March Against Monsanto: GMO protests in 436 cities worldwide (images)
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WASHINGTON, DC, May 25, 2013 – The Washington DC March Against Monsanto was just one of some 250 protests around the world, but it featured the unique attraction of marching between two key seats of power: the White House and Monsanto headquarters.
Protestors numbered in the several hundreds, if not thousands, armed with signs showing their anger over the actions of the biotech giant and the failure of Congress to approve legislation toward the labeling of genetically modified food.
“Give it a label if you’re going to bring it to the table,” went one of the chants.
If 60 other countries, and most industrialized countries, don’t let genetically modified food go without labels, why should the U.S., asked the speakers.
The international movement to March Against Monsanto gained momentum after last Thursday’s failed attempt by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) to repeal the measure known as the Monsanto Protection Act.
“March Against Monsanto” is a grass roots effort to broadcast the dangers posed by genetically modified food, identifying the food giants that are creating it.
Founder and organizer Tami Canal said protests were held in 436 cities in 52 countries. Reports are that more than two millions persons were out marching against Monsanto.
Genetically modified plants are grown from seeds that are engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides, add nutritional benefits or otherwise improve crop yields and increase the global food supply.
Most corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in the United States today have been genetically modified.
But some say genetically modified organisms can lead to serious health conditions and harm the environment. The use of GMOs has been a growing issue of contention in recent years; with health advocates pushing for mandatory labeling of genetically modified products even though the federal government and many scientists say the technology is safe.
In Washington, a placard featuring a smiling yellow ear of corn tucked into a fish’s body led the charge. On its hybrid body, high above the crowd, were the words “Label GMO Food.”
Some protestors wore red or dressed like bees, and many of the signs and comments by speakers addressed the problem of the dwindling bee population in the opening rally at the White House and the concluding rally at Monsanto headquarters.
Chemical agents, including Agent Orange in the 1960s and, more recently synthetic sweeteners, were targeted in comments and in posters.
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