Thousands Around World Marched Against Monsanto

Search form

Thousands Around World Marched Against Monsanto

Thousands Around World Marched Against Monsanto
Tue, 5/28/2013 - by Rosanna Xia
This article originally appeared on Los Angeles Times

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday as part of a global series of marches against seed giant Monsanto Co. and genetically modified foods.

Organizers said the “March Against Monsanto” demonstrations were being held in some 300 cities in more than 44 countries this weekend. The event — a social media-generated call to action against genetically modified foods and the multinational corporations that produce them — marked the first such global, unified protest for this cause, organizers said.

In Pershing Square in downtown L.A., a diverse crowd marched toward City Hall at about 11 a.m. Many carried colorful signs with messages such as “Label GMOs, it’s our right to know” and “Real Food 4 Real People.” One adult protester arrived in a cow-print onesie and a sign that said: “Happy cows do not eat GMOs.”

The event temporarily closed Hill Street between 1st and 5th streets as the group marched to City Hall. Rallies and speeches will be held until 5 p.m. Saturday, with volunteers distributing information about health and political concerns regarding genetically modified foods, said Dorothy Muehlmann, 30, of Corona, who organized the L.A. march with about 30 volunteers and help from groups such as Occupy L.A. and Anonymous.

“We’re marching to raise awareness,” she said. “This is not just a ‘boo Monsanto’ protest. We want more people to know so they can make their own decisions.”

Monsanto, a multinational firm based in St. Louis, told Associated Press on Saturday that it respects people’s rights to express their opinions on the topic, but stands by the seeds it sells. The seeds help farmers produce more from their land while conserving resources such as water and energy, Monsanto said.

Muehlmann said the issue has gained momentum in the last year, particularly after the defeat of Proposition 37, a ballot measure last November that would have made California the first state in the nation to require labels on some fresh produce and processed foods, such as corn, soybeans and beet sugar, whose DNA has been altered by scientists.

Opponents of Proposition 37 successfully argued that it was expensive, bureaucratic and full of illogical loopholes for certain foods, such as meat, dairy products, eggs and alcoholic beverages. The measure was defeated with 53% of voters casting ballots against it. Despite the measure's defeat, supporters said the concerns of the millions who voted for it remained valid.

"We believe it's a dynamic moment for the food movement, and we're going forward," he said.

The debate over genetically engineered food has been going on since the crops became widespread in the mid-1990s. In 1992, the FDA concluded that there was no difference between genetically engineered and non-engineered plants.

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate rejected – by a vote of 71 to 27 — an amendment to let states require labels on food or beverages made with genetically modified ingredients. Many at Saturday's rally in L.A. said the Senate's action added political urgency to their cause.

“Someone has to stand up for it, and obviously I’m not standing alone,” Muehlmann said, looking at the hundreds around her banging drums and drawing more signs. One waved a poster saying, “Don’t let corporate greed dictate your health.”

Local protesters Saturday rallied across Southern California, including in Venice, Long Beach and San Diego, organizers said.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Article Tabs

The coalition was set to deliver more than 200,000 signatures to the White House, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice, calling for transparency and justice in police killings.

Divestment is less about denying fossil fuel companies the financial resources to operate – it's more about denying them reputation, legitimacy and “social license.”

Americans greatly underestimate the degree of inequality in our country – and if we were given proper media coverage of the endless takeaway of wealth by the super rich, we'd be taking it personally.

Wealthy people are often so isolated from the rest of us, many of them have forgotten how rich they really are.

Two political philosophers, Sheldon Wolin and John Ralson Saul, call for mass movements willing to carry out repeated acts of civil disobedience to disrupt and delegitimize corporate power.

Florida has the highest foreclosure rate in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2014, and also has a "foreclosure king" who is now disbarred for his failure to oversee employees accused of carrying out wrongful foreclosures.

Posted 4 days 17 hours ago

This isn't just a right to revolt, it's a call to revolt, an outright slam against apathy and nonresistance.

Posted 3 days 16 hours ago

"Peoples' movements will either succeed in transforming our economic and political systems to build a new world, or we will burn with the old one."

Posted 4 days 17 hours ago

The city's social justice roots are centuries old – and today Seattle is also home to more than 70 social justice organizations and more than a dozen progressive film festivals.

Posted 2 days 18 hours ago

In times of crisis, the term “protect the women and children” might still come to mind.

Posted 3 days 16 hours ago

Divestment is less about denying fossil fuel companies the financial resources to operate – it's more about denying them reputation, legitimacy and “social license.”

The new 40-page report published by Oxfam International also said the global fossil fuel sector now receives $1.9 trillion in subsidies each year.

Some critics say that the "militarization of the police" is happening right in front of our eyes – but if the Founding Fathers were so worried about a threat of domestic tyranny, how did we get here?

The city's social justice roots are centuries old – and today Seattle is also home to more than 70 social justice organizations and more than a dozen progressive film festivals.

Not simply individual guards should answer for this tragedy – but the leaders of private security companies and the governments that employ them must also be held to account.

Sign Up