March Against Monsanto
On May 24, 2014 the Global ‘March Against Monsanto’ Took Place in Over 50 CountriesINTERNATIONAL (May 27, 2014) - On May 24, hundreds of thousands of activists from around the world joined in the third global March Against Monsanto, calling for the permanent boycott of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and harmful agro-chemicals. Marchers advocated food transparency, an end to corporate food corruption, and a transition to local, organic and sustainable agriculture. The marches took place on six continents in over 50 countries, with events in over 420 cities. In the US, marches were held in 47 states. A comprehensive list of marches can be accessed at www.march-against-monsanto.com.
Tami Monroe Canal, founder of March Against Monsanto (MAM), was inspired to start the movement to protect her two daughters. “Monsanto’s predatory business and corporate agricultural practices threatens their generation’s health, fertility and longevity. MAM supports a sustainable food production system. We must act now to stop GMOs and harmful pesticides.”
Activists celebrated the recent victories in Vermont, where GMOs will now be required to be labeled, counties in South Oregon and the Big Island of Hawaii where cultivation of GMOs is now banned, and numerous other cities, states, and countries that are moving toward food transparency. GMOs have now been at least partially banned by Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Madeira, New Zealand, Peru, South America, Russia, France, Switzerland and Costa Rico, and are currently labelled in 62 countries.
Ann Arbor, Michigan organizer Kryssi Jones, the sole MAM organizer to be arrested last May, said, "Ann Arbor had about 1300 attendees and despite being denied a permit, our march was extremely successful with zero police incidents"
Organizer from the march in Stockholm, Sweden, Gela Amini, said, "Well over 1500 Stockholm attendees gathered outside of the Swedish Royal Palace to march against Monsanto. The march lasted over an hour and concluded with everything from a trampoline for the children, organic face painting, organic fruit, purified water, goodie bags, etc. (all free, of course). A variety of speakers took the stage discussing what their local organic farmers needed, the direct link between food and health, and the decline in bee population. The event ended successfully with an organic seed swap."
Marcha Contra Monsanto Mexico organized over 20 marches in Mexico and were very happy with their turnout. Marchers in Mexico are concerned about GM Maize genetically polluting non-GMO, indigenous corn crops, and the many pesticides farmers are exposed to in farming and agricultural areas.
In St. Louis, where Monsanto is headquartered, organizers of the March Against Monsanto said, "We were 350 people strong with protesters making the journey from Florida, Texas, Indiana, Alaska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, Kentucky, Nevada, Illinois, Kansas, Arizona, New Jersey, Georgie, Oregon, and Washington.
At the end of the march, at least 6 different police jurisdictions pulled out of the Monsanto World Headquarters property. Monsanto’s private security force vehicles clustered at one of their entrances. In addition, there was a St. Louis County Tactical Operations vehicle, two abatement tanks and a police helicopter flew overhead the entire time, which was 3 hours. Approximately 50-80 officers were in attendance. How much tax dollars went into policing our non-violent, family friendly protest?"
Josh Castro, organizer for Quito, Ecuador’s march observes, “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 the destructive practices of multinational corporations like Monsanto. Biotechnology is not the solution to world hunger. Agroecology is. 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."
In Cape Town, South Africa, "Cape Town permitting officials denied the permit to the March Against Monsanto, but activists were invited to march under the permit of striking platinum workers to relay a joint message, which they did."
In California, Los Angeles organizer Alissa Kokkins said, "This year, March Against Monsanto Los Angeles hosted an urban garden fest and unpermitted march through Hollywood where we did outreach, guerrilla gardening, and stopped at various Monsanto hot spots (McDonald's, Hollywood High School, Ralph's, Starbucks, the Walk of Fame and an Army Recruiting center)."
Participants of the global March Against Monsanto had many different reasons for why they joined the protests. GMOs are not adequately monitored to ensure public safety. Long term, independent, peer reviewed studies were not conducted before GMOs were introduced for human or animal consumption. In the USA, the revolving door between Monsanto employees, government positions, and regulatory authorities has led to key Monsanto figures occupying positions of power at the FDA and EPA. Monsanto has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to obstruct all labeling attempts; they also suppress any research containing results not in their favor. The scientifically established health risks include, but are not limited to: organ damage, sterility, infant mortality, birth defects, auto-immune conditions, allergies and increased cancer risks.
Kelly L. Derricks started March Against Monsanto's Agent Orange awareness program that educates supporters on the deadly chemical weapon that Monsanto was the largest manufacturer of during the Vietnam War era.Kelly is the president and co-founder of the non-profit, Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance (COVVHA). The organization fights internationally for the children exposed to Agent Orange through generational exposure that is killing tens of thousands with no recognition from the United States Government. She is quoted saying, "If we fail to realize that March Against Monsanto is not about GMOs alone, then we have already lost the battle."
In India, more than 250,000 farmers have committed suicide after Monsanto's Bt cotton seeds did not perform as promised. Farmers, left in desperate poverty, are opting to free their families of debt by drinking Monsanto pesticide, thereby ending their lives. Many farmers in other countries are also stripped of their livelihood as a result of false promises, seed patenting and meticulous legal action on the part of Monsanto and other big-ag interests. In many parts of Africa, farmers and their communities are left to choose between starving or eating GMOs.
An “Open Letter from World Scientists to All Governments Concerning Genetically Modified Organisms,” (http://www.i-sis.org.uk/list.php), signed by 828 scientists from 84 countries, detailed concern regarding GMOs coupled with a call for immediate 5 year suspension of GMO crops in order to conduct “a comprehensive public enquiry of agriculture and food security for all.”
Study: Chemicals in Monsanto's Roundup Causing Chronic Kidney Disease
Study: Non-GMO Crop Yields Increasing Faster that GMO Yields
The World according to Monsanto
Total Disinformation Awareness: Monsanto Suppresses Research On GMO Crops
Anniversary of a Whistle blowing Hero
GMO Scandal: The Long Term Effects of Genetically Modified Food on Humans
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