At least 60 Protests to Target Makers of Genetically Engineered Foods on Anniversary of Occupy Movement
Sept 1, 2012 | Current.com
ST. LOUIS - An expanding network of concerned individuals known as
Occupy Monsanto has emerged over the past 8 months staging numerous
protests at companies connected to the global trade of genetically
engineered foods, also known as GMOs. The network announced today that
on September 17, 2012 protests will begin for an entire week in St.
Louis, home of the Monsanto Corporation, and across the US including
California where voters will decide if they will label GMOs this
election and worldwide in Argentina, Canada, Germany, India,
Philippines, and other countries where concern over GMO impact on the
environment and human health is growing.
The protests will vary in size and nature but are unified in pushing
back GMO food into the lab from which it came. An interactive map with
times, dates and locations of the 60+ protests can be found at http://occupy-monsanto.com/genetic-crimes-unit/.
Occupy Monsanto means to confront the industrial agriculture system
head-on. Some protests could result in widespread arrests of people who
choose to engage in non-violent civil disobedience. Despite the peaceful
nature of these planned protests, organizers are concerned about
surveillance of Occupy-Monsanto.com by the US Department of Homeland
Security and law enforcement agencies worldwide. Nevertheless Occupy
Monsanto protests will feature costumes made of bio-hazmat protective
gear that can also protect against pepper spray from police who have
routinely attacked occupy protests in the past year.
"There is something wrong when a chemical manufacturer, the same company
who made Agent Orange, controls the US food supply," says Jaye
Crawford, a member of the Genetic Crimes Unit in Atlanta, Georgia that
has planned a week of events. Info: http://occupy-monsanto.com/atlanta-gcu-schedule-of-events/.
"Wall Street and the American political elite have underestimated and
even ignored our potential to effect rational policy change on GMOs
which would include labeling for GMOs and restrictions on GMO
cultivation," says Gene Etic, an anti-GMO campaigner based in
Washington, DC. "If Occupy Monsanto's anti-GMO actions are successful,
after September 17 the media and increasingly more voters will ask tough
questions about these experimental GMO crops especially within the
context of the Presidential election, as that office holds the power to
determine American food policy," says Etic.
"People are stirred by the evidence that GMO foods compromise human
health," says Rica Madrid, a member of the Genetic Crime Unit of Occupy
Monsanto. "Politicians and their sponsoring corporations ignore public
outcry over GMOs to protect huge profits over health. Since GMOs'
introduction to the food supply in the mid 1990s, food allergies have
expanded according to Center for Disease Control data," says Madrid.
"By purchasing influence via massive campaign donations, Monsanto
ensures the essential duties of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
are neglected. One example of this corporate coup is President Obama's
appointment of Michael Taylor, former Monsanto Vice-President and legal
council for the chemical company, to head the FDA's food safety efforts
despite his obvious conflict of interest," says Ariel Vegosen, a member
of the Genetic Crimes Unit. She adds, "Monsanto is the biggest maker of
genetically engineered crops so it must be stopped before it is too
late to shift to healthy organic agriculture practices as a result of
widespread genetic contamination by GMOs. 'Coexistence' as defined by
the USDA of Organic and GMO crops is a myth."
"At the US State Department it's apparent Monsanto has duped leaders in
Africa to ask the US for foreign aid in the form of GMO technology and
equipment," says Monsanto shareholder Adam Eidinger who last year walked
from New York to the White House in Washington, DC with hundreds of
other food activists to demand labeling of GMO foods.
"The generous use of US tax dollars, endorsed by the likes of rock-star
Bono and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a former legal council for
Monsanto, is actually another taxpayer funded subsidy for Monsanto's
pesticide and herbicide hungry crops."
Occupy Monsanto will be heard at the offices and facilities linked in the GMO food system.
In St. Louis a major anti-GMO conference will take place in the same
location as the "12th International Symposium on GMO Safety." A lead
organizer of the conference is Barbara Chicherio who believes,
"'Monsanto's push to control agriculture and what people are eating
poses a great threat not only to consumers in the US, but to farmers and
communities throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia." Info on the
conference is at http://gmofreemidwest.org/.