Filmbutton Fridays Review – GMO OMG

by marion schreiber for FILMbutton

GMO OMG is a very realistic documentary by Jeremy Seifert about GMO. Now, are you going to rely to me to explain GMO? Really…! That was the first simple question that Jeremy Seifert asked people of different ages in the USA. The only answer that he had was “What’s GMO?” In the first minutes of this movie we realized that nobody knows what GMO is and what’s on our plates. And that is scary.

This movie is made by a filmmaker who loves his job, is the father of two little boys and one new born baby daughter who he loves and is very concerned about their health, welfare and the future on Earth. In the film he tries to show how everything on Earth is connected and that GMO’s changes this connection and we don’t know how dangerous this change is if at all.

GMO stands for genetically. modified. organisms. This means that our food is treated with chemical products to improve its productivity. In North America, GMO is used for almost 80% – 90% of the production of corn, soy and canola. With this process, seeds are more resistant to insects or temperature changes.

This documentary by Jeremy Seifert is made to make us aware of what’s happening with our food. For my part, I was a bit scared about seeing this movie ,beforehand, because I had already known a little about genetical modified food. Like a lot of people, I’d rather not know about it. After seeing it the opposite is true – everyone must see this film. Certain facts come to light that were very interesting. For example, it turns out that we have lost a fuller taste of our food as well as quality. People have told me that if they close their eyes and remember back to when they were young food, a tomato for instance, tasted better. For me I cannot say that because I was born in the age of genetically modified foods but can tell the different in taste in between some genetically modified and non-genetically modified foods. I believe that may be a point Seifert is trying to get across. Bit by bit we are losing our connection to nature, our ability to cook, our knowledge of different types of vegetables and it is expanding into different parts of our society.


This is not surprising since our society is governed by money of which we need to earn to live comfortably. Due to time constraints and our need to chase the “ol might buck” our time to cook can be limited as well as our time to “smell the flowers” and realize what’s important in our lives. For Seifert it’s obvious. It’s his children. He makes this very clear by including his sons in the film. We see them in front of a Subway, Mc Donald’s and other chain restaurants with GMO signs. We see him make step by step changes in his habits which requires his family to follow suit. But GMO foods are entrenched in our society and they are very hard to avoid. To show this difficulty, Seifert includes a scene in the film where his sons are crying because he forbids candy in the house as well as one of his sons watching an ice cream truck passing by knowing they cannot indulge in the GMO ice cream.

GMO modified products have been around for at least 30 years and now, in a lot of cases, nobody knows if they are genetically modified or not and that’s including some organic foods. The concern is many of the seeds used to grow food are genetically modified and then these foods (corn especially) are fed to livestock and therefore the meat from the animal (chicken, cow, pig etc) will, in essence, be genetically modified. It’s a vicious money circle that is probably going to kill us and/or the environment. There are organic & non-GMO farmers trying to make it work but find it very difficult. Like in all areas of business, the larger more powerful companies, Monsanto for instance, try to squeeze them out, buy them or bankrupt them.

Monsanto , a giant agricultural organization, provides most of the production of corn, soy and canola in USA. They also hold several pattens on seeds and will enforce, what they consider infringement, to the fullest extend of the law. Imagine you are a farmer who does not use GMO seeds and the farmer beside you does. A large wind blows some seeds from you neighbours farm to yours. They take root, Monsanto finds out and threatens you with theft…unless you buy their seeds! Sound familiar.

Seifert’s documentary is trying to show us that their is another way even through scientists and big businesss via the media and advertising say different. One of the reasons given by big business for the use of genetically modified foods is the so-called shortage of food if we do not use this process. Classic fear mongering. Food is unevenly distributed and they keep producing it to pretend that if we don’t treat vegetables or whatever food with chemical products we will be out of food. This is not true. In the film, Hans Herren, President of Millenium Institute, says there is enough food on Earth to feed 14 billion people and we are 7.2 billion on earth. So why do we need to create GMO foods again? Why are we keeping this agriculture process?


As a French person, I believe, in Europe anyway, that if we have the choice between GMO & non-GMO foods we would pick the latter. Hans Herren explains this in the film and that’s why companies are very careful and touchy about the subject. So why is the USA different? Because it’s less costly to use GMO agriculture than not. The USA government has tried get a bill passed in congress that GMO food needs to be labelled and Monsanto threaten to sue the government! How could the gov’t let them become so powerful? It seems every state in America failed to pass the bill. So now in North America there is no traceability of food so we could eat high level of genetically modified food. Don’t people have the right to know what they are eating? Isn’t it a violation of their Civil Rights? Ah yeah, this is the only first world country that until very recently (and many are still trying to overturn it) did not believe health was a right so I guess it does not seem that surprising after all.

This movie is a cry for life, a cry from a father who is concerned about his children and a hope that they will be proud of him one day because of his efforts of fighting to preserve our planet. As they say the children are the future and if we want a different future for our children we need to take a lesson from Seifert and this film. Now after watching this film, when I have children I hope not to shy away from difficult topics but to try and deal with them head on no matter the difficulty not only for mine, but everyone’s children.

Marion Schreiber has a Master Degree in Cultural Management from University Aix Marseille III & a Master Degree in Communication and Events from La Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris. Her passions include film, travel and anything to do with the Arts.

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