Diana Reeves is a Mom on a Mission
July 23, 2013
October 2013 UPDATE: Congratulations Diana! Diana Reeves was voted Healthy Child Healthy World’s 2013 Mom on a Mission Award® Winner!
Diana was chosen as Healthy Child Healthy World’s July 2013 finalist for our Mom on a Mission® award. Read her first-person story below on how she became an advocate for children’s health.
By Diana Reeves, Founder of GMO Free USA, July 2013 Mom on a Mission® finalist
Losing a child changes everything. When we lost our son to a rare form of brain cancer many years ago, I began my quest to bring meaning to his short life.
I first read about genetically engineered foods (GMOs) and their potential health risks in the mid-1990’s. I’ve become deeply concerned about the impact of GMOs on children’s health and on their environment. During the last decade we’ve seen skyrocketing rates of food allergies and sensitivities; a significant increase in hospitalizations of children with inflammatory bowel disease; rising autism and infertility. Four members of my family have autoimmune disease so I started to take notice of research linking these problems to GMOs and the chemicals used in conjunction with them. Almost every child in this country is eating GMOs all day long, most without their parents’ knowledge or consent. Having lost my son, I cannot stand for anything that puts children at risk.
Leading up to May 2012, I fought alongside many other concerned citizens in favor of a bill to label GMO foods in Connecticut. The bill was shut down. Corporate bullying, from agrichemical companies like Monsanto, made change through legislative channels impossible. Angry, but not discouraged, I decided to pursue a different path to begin to change the food system. I founded GMO Free USA. Through GMO Free USA, it’s my goal to create a national community to raise awareness about the possible risks of GMO foods, pressure major food manufacturers to stop sourcing GMOs, and continue to fight for the labeling of GMOs.
Last July, I began our first nationwide boycott. Kellogg’s, an iconic brand, was chosen because the company heavily markets its GMOs to children. During our first year, we grew rapidly as a Facebook group and page, with a consistent reach of over one million people a week. Our online campaigns have been successful at raising awareness and educating about GMOs. We took it offline in April with “Boycott Kellogg’s GMOs” protests in over seventy cities across America. Recently, Gerber was added to our boycott, also because their products are targeted at infants. We’ll be expanding our actions as we move forward. We have and will continue to support the many state GMO labeling initiatives, and will pursue the reform of the GMO approval and regulatory process.
Bringing about changes of this magnitude to our food system will surely put us on a very long road. But it’s one I’m willing to travel with my angel on my shoulder. I’m hoping to make him proud.
Know an amazing mom who is making a difference? Nominate her to be one of our Mom on a Mission® finalists! Learn more about Healthy Child Healthy World’s 2013 Mom on a Mission campaign by visiting Healthychild.org/mission. A special thank you to our sponsors Ology and Unreal.