The California Biosafety Alliance is a cross sector, multilevel and inter-ethnic alliance of individuals and organizations working together to engage in broader outreach around genetically modified (GMO) food issues and to bring together strategic coalitions of diverse stakeholders to advocate for a GMO free food supply as a means of pushing for a shift from an industrial food model, to a model of local resilience. GMOs are a symbol that represent the industrial food system and a key point that needs to be addressed in order to address and shift the industrial food model.
Our vision is to get the multi-faceted number of issues with GMOs, from health, to social justice, to environmental issues, to corporate consolidation, to enter the framework of various groups who have not traditionally focused on the issue of GMOs as a central theme and point that needs to be addressed to push for a systemic shift in the current corporate food regime.
We focus on developing deeper collaborations with diverse stakeholders ranging from activists to farmers, health workers, religious leaders, policymakers and consumers who want a healthy, socially just and environmentally sustainable society. We bring people and organizations together to share their knowledge, experiences, and we work to facilitate dialogue between those who are less informed and involved with GMO issues with those who have worked extensively on these issues. Through fostering discussion, we work to organize cooperation amongst various groups and individuals to push for local, regional and statewide legal frameworks that label GMOs and create GMO free zones. We see the labeling of GMOs and creation of GMO free zones an incredibly important step to shift away from the corporate food regime. We encourage the mobilization of the grassroots level through linking organizations to the people. We work to consistently broaden networks, encourage dialogue through organized meetings and conferences and work to foster more cohesion in the GMO movement.
Build coalitions and cross sector collaboration amongst various groups and develop networks of members to devise and implement policies around GMOs from labeling to GE free zones.
Encourage local action around the issue through engagement with governments for legislation and policies on food that provide for the right to know and/or GMO free zones.
Create events for collaborative gathering and community building
Build knowledge and strategic resistance
The Biosafety Alliance is a cross-sector, multilevel and inter-ethnic alliance of individuals and organizations working together to conduct broader outreach around GMOs.
In 2011, the Biosafety Alliance organized the first conference:“Justice Begins with Seeds” (September 16th-17th), a conference and networking event that brought together a diverse group of 600 attendees and 60 panelists, all interested in advancing a sustainable food system free of GMOs. Featured speakers included Vandana Shiva, Andrew Kimbrell (Center for Food Safety), Jeffrey Smith (Institute of Responsible Technology), Albert Strauss (Strauss Family Creamery), Mark Squire (Non-GMO project), among many others.
In 2013, Food Justice and Non-GMO’s Advocates from Washington, Oregon, California and Vancouver Canada joined us and Dr. Vandana Shiva was a keynote speaker. Our steering committee was composed of dozens of organizations, well know researchers, farmers and sustainable businesses.