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Why march against Monsanto?

One supporter shows her support by displaying the Bee Against Monsanto patch on her backback
Photo by- Jennifer Markell

Next month, on Saturday, May 24, millions of farmers, environmentalist, scientists and food conscious consumers will participate in a march, against Monsanto. On six of the seven continents, in over 50 countries, and over 400 cities, people will come together in protest against the Agra giant.

If you are one of the other millions, who may have had their heads buried in the sand or eyes clouded by rose colored glasses, then you’re probably asking, “Who is Monsanto and why march against them?”

Monsanto defines themselves as “a sustainable agricultural company… focused on empowering farmers—large and small—to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy.”, as proclaimed on the website’s ‘Who We Are’ page.

Ask any organic farmer or local food grower, however, and you’ll likely hear something quite different; perhaps more simply defined as heartless thief, silent killer, and Agra monster.

Monsanto, primarily known as a weed-killing corporate conglomerate, produces the widely-known lawn product, Roundup. You may have used it on your lawn to keep that pesky dollar weed at bay. Ironically, Monsanto also happens to be the number one genetically modified seed producer and number one seed patent owner, in the world. Those who are familiar with our food system would not argue that Monsanto is a worldwide monopoly, when it comes to producing food for the global market.

And now you are probably wondering why a weed control company would own the seeds and genetically grow the food we eat? It seems like an oxymoron; pest control and food, controlled by the same company? But that is what Monsanto did. They obtained the seeds, injected them with Roundup and produced a genetically modified organism called a GMO, found in over 70% of the processed food Americans eat.

More than 80% of US corn and more than 90% of soybeans planted each year comes from Monsanto, as reported by the Organic Consumers Associate, in August 2013. Did you know that if you eat corn, in any form; on the cob, popped, or in that corn-pop cereal there’s a 90% or better chance, that you are ingesting GMOs?

Did you know that most all of the major brand named foods, such as Kraft, Coca-Cola, Nabisco, to name a few, are all developed and produced using GMOs? The Oreos and Doritos, the Healthy Choice dinners, the bread and soda, you are consuming, all contain GMOs. And, try not to shudder, but, even the healthy stuff like, non-organic apples and potatoes, peppers and papaya, strawberries and spinach, may all contain GMOs in one form or fashion.

The question was, did you know?

Activists world-wide will march to bring awareness to what is in the food consumers buy and eat. They will march to require GMO labeling on all foods processed or fresh, putting the ownership on the giant who produces and distributes “food” made with genetically modified ingredients. They will march for the health and safety of our entire food system and they will march for a sustainable future. Will you?