From teamwork, to setting up a campsite and making crafts, Anastasia Bodnar learned a lot during her years as a Girl Scout — and today, she is deeply proud of her experience. Last month, Bodnar, who is a PhD maize geneticist, became even more proud when the Girl Scouts of America stood up to a relentless campaign by anti-GMO activists. Instead of caving to the activists — who gathered 40,000 signatures for a petition asking Girl Scouts to make their popular cookies GMO-free — the Girl Scouts stood their ground, seizing the opportunity for a “teachable moment” about the scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs. To show her appreciation for the Scouts, Bodnar, a board member and editor at Biofortified, launched her own petition campaign on Change.org, titled “Celebrate Cookies and Science.”
Bodnar noted that demanding that the Girl Scouts remove GMO ingredients from their cookies would make the cookies even more expensive than they are now, and they wouldn’t be any healthier. “There is no difference in safety or healthiness between genetically engineered and non genetically engineered foods on the market.” wrote Bodnar, who knows something about selling cookies (she was one of the top 25 cookie sellers in the US as a scout). To learn more about the “Celebrate Cookies and Science” campaign, see Bodnar’s Biofortified post or visit the Change.org page.