Hundreds of thousands of environmentalists and health concerned activists rallied May 23 in more than 400 cities worldwide to protest against the leading producer of genetically modified seeds Monsanto Corp, its business practices, and the dangers GMOs represent to our health.
This weekend it is the third time the ‘March Against Monsanto’ is held. Organizers said that each year more and more people get involved since they become increasingly aware of the perils organizations such as Monsanto pose to small farmers and worldwide food supplies.
In 2013, the march’s organizers reported that more than 2 million people hit the planet’s streets. They also said that Monsanto was a threat to public health and some times even promoted death in an effort to expand its profits.
For instance, Monsanto is the manufacturer of Agent Orange, which the U.S. government used to destabilize enemy lines during the Vietnam war. According to official records, more than 400,000 people were killed or severely disabled by the chemical, while half of million children came to the world with birth defects.
Protesters also say that Monsanto’s line of pesticides pose a threat to public health since many studies had linked them with cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, autism in children and Parkinson’s disease in the elderly.
Organizers also said that letting Monsanto control 90 percent of the U.S. seed market was very concerning.
“We wouldn’t let one cell phone company control 90 percent of the cell phones. But for some reason we let food be controlled,”
Adam Eidinger, one of the U.S. organizers of the march said.
Protesters also asked state governments to enact mandatory GMO food labeling, despite Monsanto’s aggressive lobbying. In Pennsylvania, a lawmaker promised that he would reintroduce a bill on the labeling. According to various polls, 90 percent of respondents were in favor of GMO labeling nationwide.
Last year, Vermont passed a bill requiring mandatory GMO labeling which would have taken effect in 2016, but several biotech interest groups rallied and blocked the law in state court.
Three months ago, Congress introduced again the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, but faced again strong opposition from GMO manufacturers which claim that their genetically tweaked seeds are the answer to world hunger among an ever growing population.
However, conservationists claim that GMO producer’s stance on solving world hunger is based on bogus science since a cohort of studies had revealed that GM seeds do not raise crop productivity. Farmers also noted on various occasions that yields can be improved by focusing on land and fertilizing it, rather than on seeds.
Image Source: NBC Philadelphia
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