Yesterday a handful of dedicated protesters who had apparently never studied science marched in Mystic, CT against “Monsanto,” where the name Monsanto is used to represent the biotech industry. Actually there are 5 major biotech companies, and Monsanto is not the largest. That honor belongs to Syngenta.
In most US locations the turnouts were small, perhaps a few dozen, with somewhat larger turnouts in Vancouver, Germany and New Zealand.
Many people received an Email and video full of misinformation from anti-GMO spokesman and former swing dancer Jeffrey Smith urging them to attend one of these marches. Smith however did not attend one as he was at a paying gig at a Moms Across America meeting in New Jersey. In fact many of these gatherings were leaderless, showing that marching against an abstract concept like genetically modified crops is petering out.
While a similar event in May claimed over 2 million protesters worldwide, actual data culled from press reports put the number at under 100,000. This time, there may have been a few thousand at all of the events.
These marches are, of course, in defiance of settled science. Every major scientific organization worldwide has looked at the scientific studies and concluded that GM crops pose no harm.
Genetic modification is a tool rather than a result, GM crops are nutritionally identical to the same unmodified crop and have never been found to present any health or environmental issues. Opposition is akin to those who once opposed artificial insemination of farm animals.
Meanwhile British Environmental Secretary Owen Paterson has called for greater use of GM crops and the EU Chief Scientific Advisor Anne Glover has declared that they pose no risk. She declared in September that negative studies are based on “contested science.”