News / Victoria

Girl Guide wants her cookies to be GMO-free

As far as Linda Cirella is concerned, her daughter Maya is doing exactly what she's been taught in Girl Guides.

"She's being true to herself and taking action for a better world," the Saanich mom said.

Nine-year-old Maya, who has been involved with Girl Guides since she was five, has started an online petition asking the group to stop using genetically modified ingredients in their famous cookies.

"I am a Girl Guide and I love eating GG cookies, but I don't want to eat them anymore if they have GMOs in them! And I don't feel good about selling them to people either because GMOs are bad for people's health," the petition reads.

After watching a documentary called Genetic Roulette, Cirella and her daughter were inspired to cut GMO foods from their diet. Although there's no requirement to label GMO foods in Canada, the family has stopped eating common GM crops like corn, and products like canola oil and processed sugar.

Maya got the idea to petition Girl Guides after seeing a similar campaign by Girl Scout Alicia Serratos in California.

"It just doesn't align with the values of the organization to sell something that could potentially make people sick," Cirella said.

Dave Pause is the business manager for Girl Guide cookies. Although he applauded Maya for her spirit, he said the organization has no plans to rid its recipe of GMOs.

"With the current world market for food products, it's not a financially viable option," he said. "It would triple the cost of our cookies."

Proceeds from the cookies are used to fund Girl Guide activities, and Pause worried that price increases could hurt sales.

Cirella disagreed.

"Sure the price might go up a bit, but if they had a non-GMO verified label on their cookies, tons of people would want to support them," she said.

For more information, or to sign the petition, click here.

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