The 2017 March Against Monsanto will take place this Saturday, May 20 at city centers across the world ranging from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. to Australia and everywhere in between, and it comes at a pivotal time in the movement for clean, natural, organic and non-GMO food.[See the 2017 MAM Event List and RSVP to a March by clicking here]
While the movement has made monumental strides in the past few years and 2016 was a promising year in many ways, there is still much work to be done.
On the plus side, demand for organic and non-GMO food continues to skyrocket, with over $40 billion in sales in 2016 recorded, along with statistics showing organic food items reside in the homes of 80% of U.S. households. The company is also being hammered in the legal arena with high profile lawsuits from numerous west coast cities over decades of toxic PCB contamination, as well as several lawsuits from plaintiffs alleging the company’s flagship herbicide Roundup gave them cancer.
But huge challenges remain: Monsanto is highly likely to merge with the German pharmaceutical and agrochemical giant Bayer sometime this year, potentially making them even more powerful even in spite of their increasingly damaged public image.
Monsanto’s genetically engineered crops are banned in nearly 40 nations worldwide, but the company along with several others are pushing for more toxic chemicals the food supply, and the (completely unlabeled) genetic engineering of even more popular foods like GMO apples and potatoes through a little known, virtually unregulated and dangerously untested new process known as gene editing (or CRISPR, learn more about it here).
Genetically engineered foods (aka GMOs or genetically modified organisms) or foods containing GMOs are still not labeled in the United States, a right afforded to citizens of over 60 countries.
The lack of labeling in the U.S. is due to the enormous political influence and political spending in the tens of millions of dollars by Monsanto and other companies, which led to the overturning of a democratically passed mandatory GMO labeling law in Vermont that could have gone national.
Labeling GMO foods was a promise former President Barack Obama did not keep to his constituents, and already new president Donald Trump is showing the same favoritism toward Biotech and GMOs.
2017 MAM Press Release is Published
In preparation for this Saturday’s march, March Against Monsanto has published its 2017 press release on the event, which can be read in full by clicking on this link.
“This Saturday, May 20, 2017, the sixth international March Against Monsanto will take place with the goal of raising awareness about Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds and cancer-causing weedkiller Roundup,” the press release reads.
“Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide has been detected in air and rain samples, the breast milk of nursing mothers, childhood vaccines, prenatal vitamins, and baby formula, as well as 90% of the conventional food supply.”
It is expected that hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens will hit the streets for the 2017 march in hundreds of cities on six continents across the globe. Each march will be led by local leaders who will lead in chants and demonstrations; most begin at 11 a.m. local time but other times range from noon to 2 p.m. and others are even later (click on an individual event here for details).
The press release continues:
“Recently, Congressman Ted Lieu of California issued a statement urging people to ‘immediately stop using Roundup’ and it has been revealed that the EPA and Monsanto colluded for decades to conceal the extreme toxicity of the glyphosate-based herbicide…”
Monsanto claims its weedkiller is safe, but recent episodes exposing collusion between Monsanto executives and EPA employees call into question the validity of its “safety studies,” which critics say are heavily influenced and controlled by agrochemical company.
“In 2015, the World Health Organization determined that glyphosate “probably” causes cancer, an incredibly alarming fact considering the U.S. Geological Survey data shows that the use of glyphosate has increased 16-fold since the mid-1990’s when GMO crops were first introduced,” the release continues. “This also calls into question Monsanto’s claims that genetically modified crops will decrease the need for harmful herbicides.”
Glyphosate has become so ubiquitous that it has even been found as a contaminant in childhood vaccines mandated for children.
“Monsanto’s glyphosate has contaminated every facet of our lives. The cancer-causing herbicide has been detected in the air we breathe and many of the organic foods we eat. Our children are directly targeted as is evidenced by the discovery of glyphosate in vaccines, breast milk, and baby formulas. We must rise up and stop this toxic nightmare or we will see generations of overwhelming sickness and premature death like never before,” said Tami Canal, the founder of March Against Monsanto.
The 2017 March Against Monsanto will begin on May 20th with the first protests happening in new Zealand and Australia to kick off global events. Online coverage can be found on MAM’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, and marchers are encouraged to share their photos widely using the hashtags #MarchMay20 and #MarchAgainstMonsanto.
Also in Washington, D.C., MAM will partner with Operation Stand Together, an initiative demanding justice for disabled, chemically-exposed military personnel. Erin Brockovich and speakers from March Against Monsanto will expose Monsanto’s production of war chemicals including Agent Orange and modern day white phosphorous.
Suggested chants for the March include the following:
“Hey, hey, ho, ho! GMOs have got to go.
Hey, hey, ho, ho! We care about how our crops are grown!
Hey, hey, ho, ho! Leave the delicate balance of our planet alone!
Hey, hey, ho, ho! GMOs have got to go!!!”
“THE PEOPLE UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED!”
“The people, Say No! To G-M-O!”
“Hey Hey, Ho Ho! Monsanto Has Got to Go!”
…and several more (click on this list for more ideas).
Possible sign topics include:
-The Calling for Mandatory Labeling of GMOs as is the Right in 60+ Countries
-The Fact that 38 Countries Worldwide Ban GMOs in some form
-Informative signs about how the UN says we don’t need GMOs or pesticides to feed the world
-Info on how food waste and economic inequality are biggest reasons for hunger, not lack of GMOs in food production (roughly 1/3 of all food is wasted worldwide; roughly half of all U.S. produce is wasted)
-Signs noting Monsanto’s history of creating weapons like Agent Orange and now white phosphorus; do we really want a weapons company creating and modifying our food supply?
-Signs calling for mandatory labeling
-Calls for Trump to deny the Monsanto/Bayer merger
-Info on Roundup/glyphosate, the “probable human carcinogen” according to the World Health Organization
-Signs calling for the banning of neonicotinoids, poison coated seeds responsible for the ongoing colony collapse that is widely killing bees
-Calls for our lawmakers to get real, limit or ban toxic chemicals and Save the Bees