On May 25, people around the world will participate in the March Against Monsanto. Currently, marches are being planned on six continents, in 36 countries and over 250 cities. In the U.S., events are slated to occur simultaneously at 11 a.m. Pacific time in 47 states. Tami Monroe Canal, lead organizer of March Against Monsanto and creator of the event’s Facebook page, which has over 67,000 likes, said she was inspired to start the movement to protect her two daughters. “I feel Monsanto threatens their generation’s health, fertility and longevity,” Canal said. “I couldn’t sit by idly, waiting for someone else to do something.”
March Against Monsanto’s website spells out a multitude of reasons why the demonstration against the biotechnology giant will take place, including: research studies that have shown Monsanto’s genetically modified foods (GMOs) can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancerous tumors, infertility and birth defects; the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, which the group believes is a questionable conflict of interest and explains the lack of government-led research on the long-term effects of GMO products; that 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; that Monsanto’s GMO seeds are harmful to the environment and have contributed to Colony Collapse Disorder among the world’s bee population; and that the recently passed “Monsanto Protection Act”, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s geneticallymodified seeds.
“The United States Congress is telling the Agricultural Department that even if a court tells you that you’ve failed to follow the right process and tells you to start over, you must disregard the court’s ruling and allow the [genetically modified] crop to be planted anyway,” U.S. Senator and family farmer Jon Tester said on the Senate floor five days before Obama signed the Monsanto Protection Act into law. “Not only does this ignore the constitutional idea of separation of powers, but it also lets genetically modified crops take hold across this country, even when a judge finds it violates the law.”
By joining a local March Against Monsanto, participants will be advocating: voting with dollars 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 more easily; repealing relevant provisions of the Monsanto Protection Act; calling for further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs and holding Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism and social media.
“Here in America you don’t get the right to know whether you’re eating genetically modified organisms,” musical artist Dave Matthews said in a video promoting the march.