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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Why March Against Monsanto? Millions Protest Memorial Day Weekend

This Memorial Day weekend several million people all around the globe gathered for a worldwide march against multinational chemical, pesticide, herbicide and agricultural biotech company, Monsanto.

March Against Monsanto - Union Square, NYC
Monsanto is known for it's production of Saccharine, Agent Orange, Pesticides, Herbicides and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). All of which are associated with various cancers, allergies, intolerances, and chronic illnesses.

In the case of Agent Orange, diseases and disorders have occurred in Vietnam soldiers who were physically exposed to it, as well as their offspring conceived after the war. In Vietnam, citizens continue to get sick, and birth defects have become the norm land as well.

(Related - What is GMO?)

So why is a chemical company with a less than desirable track record in charge of our food supply? With chronic diseases, illnesses and medical issues on the rise, people are beginning to question their food. How is it made, where does it come from, and is it safe? With all roads leading back to Monsanto, concerned citizens have taken to the streets to ask questions, start discussions, bring awareness, and ultimately come together to grow a safer, healthier world without GMO's, pesticides and harmful chemicals in our environment.


Many countries in Europe and around the world have restriction laws for GMOs, require labeling, or have banned GMO's outright. While that is the ultimate goal, marchers against Monsanto rallied together for the first step in food freedom and awareness by encouraging a bill to be passed for mandatory labeling of GMO's nationwide.


All nutrition, ingredients, and in some cases, the process of certain ingredients are printed on food packaging. Considering that the crops have been scientifically modified from their original state, the public is demanding that they be printed on the label as well. You have the right to know what is in and on your food, and human health activists and marchers against Monsanto are fighting for that right.


According to Monsanto, a genetically modified farm grows the same exact crop as an organic farm, and is completely safe. While this may or may not be true, Monsanto and it's GMO's carry more with them then just some unnaturally modified DNA. (Aside from 50% less nutrition, that is)

GMOs Are Not Monitored For Public Safety:  No independent, comprehensive, long term study has been carried on GMOs before they were released for human consumption leaving the public to be involuntary test subjects.

Monsanto Risks Ecological Disaster: Monsanto began genetically modifying seeds to patent and maximize profits by making chemical resistant crops that work in conjunction with their already being produced pesticides and herbicides. As more farmers sign on with Monsanto, more  chemicals are being used causing soil infertility, mono-cropping, loss of bio-diversity, habitat destruction, and contributes to the destruction of birds, butterflies and other insects including bee colony collapse (see below).

(Related - How Bt Toxin Works)

Monsanto's Pesticides and Herbicides Threaten Human Health:  Aside from the threat to wildlife who come in contact with it, humans are eating enough conventionally grown produce (and animals) with Roundup residue on it or Bt toxin in it that it has been found in human blood, breast milk, and fetal blood. There are no "safe levels" when dealing with a fetus, a growing infant and their still forming, delicate systems. Bt Toxin is designed to "pop" open the guts of insects who ingest it, which has many researchers pointing fingers at our food for the rise in gastrointestinal issues in the populous.


Insects Have Evolved To Tolerate Pesticides: Pests that eat GMOs that produce its own pesticide, like Bt corn and cotton, are evolving and becoming immune to the poison that is supposed to kill them. Nature is clever, and her rootworms have evolved into "superworms", breeding a colony that threatens to tear through the Midwest.


Bee Colony Collapse:
While some insects are evolving to withstand the pesticides, the most important pollinating insects are not. Monsantos bottled pesticides, herbicides, and plants that produce their own such as the Bt toxin, are linked with the death of millions of bees worldwide. Bees and butterflies that come in contact with Bt toxin are killed how the toxin is intended to work against other pests.


GM Crops Cannot Be Contained: Once introduced into the environment, they cannot be 100% recalled or co-exist with organic crops as Monsanto's patented GM crops cross pollinate with organic crops, by wind, wildlife or pollinators.

Corporate Takeover: Monsanto's patenting of seeds risks our biodiversity, and allows Monsanto to monopolize world seed and food production. Seed patenting risks other farmer's livelihood. When GM crops cross-pollinate with an organic farm, it is now tainted. Getting USDA Organic certification and No-GMO verified is difficult and expensive enough without Monsanto suing them for patent infringement.

GMOs Aren't Eradicating World Hunger: GM crops do nothing to "end world hunger" as advertised. The majority of modified crops in the U.S are used for animal feed, fuel, sugars, and the lesser going to processed foods containing corn/soy. The hungry may eat conventional crops  and processed foods from food shares and banks, but their ongoing hunger is not eradicated due to POVERTY. GM crops are known to cause soil infertility, which already is an issue in many starving countries who lack healthy farms and crops. Studies are also starting to show that GM yields are not as high as natural methods when weighed against certain variables.


Shady Businessmen: These variables are non-existent to Monsanto who sells false promises to farmers, and practices shady business. In India, for example, after putting their life savings into converting to a contract with Monsanto, over 250,000 farmers committed suicide (many by drinking Monsanto's pesticide) after their Bt cotton seeds not only did not perform as promised, but produced worse results than their previous harvests.

(Related - The GM Genocide)

Hard To Trust: Between false promises, and their previous track record on unleashing now known dangerous things upon the public that have been "thoroughly tested", Monsanto suppresses information on GMO dangers and other studies regarding their products not being safe. Important, independent GMO and pesticide studies that make mainstream news are quickly ridiculed, disappear without a trace, or are bought out. Although, it is getting progressively harder to hide these findings, and they are slowly but surely making their way to the less informed public.


Monsanto Has Government Agencies In Their Pocket: With a revolving door in Washington between Monsanto, the FDA and even the EPA, the loyalties of the agencies to the public's health and safety is questionable. Just this year, the EPA created an exemption for residue tolerance levels of GM soy's bt toxin for human consumption and animal feed. This essentially approves of unlimited residues of Bt toxin in all GM foods. Usually, setting maximum residue limits, especially for chemicals in or on food, are one of the EPA's prime responsibilities.


"Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job." - Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of corporate communications, quoted in the New York Times, October 25, 1998

Hmm. So I guess we will leave that one up to Michael R. Taylor, the deputy commissioner of the FDA, and former Monsanto employee. Boy, do I feel safe! Sure feels good to have a non-bias commissioner in charge of protecting me from hazardous chemicals and potential food contamination...

If I don't stop there, I will go on forever. It is all too much for me to stomach, literally! Monsanto has been creating chemical products for over a century, with the last two decades of the corporate agriculture businesses practicing a fairly Hitler approach to American farming, pwning government regulatory agencies, politicians and the like. Their iron fist goes unchallenged by big food production companies, supermarkets, and most importantly general uninformed public who aren't questioning to learn about their food, and demanding better quality.

Fortunately, there are enough fed up and passionate people that have heard enough about the biotech industry's contamination of our environment, our food supply, and our health to take a stand for an alternative approach. I myself joined hundreds of people in Union Square, NYC on Saturday to March Against Monsanto in hopes to make the moves to leave a more connected, healthier, and greener world behind for the next generation.

Check out some more photos from the NYC March on our Facebook


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