Jeffrey M. Smith

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Jeffrey M. Smith
Jeffrey Smith 2013.jpg
Jeffrey M. Smith in 2009
Born 1956
New York, United States[1]
Residence Fairfield, IA
Nationality American
Education Maharishi University of Management (formerly Maharishi International University)
Occupation Consumer advocate, Author, Filmmaker, Activist,
Website
www.responsibletechnology.org

Jeffrey M. Smith (born 1956) is an American consumer activist,[2] self-published author and politician. He is the author of two books on genetically engineered foods, one of which, Genetic Roulette - The Gamble of Our Lives, he produced as a film in 2012. He has appeared twice on The Dr. Oz Show.[3] Smith has worked with organic food marketers and alternative health product promoters[4] to advocate against genetically modified food. Supporters identify Smith as an influential educator on the alleged risks associated with genetically modified foods, while others point out Smith's lack of scientific background or expertise in the field.[3] In 1998, Smith ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a candidate for the Natural Law Party.[5] Smith is currently the executive director and sole employee of the Institute for Responsible Technology.[6]

Early life[edit]

Jeffrey Smith grew up in New York City[1] and attended Maharishi University of Management in the 1980s.[7]

Career[edit]

Smith was a Natural Law Party member in 1996 and participated in a TM-Sidhi program yogic flying demonstration in Des Moines, Iowa.[8] In 1998 he became the party's candidate for U.S. Congress in Iowa’s First District to raise awareness about GMOs.[5] Smith received less than 1% of the vote, losing to Republican Jim Leach.[9] Smith worked for several years as a marketing consultant and nonprofit marketing advisor.[1]

Consumer activist[edit]

Smith has opposed the use of genetically modified foods since they were introduced in the 1990s.[1][10][11] As of 2000, Smith was the spokesperson and vice president for the accredited genetically modified organism (GMO) testing company, Genetic ID.[12][13] Smith authored the books Seeds of Deception in 2003[14] and Genetic Roulette in 2007.[15] In 2012 Smith directed and produced Genetic Roulette, a documentary film narrated by Lisa Oz [16] and critical of genetically modified food.[17] Smith is the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology and the director of the Campaign for Healthier Eating in America."[18][19][20]

A variety of American organic food companies see Smith "as a champion for their interests",[1] and Smith's supporters describe him as "arguably the world's foremost expert on the topic of genetically modified foods".[21] In contrast, Michael Specter, writing in The New Yorker, reported that Smith was presented as a "scientist" on The Dr. Oz Show despite his lack of any scientific experience or relevant qualifications.[3] Bruce Chassy, a molecular biologist and food scientist, wrote to the show arguing that Smith's "only professional experience prior to taking up his crusade against biotechnology is as a ballroom-dance teacher, yogic flying instructor, and political candidate for the Maharishi cult’s natural-law party."[3]

The director of the Organic Consumers Association says Smith is "respected as a public educator on GMOs", while "supporters of biotechnology" have described him as "misinformed and misleading".[1] Jon Entine, a writer and public relations professional accused Smith of being "an activist with no scientific or medical background" and claimed that Smith's views amount to "near-hysterical criticism".[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Gillam, Carey (March 7, 2008). "U.S. activist circles globe to fight biotech crops". Reuters UK. 
  2. ^ (April 27, 2012) New GMO crops proposed, consumers want labeling, CBS News, accessed Dec 16, 2012
  3. ^ a b c d Specter, Michael (February 4, 2013). "The Operator". New Yorker. 
  4. ^ Health Freedom Expo - See GMO expert Jeffrey Smith, Health Freedom Expo, Chicago, June 7–9, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Slockett, Tom (November 3, 1998). "November 3, 1998 General Election". Johnson County Auditor Commissioner of Elections and Voter Registration. Retrieved Dec 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ http://academicsreview.org/reviewed-organizations/institute-for-responsible-technology-ifrt/ Academics Review
  7. ^ Maharish University Purusha students, MUM 1985-1986 Yearbook, pg. 40.
  8. ^ 'Yogic flying,' third-party candidates promoted, Bush, Bill, The Illinois State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL), October 23, 1996.
  9. ^ Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998, House of Representatives, January 3, 1999, page 16
  10. ^ Unknown Author (Feb 25, 2011) Shoppers wary of GM foods find they're everywhere, USA Today, "Smith, an activist who has fought the expansion of genetically engineered foods since they were first introduced 15 years ago"
  11. ^ Jolnick, Mary Clare (Feb 11, 2005). "Genetically altered foods a major part of our diets". NBC News. Retrieved Feb 15, 2013. 
  12. ^ Gersema, Emily (May 20, 2001). "Farming industry, consumers leery of another biotech scare; 'Big motivator': USDAchanges how corn supplies are sampled". Telegraph-Herald (Dubuque). 
  13. ^ Brasher, Phillip (Sep 19, 2000). "U.S. Investigates Use of Unauthorized Biotech Corn in Taco Bell Taco Shells.(Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News)". Tribune Business News. 
  14. ^ Pierce, Victoria (January 3, 2004). "Author disputes safety of nonorganic food Activist says genetic modification is dangerous to health.". Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL). 
  15. ^ Smith , Mike (August 1, 2009). "Modified, Misled and Misguided". Alternatives Journal. 
  16. ^ Unknown author. "Genetic Roulette". The Institute for Responsible Technology. Retrieved Feb 13, 2013. 
  17. ^ Rosenhall, Laura (Oct 31, 2012). "Safety of genetically modified foods is debated in California Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/10/31/173151/safety-of-genetically-modified.html#storylink=cpy". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved Feb 13, 2013. 
  18. ^ Staff (Feb 4, 2008). "Candidate Support Expected to Boost Non-GMO Brands.". Health & Medicine Week. 
  19. ^ Unknown author (July 3, 2004). "The Future of Food". The Irish Times. 
  20. ^ (April 27, 2012) Genetically modified crops resistant to 2,4-D spur debate, calls for labeling CBS News, accessed Dec 19, 2012
  21. ^ "An interview with GMO expert Jeffrey M. Smith". Chico (CA) News Enterprise. September 15, 2011. 
  22. ^ Entine, John (October 19, 2012). "Malpractice on Dr. Oz: Pop Health Expert Hosts Anti-GM Food Rant; Scientists Push Back". Forbes. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 

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