For the fourth time since 2013, the March Against Monsanto will take place in cities around the world. On May 23, 2015, concerned activists, urban farmers, and environmental activists will hit the streets of 428 cities spread across 38 countries.
The MAM movement was started in late 2012 in an effort to raise awareness to the potential dangers surrounding Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds, as well as the carcinogens present in the company’s top herbicide, Round-Up.
Within the decentralized protests there are a range of solutions offered. Some activists are taking part in campaigns calling for labeling of all food products that have been genetically engineered. Others are marching in support of community gardens and urban farms as a strategy to defeat Monsanto. There are even marchers that are in support of the technology but weary of the collusion between biotech companies and the government.
In September 2013 Ben Swann reported on Monsanto and Crony Capitalism:
Also, Truth In Media recently reported on a group of scientists blowing the whistle on corruption at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“On May 5, 25 organizations representing farm workers, environment, and food safety organizations sent a letter to officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency calling for an investigation into claims that scientists are facing pressure and retaliation for research that presents the controversial neonicotinoid insecticide in a negative light.
The groups say they are concerned with a report from Reuters detailing threats to scientists who speak out about the dangers of the pesticide. These threats included suspension without pay, and threats of damage to careers. The scientists filed a petition in March asking for more protection:
Jeff Ruch, executive director with the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, told Common Dreams that the petition was “based on the experiences of 10 USDA scientists” who allegedly faced backlash for research on neonicotinoid insecticides and glyphosate, an ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide, as well as other topics, including genetically modified crops.”
The letter highlights two issues with Monsanto. First, the increase in Genetically Engineered crops from Monsanto and other biotech companies has led to an increase in the use of pesticides and herbicides. Second, one of these herbicides is Monsanto’s Round-Up, which contains glyphosate.
Earlier this year the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published a report in The Lancet Oncology detailing evaluations of organophosphate pesticides and herbicides. The report concluded that there was “limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.” The evidence for this conclusion was pulled from studies of exposure to the chemical in the US, Canada and Sweden published since 2001.
The researchers found “convincing evidence that glyphosate can also cause cancer in laboratory animals.” The report points out that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) had originally classified glyphosate as possibly carcinogenic to humans in 1985. The IARC Working Group evaluated the original EPA findings and more recent reports before concluding “there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.” Despite the WHO’s findings, the EPA approved Monsanto’s use of glyphosate as recently as 2013.
Monsanto Co. said the study was based on “junk science” and at odds with the global consensus on glyphosate. The scientists are standing by the work. Aaron Blair, a scientist emeritus at the National Cancer Institute and lead author of the study, told Reuters, “There was sufficient evidence in animals, limited evidence in humans and strong supporting evidence showing DNA mutations and damaged chromosomes.”
In 2014 Anti-Media reported on a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health which claims to have found a link between glyphosate and the fatal Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown origin (CKDu), which largely affects rice farmers in Sri Lanka and other nations. In response Sri Lanka has banned glyphosate and Brazil is considering doing the same.
Sri Lanka’s Minister of Special Projects S.M. Chandrasena stated that President Mahinda Rajapaksa issued a directive to ban glyphosate sales in the country. “An investigation carried out by medical specialists and scientists have revealed that kidney disease was mainly caused by glyphosate. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered the immediate removal of glyphosate from the local market soon after he was told of the contents of the report.”
There is a growing resistance to Monsanto. Following the revelations from the WHO, a union of 30,000 doctors and health professionals announced efforts to eliminate the use of glyphosate-based herbicides.
“There’s no question that March Against Monsanto is the most powerful grassroots initiative we have in the fight to reclaim our food supply from the GMO seed juggernaut known as the Monsanto Company,” said Anthony Gucciardi, March Against Monsanto speaker and founder of the natural health website NaturalSociety.com.
“With the new admission by the World Health Organization that Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup is causing cancer worldwide, now is the most important time to join the movement and take a stand.”
What are your thoughts on Genetically Engineered foods? What do you think about Monsanto? Leave your thoughts below.
March Against Monsanto protests will begin May 23rd with extensive physical protests and related online coverage throughout the day on news media platforms as well as www.March-Against-Monsanto.com.