Thursday, 27 June 2013

Why My Daugher Won't Be Selling Girl Guide Cookies and How You Can Help to Change Things.



Last year my daughter joined the Girl Guides of Canada.  She loves going to Brownies and I love the experiences that she has there.  She learns about safety, giving to her community, and respect for herself, her friends and their environment. She has great role-models and loads of fun.  Many of the camps and other activities that they do are paid for by weekly dues, by parents, and significantly by the sale of cookies.  Cookie sales are a vital part of the Girl Guides.  Without the sale of cookies many things the Girl Guides do would not exist.
So why did I tell my daughter that she can't sell cookies next year?  Simple: they are full of GMOs.  I spend much of my day avoiding GMOs, helping my daughter avoid GMOs, and explaining to others why they should avoid GMOS.  I simply cannot then turn around and ask my daughter to sell them to her friends and family.

So what to do?  Girl Guides needs the money they make from cookie sales to keep the organization going, but selling GMOs is not an option for our family and I imagine for many others as well. 

Enter Linda Cirella, a mom and Guide Leader from Victoria BC.  Linda wants to support Girl Guides but doesn't want to sell cookies full of GMOs.  Her solution?  Change the cookies. And to that end she has started a petition to the Girl Guides of Canada to remove the GMOs.
I have signed the petition and I encourage you to do the same. 
Just follow this link and help the Girl Guides of Canada to see that GMOs are an important issue and that selling unhealthy food is no way for this esteemed organization to make money. 
Thank you for your support and be sure to share this with your friends and ask them to sign too!

* UPDATE*

It has come to my attention, through the comments below, that I have neglected to make clear that we are financially compensating our Brownie Unit in lieu of selling cookies. We consider it our responsibility to pay for our daughters activities and would not expect the other parents/girls to have to pick up our financial slack, so to speak.  We adore the Brownies and The Girl Guides of Canada.  It's the GMOs that we abhor.

I have also attached a photo of the ingredient list from the back of the GG Cookie box.  My grandma would not recognize most of those ingredients.






23 comments:

  1. I just signed your petition tonight because I recently signed up for change.org. I listened to the CBC radio interview with someone from GGC who said it was just too cost prohibitive to change the cookies. I disagree with this stand, because I don't think GOM are good for us at all and to ask girls to say their promise and then turn around and sell cookies that contain ingredients that are bad for us all is hypocritical really. I used to be a Brownie leader for 10 years, and still believe it is a good place for girls to be and a good place to learn leadership and all kinds of things that they will remember for the rest of their lives, so I think this is definitely a fight worth fighting. I hope it does not come to that though. It would be nice if Girl Guides of Canada looked into this a little further instead of just saying no it can't be done. I'm sure the same can be said of all the girls all over the world who belong to this organization. If we teach them to take a stand and have a voice then the first place that needs to listen is GGC. Good Luck with this, I really hope they change their minds and make a better cookie. I would pay more for an organic GG cookie.

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    1. Thank you L. Campbell. It is nice to hear support from those within the Guiding Community. You are quite right; the girls do make a promise to be true to themselves and to take action for a better world. And even if GMOs were not the issue, the other ingredients in the cookies are dismal. I’m all for selling cookies and for eating treats. I think the Girl Guides could be leaders in making a change. By selling organic or even just better quality treats they could make a statement as well as money for their programs. Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your support.

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  2. When parents register their girls for GGC (Girl Guides of Canada), under the terms of 'Membership Agreement' that they sign, it states "I agree to support the sale of Girl Guide Cookies, the main fundraiser for GGC." So if you are against that, you are voiding the membership contract.

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    1. Dear Anonymous, yes I was aware of this part of the agreement and I was very concerned that this would mean that my daughter would no longer be able to be a Brownie. I have been in discussions with the leader of her unit about this since the end of last year and was prepared for any decision that the unit might make. The consensus was, that given the circumstances, this is not enough of a reason to keep a girl from being a Brownie. I was thankful for their understanding and my daughter is thrilled and proud to be a Brownie again this year!

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  3. I hope that if you refuse to sell the cookies that you are doing something else to support the unit - ie. collecting donations or making a donation in lieu of the cookie money that you are denying your daughters unit. Cookie selling is THE main fundraising that Girl Guides does. By not selling the cookies for whatever personal and moral reasons you have, you are not fulfilling your membership duties and keeping money from the unit, money that supports the wonderful experiences that you daughter has at Brownies.

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    1. Hi Suzanne, thank you for giving me the opportunity to clear that up. We are financially supporting the unit to compensate for the loss of income from the cookies my daughter will not be selling. We would never expect the rest of the girls to cover this. It is our responsibility and we are happy to fulfill it.

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  4. Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (FUD). I have yet to see a single peer-reviewed (as opposed to quackery) scientific study identifying any unusual dangers (other than the economic power of giant agro-businesses) from genetically modified foods. Please educate yourself a bit further rather than starting a petition - you'll have a much better idea on what issues you should be concerned about, such as overpopulation, global warming and pollution!

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    1. Dear Anonymous,

      Thank you for your comment. I have several comments to make in response.

      1.I have yet to see a peer reviewed scientific study showing that GMOs are safe. If you know of some that have not been funded by the companies that produce and sell GMOs I would be more than happy to read them. I’m sure we all remember what happened when the tobacco companies produced study after study showing tobacco to be safe for human consumption. I agree quackery is not helpful to any of us and just clouds the issues.
      2. I did not start this petition, the credit goes to Linda Cirella, as I mentioned in my post.
      3.I have educated myself (I hold an MSc). Just like the hundreds of scientist that have signed an open letter to the world’s government warning of the hazards of GMOS and calling for a moratorium. These highly educated people include professors of biology from Harvard University and MIT as well as the director of the Woods Hole Research Center. Here is the link http://www.i-sis.org.uk/list.php

      I hope this alleviates your Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

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  5. Not a single mention of WHAT these ingredients are.

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    1. Dear Anonymous, that is an excellent point. Please see the update above.

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  6. I say way to go Grandma for standing up for what you believe and not joining the mass on the cookie sales! I think for sure the Brownies could be selling something else. Such as local apples for instance that are in season right now. We consume too much that is artificial in our diets.

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    1. Thank you Caroline L! The moral support is much appreciated
      !

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  7. I too love what the Girl Guides teach our children as well, but I wish they would find another means of making money. I agree with this - there has to be a healthier option. Sorry to my friends that are selling the cookies - I know you are just trying to do your part to help your kids. But....I recently went through something similar recently, when my son's school was selling chocolate. Now don't get me wrong - I think chocolate is great - and I eat it. The problem for me was - it wasn't really chocolate. It was chocolate flavored-poor quality chemical laden crap that my son was supposed to sell for the school's pac. Well, I can't in good conscience support selling for $3 per bar this poor quality crap - even if it is for a fundraiser. I was definitely considered a jerk, because I wasn't willing to sell this for my son's school.I didn't create a stink, I just quietly returned the $60 box of chocolates, and said we weren't able to sell it. So be it. If I can't walk the walk, then I shouldn't talk the talk...Right? Why couldn't they team up with local organic growers, and sell crates of apples, or pears, or squash or a mixed box of stuff. (Or even find an organic chocolate company)This would be my idea for our school. I have tried to be outspoken about these things at my son's school in the past, and it has been met with disapproval, so I now have the belief that you can't control what the rest of the world does, but you can make a difference by making better choices for yourself and your own family. So I don't make harsh judgements or comments when my friends do things differently than I do - I just try to make a difference in my own way by sharing my own positive discoveries about REAL FOOD, AND healthy alternatives to the unhealthy stuff in our grocery stores. Oh well - it's never easy trying to do something different from what everyone else is doing. That is the plight of being an individual friends - and it is people like us who will change the world - Or eventually save it...
    Rachel Diesing - Surrey, BC

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    1. If the Girl Guides could make their cookies GMO free - I would do a happy dance - let's make it happen!!! Sign the petition - I did!!!

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    2. Rachel, Zachary and Norbert, Wow. Thank you for that well-articulated and thoughtful comment. You are so right that we can't control others and we have to stick to our beliefs. That is why I started his blog. To help me navigate my way and hopefully to let others know they are not the only ones who don't want to sell the "crappy chocolate" or send their kids to school with processed junk. There are a lot of us out here we just need to keep ‘walking the walk’. Thank you so much and keep up the good work!

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  8. Congratulation for your initiative !!! But I would like to suggest going one step further and not selling any mass produced manufactured "foods" no matter what is in them. In Scouting for Boys,Baden-Powell wrote: "Funds must be earned by the Scouts themselves, by their work, not by begging. Various ways of making money are given in this book." In his time, Scouts and Guides did actual work in the community, such as clearing yards for old folks, etc. not for a price, but in an unspoken expectation of a donation. It was called Bob-a-Job week.

    I am sure that people would gladly pay premium for cookies that the Guide actually baked themselves. What makes a Guide Cookie? Other than the wrapper? How is it different from any other crap churned out by a Dare Foods Ltd. production line?

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    1. While Scouts and Guides are under the same umbrella they are not the same and Girl Guides of Canada are unable to use any other fundraising method to raise money for their units (except for international travel by the older girls). A more advantageous petition would be for Girl Guides to change their policy on fund raising.

      as I stated below, by boycotting their one and only fundraising campaign you are hurting only the girls themselves. Each Unit receives 11 per case of funds. so each girl raises only 22 per girl for all unit needs, this covers sleepovers, supplies, etc.

      Our girls do work in the community not for money, but for the act of doing for other people. A selfless act of community to remind them we are all part of a bigger whole.

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  9. As a long time Girl Guide Member I wanted to put in my two cents on this story, When we sell girl guide cookies, we are in fact selling cookies not dinner, not health food but cookies.

    While I whole heartedly agree that eating ALL NON GMO would be amazing we have to be realistic, that is not the state of the world today. We can petition Dare to change their cookies just like Christie should change oreos and Dads should change their goodie rings. At this point in time it is difficult to throw a rock a not hit a food that has a GMO product in it...in fact not just foods but also products such as body lotion, shampoo and even soaps.

    By boycotting Girl Guide Cookies instead of petitioning Dare to change all their products you are doing nothing but hurting the Girls involved in Girl Guides. To insinuate that by selling these cookies girls are not living up to the Guiding promise and law is ridiculous. We do teach the girls about healthy living and healthy choices and we have pushed against the wheels of the machine to have the cookies made more healthy, but in the end the reality is if we go strictly organic, with a smaller producer those boxes of cookies will go from $5.00 a box to $16.00 a box if we hope to gain any profit for the girls to actually have program and go to camp.

    When you buy a box of cookies from girl guides you are not really buying cookies, you are supporting young girls as they go away to camp and learned to become empowered members of society, just like this young girl who has taken an interested in non GMO foods.

    At this time, this is our only source of fundraising and we appreciate the people who will continue to help support the girls through the sale of girl guide cookies.

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    1. Tara, thank you for your thoughtful response. I appreciate your position and many of your points highlight the difficulty that we had in making this decision. We love the Brownies/GG, what they stand for and all of the work that they do.
      I have to disagree with you when you say, “While I whole heartedly agree that eating ALL NON GMO would be amazing we have to be realistic, that is not the state of the world today.” Yes, it would be amazing. And that is why we are trying to make a change. If we choose to accept what is, instead of striving for what we know to be better, then we never move forward. This is something that I want my daughter to believe and to embrace.
      I agree that cookies are treats, not health food. However I don’t think that treats should include chemical ingredients and GMOs. And now when my daughter takes her Brownie pledge to be true to herself, she can do so with a full heart.

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  10. You are just a fad, and you just like all of the other fads, will disappear. Thanks for being part of something that has no sense in existing at all, if you want to change the world, perhaps you could go bother someone who can actually do something about this issue, not the end user. Find the farmers, manufacturers and production plants and get under their nose, NOT the GGC. They have better things to do than deal with you tin foil hat wearing, tree hugging 'organic' eaters. Things like creating programs that give girls the experiences and opportunities that they other wise may never have been able to have. Maybe when your daughter reaches the age that she can finally take advantage of these opportunities, she will realize that the cookies are her way there, and I hope they don't help you at all. I also hope you get severely disciplined by the organization and that you keep your mouth shut on it afterwords.

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  11. Ok, let me say start off by saying that I find it completely ridiculous that anyone who feels the need to be rude, is hiding behind "Anonymous". If you seriously feel that this "has no sense in existing at all" then why are you waisting your time commenting on it?! Honestly, grow a pair and attach a name to your comment! Now, on to the matter at hand. My daughter is also a Brownie and while she is selling the cookies, the only reason she is doing so is because currently there is no other option. I will definitely be exploring my options because, on top of the GMO's, I'm sick of being potentially stuck with a few cases full of cookies that our family can't eat because the majority of my family is either celiac &/or vegan. Further more, it is not the " tin foil hat wearing, tree hugging 'organic' eaters" as you "Anonymous" so eloquently put it, who discovered that GMO's are in fact detrimental to the health of human beings. It is doctors & scientists alike (... you can find a link from the blogger, if you would bother to scroll up through & actually read the comments). In conclusion, people seem to be missing the point here, no one is "dissing" the GGC or what they stand for. The only thing people are saying is that maybe, just maybe people should take the time to educate themselves about the things that are being grown in and thus changing our planet. At the end of the day the growth and production of GMO's affects us all, and if we want change, we must create that change. I for one think the idea of a petition to "Dare" is wonderful! Where do I sign that petition?

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  12. Good for you, standing up for what you believe in! I am with you on this 100%. It's time to speak up against this garbage that is being labeled as 'food" these days. We are guinea pigs, thickly padding the pockets of these companies who could not care any less about our health! The saddest thing is that so many people now have blinders on, and don't even realize that these lab-made chemicals are not even food! Some figure that if it's available for sale, it's edible and could not possibly be harmful. Sad.

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  13. It would probably be better to teach your daughter some REAL science, or better yet, how to discern between real scientific facts vs pseudoscience. Looks like your just in it for attention, to be honest. Its one thing to be 'against' chemicals, but there are nothing wrong with gmos.

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