday in Monongahela, a stop ordained nearly six decades ago in Korea. Brett Wilcox’s father served in the Army in Korea in the early 1950s with Jim Irey, a Monongahela native.

Brett Wilcox visited Monongahela when he was just a child and recalled very little of the city. But as he saw it approaching on his Google Map app Monday, he made some calls and made contact with Faye Irey, the widow of Jim’s brother, Frank Irey.

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The family stayed with Faye Irey overnight before hitting the road by mid-morning Tuesday.

Brett Wilcox didn’t get into running until he was in his 40s. “I was sitting in my office, sore from sitting all day,” Brett Wilcox said. At a trail near his house, he began running, starting with short distances. But one mile turned into three, and then 12 miles on weekend days.

Still that is a far cry from the minimum 20-mile days, day after day for six months. David Wilcox has dealt with a hip injury for weeks. His fourth chiropractic appointment with Dr. E. Joseph Burger in McMurray finally diagnosed and repaired the problem.

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Brett Wilcox wore a tech running shirt that proclaimed their mission,“Running For A GMO Free USA.”

According to the Non GMO Project, “genetically modified organisms are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.”

Brett Wilcox said meeting people on the road, he has learned that the public opposes the use of GMOs.

“There’s no reason for anyone to go to the grocery store to buy GMO products,” said Brett Wilcox, who got into the cause for health reasons.

The trip also has given him an opportunity to connect with his son. “For me, I don’t think I knew David a fraction of what I do now,” Brett Wilcox said. “We’re together virtually 24/7. I’m finding out what motivates him, what he likes, how gentle he is, but the competitive spirit that drives him to run cross country.”

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David Wilcox said he is also learning about his father. “I had faith he could do it, but I thought I’d be running ahead of him,” he said.

Last week, they averaged more than 25 miles a day — nearly a marathon each day for a week.
The goal is to reach Atlantic City on July 19, Brett and Kris Wilcox’s 25th anniversary.
“I want on that day to run into the ocean,” Brett Wilcox said. “That would be a great anniversary present.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

Posted in Blog, GMOs, Running The Country | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Letters From Eden

Several newspapers have interviewed us over the past few months. Some time ago, I received an email from a woman who had read one of the articles. She gave me permission to share her initial and subsequent email messages, but asked that I change identifying information for her family sake. In accordance with her wishes, I’ll refer to this woman as Eve from Eden. Thank you, Eve, for communicating with me and for doing your part to alert others to the dangers associated with GMOs.

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Letter #1:
I read the article about your family in our local newspaper. I wish I’d known you were here and could have met you. I totally resonate with EVERYTHING you say about GMO’s, Monsanto, DuPont, Roundup, etc. I have been the voice calling out in the wilderness here…..Eden’s farmers are GMO all the way! So much so that when I’ve posted things on FB about GMOs there were veiled threats made against me to my husband….”You’d better shut her up!”

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I’m sure I know a fraction of what you do….it would have been great to listen to your opinions and just be in the presence of SANE people who understand that imbedding and spraying our food with deadly chemicals is sheer insanity.

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There’s a very high incidence of cancer around here. People don’t seem to draw the correlation between that and the chemicals in their foods. Some people even drink water out of cisterns filled with runoff! They’ve told me it tastes fine…… lololol ……. well, ok then!!! With that scientific data to back them up, go right ahead! Count our family OUT of that.

We will be praying for you. I think it’s wonderful the commitment and closeness you have as a family. I can imagine you and your son have AWESOME conversations while walking the highways and byways!

God bless and keep you,
Eve

Letter #2:
My husband and I aren’t from Eden, so will always be outsiders. It’s the way they are here.

You may or may not know that many farmers are also seed dealers, so their loyalties to these pesticide companies run deep. They also think Roundup is the safest thing out there. The irony is that it was a farmer’s wife who first alerted me to the dangers of GMOs. She private messaged me on FB and told me she couldn’t speak out, but that she doesn’t serve her family ANYTHING GMO!!! She said her husband makes his living off of GMOs, so she’s stuck. Another farmer friend told me their seed bill per year is $900,000.00….. I kid you not! The seed dealers are making quite a killing….oh….pun!

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When I was posting GMO stuff fast and furious I had many people tell me they’d never heard that term before. They started looking into it and found it alarming …. but not alarming enough to probably do anything about it! The bottom line is that in the U.S. the almighty dollar is king, and if you mess with anyone’s dollars, you’re their mortal enemy.

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I appreciate what you’re doing for all of us …. whether we all appreciate it or not. Information is crucial, and so many people have no idea what’s going on or what they’re eating! Hence the long line at McDonald’s!!!

God bless you,
Eve

Brett Wilcox is the author of We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie After Lie. Brett and his 15-year old son, David, are currently running from coast to America coast promoting a GMO-Free USA. Brett and David blog at RunningTheCountry.com. Support their run and mission at RunningTheCountry.com/donate.

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Thank Goodness for Detours

Yesterday we learned that Route 40 joins Interstate 70 in the town of Old Washington in Eastern Ohio. We ran the Interstate in New Mexico, but Ohio doesn’t take kindly to such shenanigans.

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So we took a detour on back roads until we could get back on 40. And, my oh my, that detour turned out to be one of the highlights of Ohio. The scenery was spectacular and the people in Salesville, Quaker City, and Barnesvilles were equally spectacular.

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Today might be the first day since we started back in January that we actually received enough donations from the people we met on the road to cover the day’s expenses!

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Our two-time transcon friend, B. J. Timoner, told Kris about a lovely woman named Jeanette in Salesville who treated him kindly. David and I met her in her store and she was just as kind to us.

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Fran and Cecil Hall of Quaker City asked if we had a baby in our stroller. Yes, I said. A baby puppy. We struck up a conversation. They were married 62 years ago yesterday.

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We told Bill Knox in Barnesville about GMOs. He agreed. Bill’s passion is the fracking waste that Ohio takes from West Virginia and Pennsylvania. He and many other folks are “Working against long odds against out of state waste and the huge resources of the oil and gas industry.”

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Andy, Susan, and Toby Weaver, an Amish family, knew even before talking to us that GMOs are a problem. Andy said, “I can’t believe GMOs are legal.” They now have a copy of my book, We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie After Lie.

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All of these good people donated to our run and cause.

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Towards the end of our run, we came upon a gate and stop sign which gave us one more detour on our detour and added a few more miles to the day, giving us about 26 miles. We’ve averaged a marathon a day everyday this week. Not bad, considering the sad state of my feet last week.

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Road kill? No, this is Jenna, our beloved rescue dog from Dalhart, Texas.

Thanks again to the good people who blessed our lives today!

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Brett Wilcox is the author of We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie After Lie. Brett and his 15-year old son, David, are currently running from coast to America coast promoting a GMO-Free USA. Brett and David blog at RunningTheCountry.com. Support their run and mission at RunningTheCountry.com/donate.

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Whiznews.com Interview in Zanesville, Ohio

As we ran into Zanesville, Ohio, today during a refreshing rainstorm, Courtney Wheaten, from Whiznews.com, called and said she’d like to interview David and me.

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A few minutes later, Brandon, the camera man, and Courtney, the reporter, pulled up in their snazzy whiznews.com car.

You can watch the interview and read more about it here.

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Although it didn’t survive the editing process, I also told Courtney that we dedicated today’s run to Dr. Eric Seralini, the French scientist who conducted the first long term animal feeding study involving Monsanto’s GMO corn and glyphosate.

“The study found severe liver and kidney damage and hormonal disturbances in rats fed the GM maize and low levels of Roundup that are below those permitted in drinking water in the EU. Toxic effects were found from the GM maize tested alone, as well as from Roundup tested alone and together with the maize. Additional unexpected findings were higher rates of large tumours and mortality in most treatment groups.” (http://www.gmoseralini.org/republication-seralini-study-science-speaks/)

Photos of the rats and their bulging tumors went viral on the Internet soon after the study was published.

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Some time later, Seralini’s study was retracted for ridiculous, non-scientific reasons. Before this morning’s run, we learned that Seralini’s study has been republished in another scientific journal.

THAT good news sustained me throughout today’s hot and muggy run.

Thank you, Courtney, Brandon, and Whiznews for airing our story!

Thank you, Dr. Seralini and team for standing up to Monsanto and gang! Thank you for fighting back! Thank you for demonstrating that there are still independent scientists in the world who—despite Monsanto’s bullying tactics—research and publish the truth about GMOs.

Learn more about Dr. Seralini’s work at GMOSeralini.org.

Brett Wilcox is the author of We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie After Lie. Brett and his 15-year old son, David, are currently running from coast to America coast promoting a GMO-Free USA. Brett and David blog at RunningTheCountry.com. Support their run and mission at RunningTheCountry.com/donate.

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Alaskan family on cross country trek, makes stop in Casey

Thanks to Kristi East with The Casey Reporter in Casey, Illinois for writing the following story.

By Kristi East
Staff Writer
The Casey Reporter
June 19, 2014

Sitka, Alaska residents, David Wilcox (15), and his father Brett, began a long journey together on January 18, 2014, in Huntington Beach, California, the starting point of their cross country trek. Until recently, they were running around 20 miles a day, but due to protesting muscles and joints, they are now walking.

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David was 12 years old when he learned that the youngest person to complete a cross-country trek was 17 years of age. He decided he could do that and talked about it relentlessly. His family decided to support him.

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David’s mother Kris, and sister Olivia (13), and one of their four legged friends, Angel are traveling with them in a truck, pulling a camper. The girls consult the map for their next stop, approximately 20 miles away, and go ahead to set up camp and wait for Brett and David. Also on the road with the boys is their dog Jenna, who walks until she gets tired, then jumps into the 3 wheeled running stroller they have with them that carries their supplies (water, light snacks, cell phone, etc.)

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The Wilcox family is trying to raise awareness for GMO’s, Genetically Modified Organisms, an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques, and to promote a GMO-free USA. The Wilcoxes are opposed to seed corn companies who inject seeds with chemicals designed to change the DNA of the seed.

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“Actually, there are GMOs in more things than you would think,” said Kris. “Almost all sugars are made with GMOs.”

Flagstaff, Arizona was the highest point of their trek at 7,800 feet above sea level.

They traveled through a Navajo reservation Star School and then headed to Route 40 on Route 66.

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The family spent Memorial Day weekend in St. Louis, Missouri, and walked into Casey on Thursday, June 5, having completed around 2,000 miles. They hope to finish their journey in New York, in mid-July.

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Brett is a mental health therapist and Kris has her own cleaning service, but both have taken the time off to help David realize his cross country dream. David and Olivia are homeschooled, and take online classes with their school.

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So far, they have been through two starters, two alternators, two flat tires, and a battery. The Wilcox’s are traveling on their own funds but welcome donations. Donations can be made online at RunningTheCountry.com, which has their complete story and blog, or mailed to Brett or Kris Wilcox, 2105 Sawmill Creek Road. Sitka, Alaska 99835.

Brett Wilcox is the author of We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie After Lie. Brett and his 15-year old son, David, are currently running from coast to America coast promoting a GMO-Free USA. Brett and David blog at RunningTheCountry.com. Support their run and mission at RunningTheCountry.com/donate.

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Hoosiers

David and I made a brief detour in Knightstown, Indiana, so we could see the gym where the movie, Hoosiers, was filmed. Made for a great stop in our busy schedule.

Now we’ve got to take the time to actually watch the movie together.

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Open For the Season

First day of street market draw wide range of vendors

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

Source: The Tribune Star

TERRE HAUTE — Saturday’s opening day of the Downtown Farmers Market was sort of a dream come true for young Madeleine Grace Manson.

The seven-year-old student from Sugar Grove Elementary told her mother last year that she wanted to be a vendor at the farmers market, and that prompted them to develop their Pure Grace Soap products.

Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterMaster: Majel Wells is the market master for the 2014 Farmers Market season.

Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterMaster: Majel Wells is the market master for the 2014 Farmers Market season.

As the morning sun shone brightly at the Clabber Girl Festival Marketplace at Ninth and Cherry streets, Madeleine and her mother Julie found themselves offering their handmade, all-natural soaps, scrubs and lotions at the Pure Grace Soap booth.

“We’re trying to bring a few items to market that haven’t been here before,” Julie said. She and Madeleine researched how to make the all-natural soaps, salves, lip balms, detergents and other items in small batches in their home. They package the products and include information for customers. Julie said that all the proceeds from the sales will go into a college fund savings account for her daughter.

Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterYummy: Jennifer Schwab and her daughters Lucy (4) and Emerson (2) enjoy some pecan rolls during their trip to the Farmers Market Saturday morning.

Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterYummy: Jennifer Schwab and her daughters Lucy (4) and Emerson (2) enjoy some pecan rolls during their trip to the Farmers Market Saturday morning.

Their booth is one of several new booths at this year’s downtown market, which includes vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods, handmade candy, gluten free food products and live music.

Market director Majel Wells said she expects the number of vendors to increase as the gardening season produces an abundance of produce to sell.

Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterFun: Seven-year-old Christian Fisher plays with a toy tractor during the season's first Farmers Market in downtown Terre Haute Saturday morning.

Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterFun: Seven-year-old Christian Fisher plays with a toy tractor during the season’s first Farmers Market in downtown Terre Haute Saturday morning.

Special Kids Days have also been scheduled for June 21, July 19 and Aug. 9, when a variety of kid-friendly booths and activities are planned. Four activity stations will include face painting, games, gardening, a photo booth and goodie bags provided by several sponsors.

Visiting guests at the market on Saturday were an Alaskan family making a cross-country journey to spread information about genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in food products.

Vendor: Farmers Market vendor Cathy Furr (R) makes change for Brazil resident Della Thacker and Shaye Elaman of Evansville during Saturday's kick off of the outdoor market season.

Vendor: Farmers Market vendor Cathy Furr (R) makes change for Brazil resident Della Thacker and Shaye Elaman of Evansville during Saturday’s kick off of the outdoor market season.

Brett Wilcox and his son 15-year-old son were in Terre Haute on their way from Huntington Beach, Calif., to New Jersey. Along with David’s mother Kris and sister Olivia, the family from Sitka, Alaska, are sharing information about GMOs and handing out seed packets from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company in Mansfield, Mo.

“We are just parents who want to feed our kids healthy food,” Brett said.

David said he came up with the idea of running across the United States after hearing about a 17-year-old girl who had done it to support her cause. Father and son have been running 20 miles six days per week since Jan. 18. They plan to arrive in New Jersey in mid-July.

The scenery in Arizona and New Mexico have been some of the most memorable sights of the journey so far, David said.

The red romaine lettuce packets included information about the organization GMO Free USA, which promotes heirloom seeds for sowing and harvesting plants as well as a family blog about the cross-country journey at www.runningthecountry.com.

The Downtown Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays from June through October.

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Hobbit Gardens

David and I ran close to 34 miles last Tuesday. While we were running, Kris was talking with Constance Campbell Ferry, the owner of Hobbit Gardens Erth Gatherings Center in Fillmore, Indiana. Constance told Kris we were welcome to park out trailer at her place and interview her regarding her organic farming/gardening experience surrounded on three sides by GMO farmers.

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What an enchanting place and what an enchanting experience we enjoyed with Constance.

As always, we are short on time, energy, and strong wifi, so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Thank you, Constance!

P.S. We made sure we didn’t run over your milkweed!

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Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

My dad dug 700 pounds of potatoes from his garden in the fall of 2012. He was 81 years old at the time. The following summer he suffered a major heart event and a few months later he passed on.

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One of my dad’s gifts to me was the gift of garden fresh fruits and vegetables. It was the type of gift I didn’t fully appreciate until I grew up, moved away, and realized that many people live their entire lives never tasting a tomato hot and fresh from the vine, never savoring a peach under the shade of the peach tree, never enjoying French prunes or Elephant Heart plums, or grapes from the vine.

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We enjoyed all of it fresh in season and bottled throughout the following winter.

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Not many people have that kind of connection with the land anymore. And THAT is a big problem. We’ve given up our farms and gardens, and by doing so, we’ve allowed Agribusiness, Big Food, and Junk Food to take over our food supply. Agribusiness and the monocultures they promote have virtually wiped out crop biodiversity and we now think it’s normal to eat poison saturated stuff that’s long on shelf life and short on human lives.

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I had the opportunity to help care for Dad in his final months. Part of caring for Dad included caring for his garden. When the plums on the Elephant Heart plum tree ripened, I picked and dried them. I knew that Dad’s time on Earth was coming to an end and the dried plums would remain after he was gone. Among all the other items we gathered for our run across the U.S.A., I made sure we had had Dad’s dried plums in the trailer freezer. David and I ate and enjoyed them for the first few states on our transcontinental run. As we ate the plums, I’d tell David stories about Dad and years gone by.

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Last year’s plums are gone now, but this year’s blossoms will soon yield another harvest. And from what Mom tells me, my sibs and their spouses have been busy planting and working Dad’s garden.

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Life goes on. Our oldest daughter and her hubby are expecting their first baby. I hope and pray that their child and their yet-to-be-born cousins will have the opportunity to grow up in a world rich and abundant in healthy foods, gardens, and family traditions.

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I look forward to walking our grandchildren through Dad’s garden. We’ll feast on the fruits and veggies as we feast on the family stories that have shaped our lives.

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Thanks for the garden, Dad, and thanks for enriching the lives of so many people.

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Happy Father’s Day.

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Brett Wilcox is the author of We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie After Lie. Brett and his 15-year old son, David, are currently running from coast to America coast promoting a GMO-Free USA. Brett and David blog at RunningTheCountry.com. Brett wrote this blog in Dunreith, Indiana. Support their run and mission at RunningTheCountry.com/donate.

Posted in Blog, GMOs, Running The Country | Tagged | 6 Comments