Washington, D.C.—Activities for the second annual Non-GMO month, a multi-faceted advocacy campaign directed against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in food, went off without a hitch this October, and drew more attention to the growing movement. Highlights included the well-attended Right2Know March from New York City to here, and the nationwide participation of nearly 1000 natural products retailers. Non-GMO month began in 2010 as a creation of the non-profit Non-GMO Project.

The march took place from October 1–16 and spanned 313 miles, from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park to a concluding rally at Lafayette Park in front of the White House. About 1,000 people registered overall, and around 500 gathered at the final rally point, in an attempt to voice concerns over GMOs to the Obama administration, according to spokesperson Adam Eidinger. A large coalition consisting of natural products industry companies and related non-profit organizations were partners in the march.

Retailers in the United States as well as Canada were encouraged to participate all month, and those that registered displayed in-aisle signage and other materials promoting Non-GMO certified products, and some hosted events to educate their communities about the movement. A contest for the best endcap with a Non-GMO theme was held, and retailers who participated were given recognition on the Non-GMO Project’s Web site.

Other events held throughout the month included the Rally for Real Food in Austin, TX on October 2, and the Millions Against Monsanto events held here on World Food Day, October 16. Ongoing components of the Non-GMO movement saw increased promotion and attention throughout the month. There is a ballot initiative in California with the goal of passing legislation requiring the labeling of GMO-containing foods, and a national campaign launched in September called Just Label It! is petitioning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for GMO labeling regulations.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, December 2011 (online 10/26/11)