Are Girl Scouts Teaching Young Girls to Promote Business Practices That May Harm the Environment; GMOs; Palm Oil; and Now 5G?
By Sarah Aminoff and Patricia Burke of Safe Tech International
For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts and supporters worldwide have had their annual cookie sale from thin mints to peanut butter tagalongs, helping scouts to learn valuable life skills and make their communities a better place.
But what happens when Girl Scout cookies use controversial ingredients such as GMOs and, Palm Oil; or when Girl Scouts sponsor 5G badges?
Girl Scouts of America has not been immune to cookie controversies. According to CafeMom blog, “Many of their own young members are fighting to change these cookies. Back in 2008 two middle schoolers protested the use of palm oil in the fundraising treat,” In 2013, a young girl scout spearheaded a petition to remove GMOs from Girl Scout cookies.
You can see the petition here that supported the removal of GMOs from Girl Scout cookies
This year, in 2022, the Girl Scouts of America’s latest business practice is promoting 5G, which has not been safety tested on children.
Propublica reporter Peter Elkind shared, ‘The Girl Scout’s 5G Patch Was Created By A Wireless Company, The corporate created information teaches girls that 5G and millimeter waves “are safe.” “Beyond developing their camping skills, participating in a food drive to aid the hungry and donating pajamas for seniors, Girl Scouts across America this year were offered a new way to earn a special uniform patch: learning about the wonders of 5G cellphone technology and, in some cases, promoting it.”
According to Elkind, “The program, still available on at least one Girl Scout website, targets all age levels, from Daisies (kindergarten-age Scouts) to Ambassadors (those in high school), with an array of activities intended to “introduce Girl Scouts to 5G and the Internet of Things.”And Scouts of all ages are invited to “discuss with your troop or an adult how mmWave spectrum is safe and does not cause harm.”
Girl Scouts of America: Encouraging School Age Members to Find a Cell Tower and Make a Video and Promote 5G, and Share the Video with a Friend
“[ ] High school-age members on one Girl Scout site are encouraged to “Find a cell tower and make a video explaining how 5G would change the world for you. Share the video you made with a friend or fellow Girl Scout.”
Natural Blaze is Google Free!
Support Independent Media for as Little as $5 Per Month
The Propublica report noted that “The Ericsson 5G patch was first made available in March 2021 through the website of the Northeast Texas council of the Girl Scouts. Ericsson’s U.S. headquarters is in Plano, Texas, and the company, which boasts of being “the leading provider of 5G network equipment in the U.S.,” has been involved with the area’s Girl Scouts program for several years. Ericsson has focused on promoting interest in science, technology, engineering and math careers, known as STEM, where girls are historically underrepresented.
Health Experts are Concerned That Wireless Radiation Poses a Health Risk to Children and Feel the Ericsson Girl Scout Program is Inappropriate
“Anytime corporations advertise directly to children, I’m very suspicious,” Dr. Jerome Paulson, a pediatrician and emeritus professor in George Washington University’s department of environmental and occupational health, told ProPublica. “It would be like Exxon Mobil sponsoring a patch on climate change.”
(Here is a link to girl scout corporate and foundation champions.” “Supporting Girl Scouts of the USA is a terrific way for corporations and foundations to support girls as they strive to reach their full potential. Our partners make it possible to help girls thrive today—and set the stage for their future success. Opportunities to partner with Girl Scouts of the USA vary and can be customized to meet your organization’s impact, engagement, and marketing objectives. Join the distinguished community of those who are committed to supporting girls, or learn more about institutional giving opportunities by reaching out to us today.”
Girl Scouts actively participates in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, programs, yet is promoting business ventures such as 5G, which is not safety tested.
Environmental Health Trust Response to Corporate Use of Girls Scouts for Marketing 5G:
Drop the Patch, Teach Safer Tech
Share Environment Health Trust’s letter to the CEO of Girl Scouts USA, requesting the Girl Scouts to immediately stop the Girl Scouts of America’s 5G and IOT patch as it is a “dangerous message” to girls because of inaccurate safety claims regarding 5G technology. Download the letter here written by prominent medical doctors and scientists.
“We applaud and support the Girl Scouts in their efforts to support STEM education for girls. However, it is also critically important that Scouts are educated about how to minimize health risks of technology and are provided with science-based information. Please immediately suspend Girl Scouts of America’s5G and IOT Ericsson patch because it disseminates scientifically inaccurate information and promotes a false and dangerous message. The activities for this badge are based entirely on materials developed by Ericsson (the Swedish multinational telecommunications firm), and they misleadingly state that 5Gnetworks and phones are safe.”
In fact, scientific evidence clearly indicates that 5G and wireless networks are not safe.
5G will include low and mid band wireless frequencies that research links to memory damage, headaches, oxidative stress and impacts to the brain, endocrine system and reproduction, as well as brain, thyroid and breast cancer.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that children are “uniquely vulnerable” to RF radiation and has repeatedly called for an update to U.S. regulations because research finds children absorb up to 10 times more RF radiation into their brain, eyes and bone marrow. Most importantly, as the brains of children and teens are still developing, therefore they remain far more sensitive to harmful effects.
One activity for the 5G Badge has the Scout explaining to an adult “how millimeter wave spectrum is safe and does not cause harm to our health.” This is simply not factual. No U.S. health agency has ever made such a safety determination for these frequencies, nor has any agency reviewed the totality of the science to develop health-based safety standards for millimeter waves or wireless radiation. Most of the5G patch activities link to Ericsson content and Facebook and Youtube videos and other advertisements.” -EHT
Promoting Girls Use of Social Media to Promote 5G
A concerned child safety advocate from Maryland also writes a letter to the Girl Scouts, “Not only is 5g untested for safety (it has never been tested on children), it supports wifi-enabled devices that take children away from childhood: cell phones, tablets, and smart watches — all of which are designed for adults, and contribute to a number of harms, including: obesity, low-vision, poor posture, failure to learn handwriting, content retention, eye contract, delayed speech, virtual autism, and more. Worse, you ask these children to share what they’ve learned about 5G with friends via social media. Let me underscore that social media is unlawful for ‘users’ under 13 years old. Most of your membership is under 13 years old. Internal industry research has also exposed the risks social media pose to teens’ mental health and emotional wellbeing, as exposed in the Frances Haugen whistleblower report…Therefore, when you encourage it in any way, shape, or form, you are contributing to a decline in teen mental health.“
I learned All I Needed About Corporate Social “Responsibility” in Girl Scouts
The Girl Scout Law
I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
respect myself and others,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout
(Another example of a girl scout activity connected to corporate interests is the Color Your World Polymer Science patch promoted in November of 2022.)
How One Girl Scout Became a Non-GMO Girl Scout and Introduced Social Responsibility: Four Years to Cook Up the Non-GMO Cookie
Alicia Serratos told her story here. “In 2013, I embarked on a journey that evolved into something bigger than I ever could have imagined; getting Girl Scouts of the USA to make their cookies without GMOs.
I was six years old and wrapping up my first year of being a Girl Scout. Another Girl Scout Troop was selling cookies and to show support we bought a box. I was just beginning to learn about reading food labels and GMOs and just happened to turn the box around to read the ingredient list. To my surprise, there were a lot of ingredients I had never heard of, some that I recognized as GMO (corn, soy and sugar beet derivatives) and some I knew could be replaced by healthier ingredients.
Innocently, I turned to my mom and asked why these cookies were made with such bad ingredients. in February of 2017, four years after starting my petition it happened. We were introduced with the first GMO free Girl Scout Cookie. Success never tasted so sweet.”
To find out more Alicia Serrato’s petition, you can watch the documentary The Need to Grow,
In 2017, the Girl Scouts released the first “non-GMO” Girl Scout cookie, The new S’mores sandwich cookie, from Little Brownie Bakers is “made with ingredients that are verified as not containing genetically modified organisms.
Safe Technology, All the Doors are Opened
In September of 2014, when Alicia attempted to deliver her cookie petition with over 35,000 signatures to the girl scout headquarters in New York, she was denied access to the public building.
“Instead, a representative came down and handed me a patch. It was so disappointing to have been a part of an organization who’s core values are empowering girls to change the world and here they were denying me that very opportunity. Little did they know how determined I was.”
If there are any girl scouts, boy scouts, or other youth program participants that would like to help their organizations to be on the right side of history, there are doors opening everywhere for you. As noted by the Environmental Health Trust, “We recommend that the Girl Scouts develop a “Safer Technology” patch that includes ways to be tech savvy in the twenty-first century. Similar to the Girl Scout’ Screen Smart patch that educates girls about the overuse of screens, the new patch could teach girls how to minimize wireless radiation exposures, and how to choose, use, and design safer, non-wireless technologies for a healthy future. Activities could include addressing the environmental (impacts to pollinators, wildlife, trees) and life cycle impacts (e-waste, energy consumption, human rights issues) of unfettered 5G deployment.
Instead of relying on a corporation to provide safety materials on the radiation emissions of their own products, we recommend the Girl Scouts employ health information developed by independent medical and public health experts.”
Action Item: Email the Girl Scouts
Concerned individuals everywhere are encouraged to send an email to [email protected] and [email protected]. “Please immediately suspend Girl Scouts of America’s 5G and IOT Ericsson patch because it disseminates scientifically inaccurate information and promotes a false and dangerous message. The activities for this badge are based entirely on materials developed by Ericsson (the Swedish multinational telecommunications firm), and they misleadingly state that 5G networks and phones are safe. In fact, scientific evidence clearly indicates that 5G and wireless networks are not safe.”