Thursday, October 10, 2013

We need a David to take down Goliath

What are your plans for this coming Saturday? Why not join millions of concerned people from around the world who will be marching against Monsanto and calling for the permanent boycott of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and other harmful agro-chemicals? There will be marches in at least six continents, in 52 countries, with events in over 400 cities! In the US, solidarity marches are planned in 47 states. 

Inspired to start the movement to protect her two daughters, Tami Monroe Canal founded March Against Monsanto (MAM). "Monsanto's predatory business and corporate agricultural practices threatens their generation's health, fertility and longevity," she explains. "MAM supports a sustainable food production system. We must act now to stop GMOs and harmful pesticides."

There were no long term, independent, peer reviewed studies conducted before GMOs were introduced for human or animal consumption and they are not adequately monitored to ensure public safety. In the US, the revolving door between Monsanto employees, government positions, and regulatory authorities has led to key Monsanto figures occupying positions of power at the FDA and EPA. The company has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to obstruct all labeling attempts, including funding a campaign against I-522, the current initiative for labeling in Washington state. Monsanto suppresses any research containing results not in their favor. The scientifically established health risks include, but are in no way limited to: organ damage, sterility, infant mortality, birth defects, auto-immune conditions, allergies and increased cancer risks.

GMOs have been partially banned by Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Madeira, New Zealand, Peru, South America, Russia, France, Switzerland, and Costa Rico, and are currently labelled in 62 countries. Despite this, factory farm animals throughout the world are still fed GMOs. 

Roberta Gogos, organizer for the march in Athens, Greece, addressed the importance of the marches in austerity-impacted Europe. "Monsanto is working very hard to overturn EU [European Union] regulation on obligatory labeling where enforcement is already lax. Greece is in a precarious position right now, and Greece's farmers are positioned to follow the same perilous fate as farmers in countries such as Colombia and Mexico."

In Quito, Ecuiador, march organizer, Josh Castro states, "Ecuador is such a beautiful place, with the richest biodiversity in the world. We will not allow this Garden of Eden to be compormised by the destructive practices of multinational corporations like Monsanto. Biotechnology is not the solution to world hunger. Agroecology is. Monsanto's harmful practices are causing soil infertility, mono-cropping, loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction, and contributing to beehive collapse. GMO crops cross pollinate with traditional crops, risking peasant farmers' livelihood."

The devastation can be seen in India, where more than 250,000 farmers have committed suicide after Monsanto's Bt cotton seeds did not perform as promised. Left in desperate poverty, these farmers opted to free their families of debt by drinking Monsanto pesticide. 

In other countries, many farmers are also stripped of their livelihood as a result of false promises, seed patenting and meticulous legal action on the part of Monsanto and other big-ag interests. In many parts of Africa, farmers and their communities are left to choose between starving or eating GMOs.

Over 800 scientists from 84 countries detailed concern regarding GMOs and asked for an immediate suspension of GMO crops in order to conduct "a comprehensive public enquiry of agriculture and food security for all," in an "Open Letter from World Scientist to All Governments Concerning Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)." Click here to read the letter and see the list of scientists who demanded action.

For more information, please visit the following sites:

The World According to Monsanto Video

Total Disinformation Awareness: Monsanto Suppresses Research on GMO Crops

Anniversary of a Whistleblowing Hero

GMO Scandal: The Long Term Effects of Genetically Modified Food on Humans

Data Pool of MAM

We need to stay informed and we need to get involved. We're fighting a giant, but I'm counting on there being a David amongst us who will be able to slay this Goliath.

Click here to visit the MAM Facebook page and find out where the marches will be taking place on Saturday, October 12, 2013. And if you're able, join in and take a stand. Our kids and grandkids are counting on us!

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