On Saturday, May 25, tens of thousands of people from around the world will participate in the March Against Monsanto, spanning 286 cities in 36 countries. In the U.S., events are slated to occur simultaneously at 11 a.m. PST in 47 states.
Tami Monroe Canal, lead organizer and creator of the now-viral Facebook page, says she was inspired to start the movement to protect her two daughters: “I feel Monsanto threatens their generation’s health, fertility and longevity. I couldn't sit by idly, waiting for someone else to do something.”
An organizer for the march in Athens, Greece, Roberta Gogos, spoke about the importance of the events in austerity-impacted South Europe: “Monsanto is working very hard to overturn EU regulation on obligatory labeling (questionable whether it's really enforced in any case), and no doubt they will have their way in the end. Greece is in a precarious position right now, and Greece's farmers falling prey to the petrochemical giant is a very real possibility.”
Josh Castro, organizer for Quito, says he wants to protect Ecuador against Monsanto’s influence, too: “Ecuador is such a beautiful place, with the richest biodiversity in the world. We will not allow this Garden of Eden to be compromised by evil multinational corporations like Monsanto. Biotechnology is not the solution to world hunger. Agroecology is.”
The March Against Monsanto's website clearly identifies why this march is being organized:
Why March Against Monsanto?
- In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, which is seen as a questionable conflict of interest and explains the lack of government-led research on the long-term effects of GE products.
- Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically engineered foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects.
- Recently, the U.S. Congress and President Obama collectively passed the nicknamed “Monsanto Protection Act” that, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds.
- Organizers feel that Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favoritism for too long. Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to forge its monopoly over the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup.
- Monsanto's GM seeds are harmful to the environment. For example, scientists have indicated they have contributed to Colony Collapse Disorder among the world's bee population.
Solutions Being Advocated at the March:
- Voting with your dollar by buying organic and boycotting Monsanto-owned companies that use GMOs in their products.
- Labeling of GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier.
- Repealing relevant provisions of the U.S.’s “Monsanto Protection Act.”
- Calling for further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs.
- Holding Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism, social media, etc.
- Continuing to inform the public about Monsanto’s secrets.
- Taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won’t take these injustices quietly.
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