Begun in 2013, the Worldwide March Against Monsanto is an annual call to action aimed at informing the public and calling into question long-term health risks of genetically modified foods and demanding that GMO product be labeled so consumers can make informed decisions.
Once a year millions of people worldwide march on the same day in May to draw attention to concerns about genetic alteration of our food supply and the effects of agricultural biotechnology on our farms, environment, and health.
These activists also want to expose the cronyism between big business and the United States government and bring accountability to those responsible for the corruption. Many are also calling attention to the devastating environmental impact of GMOs and the alarming increase in herbicide use associated with them.
This video containing clips from around the world of the 2013 march. The photos are of the Kansas City march in 2014.
What follows barely scratches the surface of the multitude of reasons millions of activists, consumers, doctors, and scientists protest current biotechnology practices in agriculture. Hopefully it will give you an idea of the scope and magnitude of the issues and why we need you to join us on May 23rd.
The scale of this protest draws attention, even though corporate new outlets don’t cover it. When hundreds of people march through the streets of a town or city people notice and begin talking. When photos and videos dominate social media that day, people notice.
A global march shows this is not an isolated concern. This isn’t happening in someone else’s back yard, it’s a global epidemic.
Attention raises awareness and awareness is the biggest enemy of Monsanto and all the other chemical and seed companies actively altering the DNA of our food to increase their profits. While this has begun, there is still a long way to go. Farmers and grocers are beginning to balk at new GE foods, afraid the public won’t buy them. Awareness leads citizens to demand action from their legislators and when the demand grows large enough that they fear their re-election chances are jeopardized, they, too, will take action. Awareness causes individuals to change their shopping habits and voting with the pocketbook has always been a very effective change gainer in a capitalistic society.
“We don’t need new laws, we don’t need new research, we just need new awareness. All that’s required is for a few key people, or enough people in general, to learn the basic facts. And when that happens, as it is bound to, it will bring the fact-averse GE food venture to an end.” – Steven Druker, Founder of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity and author of “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth”
So you see, even the simple act of adding your body to the count of those standing up at your local March Against Monsanto helps raise awareness which is a very powerful act indeed.
Plants, such as soybean, corn, cottonseed, and canola, when genetically modified (GM) have foreign genes forced into their DNA, the inserted genes come from plants, animals, and pesticides as well as species, such as bacteria, pathogenic viruses, and genetic parasites that have never before been in human food. These processes have no FDA oversight or testing, and the products are placed in markets unlabeled and unannounced.
About 90% of corn, soy, and cotton grown in the United States are modified to be either resistant to pests or tolerant to herbicides. These crops enter the human food chain as feed for livestock and more directly in processed foods. Today 75% of processed foods contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients.
There is no credible evidence or consensus in the scientific community GM food is safe for human consumption. Nor is there adequate enforcement of safety standards by the FDA. While short-term studies show no ill effects to health from Roundup, chronic health effects present after long-term exposure.
GMOs have been linked to thousands of toxic and allergic reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals.
Roundup has been linked to mineral deficiencies in magnesium, zinc, iron, and iodine. The use of Roundup also contributes to intestinal bacterial imbalances associated with Celiac disease and immune imbalances. Crops with pesticide genes inserted create leaky gut disease in many.
I believe the people who produce our food supply have an ethical responsibility to protect human life and provide wholesome, safe, food. We as a society must demand a certain level of accountability.
GM (genetically modified) crops and their associated herbicides harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. Roundup herbicide has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at very low doses.
The Monarch Butterfly is on the brink of extinction. A new study by the Center For Food Safety, among ample other scientific sources, links GM crops and Monsanto’s Roundup to the elimination of habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down over 90% in the US. Quite simply it is eliminating the milkweed plant which is essential to the butterfly’s survival. Pesticides included in plant DNA poisons adult butterflies when they feed on nectar plants. Besides the Monarch studies relate GMO products to the death of other beneficial insects like springtails, and ladybird beetles.
Nearly three-quarters of the crop species that provide 90% of the world’s food are pollinated by bees. Yet, shortly after the FDA approved the use of Neonnicotinoids (neonics) bee colonies in the U.S. started disappearing. It’s estimated nearly a third of the honeybee population has been wiped out. USDA data shows 21%-33% of honey bee colonies are dying each winter as well as a marked increase in summer mortality. Neonicts are primarily used as insecticidal seed treatments in over 90% of GMO corn and canola seed as well as 50% of GMO soybean seed. They are also routinely found in garden supply stores such as Home Depot, Lowes, and Wal-Mart in the potting soil and neonic-treated plants.
A leading genetic alteration of farm crops is to make the “Roundup Ready” this means they withstand the affects of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. This allows the farmer to spray throughout the growing season. Rather than reducing the use of chemicals, as Monsanto promotes, Roundup-ready crops (soy, cotton, canola, sugar beets, corn) have led to Roundup use increasing by over 527 million pounds since 1996. But that’s not the only bad news in this scenario. Once released into the environment pollen from these plants infects other plants, not only in organic farmer’s fields but in the wild as well. GM canola has been found growing wild in North Dakota and California, threatening to pass on its herbicide tolerant genes to weeds. This ends up creating super weeds that are virtually impossible to kill.
I’m just getting started here, More to come next week.