Worldwide March Against Monsanto
24 May, 2014
Image from Twitter/@AnarchoAnon
A global event challenging the agricultural behemoth Monsanto’s efforts to dominate the world food supply is taking place across the globe as millions of anti-GMO activists join forces against the biotech giant. More than 400 cities will march against Monsanto.
The march against the US chemical and agricultural company Monsanto is an effort to boycott the use of Genetically Modified Organisms in food production.
Marches were planned in 52 countries in addition to some 47 US states that are jointing in the protest.
“MAM supports a sustainable food production system. We must act now to stop GMOs and harmful pesticides,” said Tami Monroe Canal , founder of March Against Monsanto (MAM) in a press release ahead of the global event.
The movement was formed after the 2012 California Proposition 37 on mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food initiative failed, prompting activists to demand a boycott of the GMO in food production.
“Monsanto's predatory business and corporate agriculture practices threaten their generation's health, fertility and longevity,” Canal said.
The main aim of the activism is to organize global awareness for the need to protect food supply, local farms and environment. It seeks to promote organic solutions, while “exposing cronyism between big business and the government.”
Activists claim that Monsanto spent hundreds of millions of dollars to “obstruct all labeling attempts” while suppressing all “research containing results not in their favor.”
Birth defects, organ damage, infant mortality, sterility and increased cancer risks are just some of the side-effects GMO is believed to cause.
“That is what the scientists have learned about, that the genetically modified foods will increase allergies that they are going to be less nutritious and that they can possibly or very contain toxins that can make us ill,” Organic Consumers Association's political director Alexis Baden-Mayer said.
In India Monsanto controls about 95 percent of the cotton seed market trapping the country's small farmers in unpayable debt.
“284,000 farmers have committed suicide in India because of debt linked to seed and chemicals,” Vandana Shiva, an Indian environmental activist and anti-globalization author said in a press release ahead of the March Against Monsanto.
“Monsanto have claimed more than 1500 climate resilient patents, and are hoping to use the climate crisis to make even bigger profits,” Shiva says claiming that “Monsanto wants super profits through total control over nature and humanity.”
“If we fail to realize that March Against Monsanto is not about GMOs alone, then we have already lost the battle,” said the founder of the March Against Monsanto's Agent Orange awareness program, Kelly L. Derricks ahead of the march, Center of Research for Globalization quotes.
The organization's main role is to increase awareness of Agent Orange, manufactured by Monsanto during the Vietnam War era and used by US forces in herbicide warfare that killing tens of thousands.
GMOs have been partially banned in a number of countries, including Germany , Japan , and Russia but yet in most countries across the globe still feed GMOs to their animals.
Citing the US example, Baden-Mayer told that “it is hard to distinguish the company Monsanto from the players in the US government.”
“Most of the genetically modified crops grown in the US, almost all of them end up in factory farms, concentrated in animal feeding operations,” stating that US has enough grassland to pasture and raise “100 percent grass-fed beef” and produce even more grass fed beef than is raised on “modified corn and soy.”
One year ago over 2 million people in 436 cities in 52 countries worldwide marched against the largest producer of genetically engineered seeds.
Image from Twitter/@NewsRevo
Around 5,000 activists attend the March Against Monsanto in San Francisco . The gathering point was the Union Square .
In North Dakota 's capital, Bismarck , organizers also planned to make their voice heard.
“GMOs are plants or animals that have been genetically modified using DNA material from other plants, animals, bacteria or viruses,” March organizer Jessica Horst was quoted by a local publication. “While there is a number of agriculture biotechnology companies engaged in producing GMOs, Monsanto is the largest.”
One of the main hotspots of the world's wine industry, Sonoma County in California plans to march on Memorial Day.
Occupy Sonoma County is collaborating with the March against Monsanto global action and is planning to host a potluck and barn dance to make the event fun for the entire family.
Free food samples will be provided by some whom the organization calls “Food Heroes” listed in “GMO Food Heroes and Health Food Traitors Shopper's Guide.” A free non-GMO seed exchange is also organized.
The GMO Free Sonoma County movement is working locally on an ordinance to prohibit propagation, cultivation, raising and growing GMOs in Sonoma County .
Hacktivist group Anonymous gave their blessing for a March against Monsanto, saying that “those who oppose Monsanto's destructive impact on our biosphere and our food supply will have their voices heard.”
In a video posted ahead of the global event the activists accuse Monsanto of a profit-driven approach.
Activists in five Ohio cities this weekend are joining up to protest the practices of the biotech giant.
March Against Monsanto events will be held in Cincinnati , Columbus , Cleveland , Dayton and Maumee to draw attention to the use of GMOs that are thought to impact human health.
Bangaloreans take to the streets to kick Monsanto out of India #marchagainstmonsanto Twitter/@Brikesh
"In other countries, genetically modified organisms are altogether banned or they at least have labeling laws that require the companies to label if there are genetically modified organisms in the food,” Hannah Daniels, an organizer of the march in Cleveland told the local news station ahead of the event. “And in America , there is nothing like that at all."
Thousands of Arizona residents are expected to gather in downtown Tempe to take part in the global action day against Monsanto.
The march is being described as a family event where parents are encouraged to dress their kids as ladybugs, bees with wings and antennae.
Chattanooga , the fourth-largest city in the US state of Tennessee is also hosting an anti-Monsanto rally, with face-painting scheduled to begin at 1pm local time, before marching starts through downtown. The organizers will be giving away seedlings and information about Monsanto.
Participants are asked to bring signs, music makers, extra seedlings and a wagon or wheelbarrow. The event is organized to be kid-friendly with chalk art, seed-bomb making, and sliding down a grassy hill.
“I don't think a chemical company known for producing Agent Orange should produce and control the majority of our seeds. It is time we demand transparency and accountability,” Drew Miller, lead organizer of the Chattanooga March Against Monsanto said.
Agroecology and not biotechnology is the way to sustainable agriculture and to tackle world hunger, believes the organizer of the march in Ecuador .
“Monsanto's harmful practices are causing soil infertility, mono-cropping, loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction, and contributing to beehive collapse. GMO crops cross pollinate with traditional crops, risking peasant farmers' livelihood,” Josh Castro, organizer for the Quito March Against Monsanto movement.
Follow the event on Twitter
Comments are moderated