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GMO-Free Lunches Petition Response

***UPDATE: At the 10/8/13 meeting, the BOE gave its authorization to continue this project.*** Visual aid for the presentation of the plan to address the GMO-free lunch petition at the BOE meeting on October 8th.

Bacon Academy Student Council

on 9 October 2013

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Transcript of GMO-Free Lunches Petition Response

Why are we here?
Research “cookie-cutter” GMO-free programs (i.e. farms to schools) that are pre-planned and can easily be applied to our schools
Contact (and potentially visit) schools with GMO-Free/organic programs
GMO-Free Lunches Petition:
Plan of Response

3 Steps:
Investigate Current Cafeteria Operations
Investigate Successful GMO-Free Programs in Other Schools
Identify and Evaluate Options Available to Colchester Public Schools
End Result:
To develop a plan to offer students GMO-free alternatives in Colchester's school cafeterias
Step I: Investigate Current Cafeteria Operations in All School
~How do things work now, and what factors do we need to consider as we think about change?
Step 3: Identify Options Available to Colchester Public Schools In Conjunction with District Administrators
Our Goal:
To develop a plan to offer students GMO-free alternatives in Colchester's school cafeterias
Narrowing the scope of investigation
Presentation at January BOE meeting
[January 14, 2014]

Interview Cafeteria Managers
Do any cafeterias offer GMO-free options (complete meals or single items) already?
Who is/are the current supplier(s)?
What are the current costs (for comparison purposes)?
Are there contracts in place that would prevent a change of suppliers?
What regulations do we have to follow?
Interview School Cafeteria Workers
How will changes affect day-to-day operations?
Interview Administration
Ken Jackson (facilities) & Sharon Floyd (cafeteria supervisor) as well as school principals
How do you anticipate a GMO-free program would work?
What are their potential concerns?
Do they support the program?
Where would their support end? (uncompromisable issues)
Petition created by Ana Burr during spring 2013 asking Colchester Schools to offer "GMO-free or Organic alternatives"
~300 students, parents, faculty, and administrators signed the petition
Mission Statement: "Colchester Public Schools are committed to establishing and maintaining... a
safe, engaging, and effective learning environment to meet the unique needs of individual students
Strategic Plan Goal #3: "Students, staff, parents and community members will promote a positive school environment that fosters respect,
and a sense of belonging."
Providing students with safe food choices is an important part of establishing a
safe, effective learning environment
meeting the needs of students
What are GMO's?
“Genetically Modified Organisms"
Plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals
Experimental combinations of genes from different species
Cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding
Virtually all commercial GMO's are engineered to increase productivity by withstanding direct application of herbicide and/or by producing an insecticide
In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMO's
Our research will focus only on how to implement a GMO-free program in Colchester
We will not consider whether or not GMO's are safe
The fact that such a large portion of the Colchester community is concerned requires that we take action regardless
For BOE presentation 10/8/13
Step 2: Identify & Investigate GMO-Free Programs in Other Schools
~There's no need to re-invent the wheel.
What schools have this program in place?
What is the cost associated with implementation?
What are the requirements?
What was the process for implementing this program in your school?
What was the cost of and time frame for implementing the program?
How did the students/public react?
Note town demographics for context and comparison
Get students' and parents' opinions
Is the current lunch a good value?
Would you prefer lunch be GMO-free?
How much would you pay for a GMO-free lunch?
Develop possible plans to be presented to BOE
Completely GMO - Free
Would affect ALL food served
We will develop a plan that leads Colchester Public Schools to this point
Obviously requires extreme change
It may not be immediately feasible
Partially GMO - Free
No Change
Not a desirable option, considering the number of signatures on the petition
Still needs to be factored in to any decision
How important is this to our students, staff, and parents?
Variety of different degrees
A meal option (similar to current “deli” option)
Particular ingredients in meal (breads, meats, sauces)
Sides (milk, fruits, ice creams, cookies)
Assess viability of plans
How does the plan comply with the contracts and regulations by which we are bound?
Is it possible to prepare the food?
May involve more cooking from scratch
May involve cooking a greater variety of dishes
How long will it take to implement the plan?
How will the public react? Will there be enough participation?
Factors to consider:
Meal pricing
Cafeteria budget
Effect on sales
Will more people buy because people feel the food is safer?
Could a higher price turn people away?
3 Step Plan:
Community Involvement
Bacon Academy Student Council
This presentation made with assistance from
Meaghan Hickey, President
Erica Boucher, Vice President
Kevin Hackbarth, Treasurer
Thomas Frickman, Faculty Adviser
Get other members involved
Bacon Academy's community activism class
Christopher Juhl & Karen Christianson
Anyone else???
All info. above was copied directly from the Non-GMO Project's Website
Full transcript