I’m one of those moms who loves all things Halloween. For years I served as the official class fortune teller, predicting great success to dozens of children who peered into my magic (bowling) ball. As for handing out “treats” to neighborhood children, I switched from common candy to mini-pumpkins and small toys, after learning that corn, soy and sugar ingredients most likely came from genetically engineered (GMO) crops. In other words, crops designed to withstand spraying with herbicides, namely glyphosate or Roundup.

When it comes to my precious goblins, I’m all for treats, not tricks. I like fun spooky, not scary spooky. And you know what? Research shows that kids like toys just as much as candy!  Plus, since October is non-GMO month, we can celebrate by rejecting GMO candy, and choosing organic treats — which are by law GMO-free.

Ghost stories and haunted houses may seem spooky, but the truly frightening events this fall took place in our nation’s capital, where both the USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency approved new GMO crops, engineered to resist spraying with both glyphosate, and 2,4-D. The latter is one of two active ingredients in Agent Orange, the powerful defoliant used in Vietnam which has been linked to an assortment of diseases in veterans.

Today, 2,4-D is used on lawns and farms, and is associated with negative health effects, including birth defects.

I don’t need a Halloween costume to predict a bright future for our children. As a dietitian I know they need clean, safe water and food free from pesticide residues.  But without easy access to organic food, and GMO labeling, it’s easy to be duped into buying foods we wouldn’t want to feed our families.

Don’t be tricked. The new 2,4-D resistant crops threaten our health and access to organic food, due to risk from herbicide drift. Take a minute to call your Congressmen, and voice your haunting concerns.

The author's daughter ready for a GMO-free Halloween.

The author’s daughter ready for a GMO-free Halloween.