Activists in Washington state protested Bill Gates’ connection to genetically modified food last Sunday by conducting a “light projection action” at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation headquarters in Seattle.
Headed up by the “Backbone Campaign,” activists beamed several messages onto the building throughout the evening. The protest tactic recently made headlines after the phrase “The United Stasi of America” was projected on the U.S. Embassy in Berlin following the revelation of joint spying by the United States and at least six European countries.
“We decided to do a light projection action at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to draw some attention to their connection to Monsanto,” said Cindy Black, a local GMO activist. “They have close ties to the biotech industry all under the guise of feeding the world.”
In 2010 Gates purchased 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock valued at more than $23 million while heavily pushing genetically modified seeds on countries such as Africa. US diplomatic cables recently released by WikiLeaks also showed that the State Department was using taxpayer money to push GMOs on foreign countries.
As independent long-term studies continue to link the consumption of GMO foods to health issues such as sterility, infant mortality and cancer, Monsanto and the federal government, whose GMO safety studies never surpass 90 days, have continued to ignore the 93 plus percent of Americans who at minimum want GMOs labeled. The federal government has gone as far as passing the “Monsanto Protection Act,” a provision attached to a recent spending bill that allows GMO seeds deemed unsafe by a court of law to be planted anyway.
Despite Monsanto’s attempts to completely sway the public in their favor, the company’s public image has continued to plummet as well as its stocks, due largely in part to it’s recent experimental wheat scandal as well as increased action by the public, most notably the recent worldwide March Against Monsanto.