University of California

Environmental media association, Clover Sonoma take stand against GMOs

Imagine you’re at the dinner table, reunited with your family after a long semester of classes. It’s finally the summer vacation, and you’re ready to stuff your face with your mom’s homemade cooking. You start to talk about the typical topics you’d discuss around the dinner table: how school is going, what activities you’re involved with, and the dangers of genetically modified food into the food you consume every day.

Wait, what?

If the last item seemed a bit off to you, you’re not alone. Dissecting issues related to food justice can be intimidating conversations to have with your loved ones, given the amount of jargon and context that is required to explain these issues. It’s not the most glamorous conversation to have, and it is an issue that doesn’t always get the press it deserves.

In an effort to open the conversations within small-scale communities about food justice, specifically the dangers of GMOs in food production, the Environmental Media Association (EMA) partnered with Clover Sonoma, a Bay-area based dairy company dedicated to providing milk produced from cows that were not given artificial hormones. With their collaboration, a PSA titled “It’s Up To Us” was launched starring Jordana Brewster, Carter Oosterhouse, Amy Smart and Baron Davis.


The joint organizations celebrated the campaign’s official launch on June 13 at Au Fudge, in the heart of Melrose Avenue. During the evening, guests were given opportunities to network with Debbie Levin, the President/CEO of Environmental Media Association and Marcus Benedetti, the President/CEO of Clover Sonoma, taste scrumptious appetizers, and witness the premiere of the PSA airing for the first time.

“Well it’s kind of scary,” Benedetti responded when asked what it means to be a traiblazer in the dairy industry. “If it’s not scary, you’re probably not a trailblazer.”

From its very beginning, media and art have proven to be indicators of social progress, and utilized as a tool to bring awareness towards causes that matter. Although the mere mention of science can be off-putting to many, the Environmental Media Association exists to link the entertainment industry and environmental activism together, in hopes of making cooperative, collaborative change.

Interview with Debbie Levin, President of Environmental Media Association

Although it’s easy to feel pessimistic when looking at the national headlines regarding climate change and environmentalism, PSAs like “It’s Up To Us” remind us that we have the power and potential to use our skills to ignite conversations within our community and move forward together.

What do you think of the use of GMOs in food production? Let us know in the comments below!

1 Comment

  • Reply Paige Donnelly June 23, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Genetic modification of crops is perfectly fine. We’ve been eating them for decades, no problem. The worlds leading scientific bodies all agree they are safe–indeed safer than traditional plant cross-breeding methods which involve random mutagenesis and previously involved setting off a nuke in the fields to see how the plants mutated. Genetic engineering is precise alteration of 1-2 genes to improve the characteristics of a crop. Only selfish, rich, over fed westerners would rather go organic and see the rest of the world starve while they sit on their thrones looking down. You don’t realize that without this technology we’d need 17% more farmland just to grow the same crops in tHe US. Now how much carbon emissions would that save? None. It would create millions of tons more due to the extra land that would be put into agriculture. Do us all a favor and watch the ducumentary movie Food Evolution. You might learn something.


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