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Frankenstein on the Farm


<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/aoolmos1949/frankenstein-onthefarm&#8221; title=”Frankenstein on-the-farm” target=”_blank”>Frankenstein on-the-farm</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/aoolmos1949&#8243; target=”_blank”>The Olmos Foundation</a></strong> </div>

The Monsanto Tipping Point Has Been Reached: We Shall Overcome Global Food Injustice (GMO)


Monsanto is now in full retreat against a global grassroots rejection of its poisons and lies. The company is backpedaling on every front now, even admitting defeat in Europe and now trying to focus its last, desperate efforts on the United States and Brazil.

But even in the Americas, Monsanto is losing on every front: GMO labeling legislation is cropping up in over a dozen states, the global March Against Monsanto demonstrated global grassroots unity against GMOs, and even the so-called “science” behind the “safety” GMOs is revealed as utter hogwash now that GMOs have escaped Monsanto’s experimental wheat fields and contaminated commercial wheat crops in America.

Japan has halted U.S. wheat imports and South Korea joined in as well. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company has announced it is going 100% GMO-free, and massive boycotts are underway against brands that tried to block the GMO labeling ballot measure in California (Prop 37).

We’ve reached the tipping point against Monsant

Jeffrey Smith of http://www.ResponsibleTechnology.org has always talked about a “tipping point” being reached on GMOs, after which the flood of consumer awareness and demand would force food manufacturers and retailers to begin the process of ditching GMOs. I believe that tipping point has now been reached. In fact, I believe the March Against Monsanto was the final push over the fulcrum of the tipping point, and I am ecstatic that so many people all around the world marched in the streets to protest global food injustice while the wholly-discredited mainstream media sat back and pretended the march never even took place!

In one fell sweep, the tipping point against Monsanto was triggered and the whole world realized the mainstream media has zero credibility. I’ll call that a victory any day!

Next steps: Commands from headquarters?

If you’re waiting for “commands from headquarters” to figure out what’s next in the war for food justice and farming justice — the war against Monsanto and GMOs — you don’t really understand this movement. The beauty of everything that’s happening today is that there IS no headquarters!

Activists against Monsanto are simply making this up as we go along. There is no “leader.” There is no secret strategy meeting. There are no talking points. There is no overarching set of milestones being discussed. There is no one person that makes all this happen.

The anti-GMO movement is all just large numbers of courageous individuals waking up and doing what needs to be done, whether that’s organizing a march, posting videos online, boycotting food brands that use GMOs, or holding home-viewing parties of DVDs that educate people on the truth about GMOs.

This is the movement’s strength. This is why nobody can be intimidated, sued or shut down by Monsanto. Behind every activist there are a thousand more carrying the torch for food justice. The anti-GMO grassroots movement absolutely will not stop until GMOs are banned from the global food supply, and that bold statement is just as true in Venezuela and Portugal as the United States. Everywhere that people eat food and grow food, everyone who is informed supports the idea of outlawing GMOs entirely.

This goal will be achieved. I can see it now with clarity. The grassroots energy behind this movement is unstoppable. And while everyone in the grassroots anti-GMO movement may come from slightly different viewpoints on other social, political and economic issues, they all agree that GMOs have no place in the food supply, period!

As I recently said in my speech at the March Against Monsanto in Austin:

“The fact that you are here, in all your beautiful diversity… is proof that they cannot divide us! They can only unite us with their insanity!”

If you are part of the effort to stop Monsanto and outlaw GMOs, you are winning. You are making a measurable, effective difference in the world, and the positive shockwaves of your efforts will be felt for generations to come.

Keep up the good work. 🙂

via OpEdNews – Article: The Monsanto Tipping Point Has Been Reached: We Shall Overcome Global Food Injustice (GMO).

10 Ways to Starve a Multi-National GMO Conglomerate |


Monsanto seems intent on taking over the food supply of the entire world.  Their sterile, toxic seeds are in every corner of the globe.  Hungary recently made headlines for burning 1000 acres of fields of GMO crops to the ground. Dozens of nations have banned, or at the very least, regulated, GMO crops and products.  The heat is on the monolithic seed corporation, and it’s time to turn the temperature up even more in North America.  The federal government has made no secret of their support of Monsanto, so it’s up to us, the consumers, to starve them out.

The best way to do that, according to the founder of Eat Local Grown, Rick Davis, is to “Starve Monsanto, feed a farmer.”

Every dollar we put into the pockets of small farmers is a dollar that Monsanto doesn’t receive.  By cutting off the funding for Monsanto through consumer choices, we can starve this beast out.

Davis is passionate about the place of farmer’s markets in this checkout counter revolution:

Money is all that matters. So let’s use our money more wisely to get the changes we want. First step- stop buying GMO and conventionally grown food. Move those dollars to supporting local sustainable farmers!

I realize that’s difficult and impossible for many. But if we had a shift of just 10% of peoples shopping income going to Farmers Markets it would make a HUGE difference. The sad reality is that most small family farms are required to have at least one family member work outside of the farm just to make ends meet. It’s not because they don’t do a good job growing healthy food, it’s because there’s just not enough awareness of the benefits (nutrition, helping the environment, building community, etc).

Every bite of food that you feed your family is a vote, either for Monsanto and their GMOs, or against them.  This means that every single one of us can effect the necessary change by voting with our forks and wallets.

We can all take steps to grow at least some of the food that we consume, through traditional gardens, containers on the patio or balcony, or even a sunny window.  But for city dwellers or those who live in an area otherwise not conducive to farming, it isn’t feasible to think that they can grow every single bite that they eat.  Not to worry, though, because activism is as easy as heading to your local farmer’s market instead of the grocery store. (You can find farmer’s markets in your area HERE.)

Here are 10 ways to starve a multi-national GMO conglomerate even when you don’t have room to farm – and the best news of all is that ANYONE can get started as soon as lunch time!

Stop shopping at grocery stores.  With farmer’s markets, roadside stands in the country, vegetable gardens,privately owned butcher shops,  and mail order sources for bulk purchases of organic grains, there is no reason you need to ever set foot in another chilly, fluorescent-lit, chemical warfare zone again!

Eat seasonally.  Seasonal eating has a host of benefits. It’s healthier, it’s cheaper, and it’s far easier to find in-season foods locally grown.

Join a CSA.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  Basically when you join a CSA, you are buying shares in the harvest. This is a great way to support local farmers.  You pay in advance and then as the harvest comes in, it is divided among shareholders.  Each CSA is different – some divvy up only produce, while others share eggs and dairy products as well.

Make the farmer’s market a weekly destination.  Grab the kids and some reusable bags and head out to your local farmer’s market.  Not only can you shop for vibrant, fresh-picked fruits and veggies, but many markets also offer home-baked goods, jams and jellies, and local meats.   Be sure that you are buying directly from farmers, though. Some vendors buy from the same markets that the grocery stores do, which defeats the whole purpose.  Talk to the vendor and learn about the origin of the offerings – you just may strike up a wonderful friendship!

Buy directly from the farm.  If you live in a more rural area, shopping locally can be as easy as visiting a neighboring farm.  Some set up roadside stands, others rely on the honor system, and others have small shops with their freshly harvested offerings.

Visit a pick-your-own farm.  A great outing for the whole family is a pick-your-own farm.  Even better, the price for fresh berries or apples is often lower when you provide your own labor.  A morning spent in the field picking strawberries is both educational and a fun way to bond with your children. You can find a PYO farm in your area HERE.

Learn to preserve food.  Many of us live in a climate doesn’t allow for fresh harvests year-round.  The good news is, you can acquire fresh produce in large quantities (like bushel baskets) for a far better price than a weekly supply.  Canning, freezing, and dehydrating are three great ways to preserve that fresh picked goodness to enjoy in the middle of winter, while still avoiding the grocery store and it’s Monsanto-filled shelves.

Join a food co-0p.  According to Localharvest.org, “Food cooperatives are worker or customer owned businesses that provide grocery items of the highest quality and best value to their members. Coops can take the shape of retail stores or buying clubs. All food coops are committed to consumer education, product quality, and member control, and usually support their local communities by selling produce grown locally by family farms.”  Food co-ops can be found HERE and HERE.

Support restaurants that buy locally.  The locavore movement is catching on. If you choose to go out to dinner, opt for restaurants that have seasonal menus based on local harvests.  You can find a list of such eateries HERE.

Educate friends, family, and the local community.  Extend the activism beyond your own kitchen by helping to promote the local options.  Lots of people have no idea what to do with swiss chard or rutabagas.  Volunteer to teach a cooking class that focuses on seasonal foods.  Write up flyers to be inserted with co-op or CSA baskets with instructions on how to prepare that months’ harvest.  Submit seasonal recipes to your local paper. Educate, educate, educate, on the benefits and importance of locally grown, non-GMO food.

Grass roots activism like Occupy Monsanto and the March Against Monsanto have built a tidal wave of momentum against the genetically modified ingredients contaminating our supplies.  We, everyday, ordinary people, can keep the movement going by remembering that the real votes are counted at the cash register.

About the author:

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

via 10 Ways to Starve a Multi-National GMO Conglomerate |.

GMO Soy and GMO Sugar in your diet Drinks…Yuk



GMO Soy and GMO Sugar in your diet drinks…Yuck,yuck and yuck

Awakening Ireland.

Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crops


How should a regulatory agency announce they have discovered something potentially very important about the safety of products they have been approving for over twenty years?

In the course of analysis to identify potential allergens in GMO crops, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has belatedly discovered that the most common genetic regulatory sequence in commercial GMOs also encodes a significant fragment of a viral gene (Podevin and du Jardin 2012). This finding has serious ramifications for crop biotechnology and its regulation, but possibly even greater ones for consumers and farmers. This is because there are clear indications that this viral gene (called Gene VI) might not be safe for human consumption. It also may disturb the normal functioning of crops, including their natural pest resistance.

What Podevin and du Jardin discovered is that of the 86 different transgenic events (unique insertions of foreign DNA) commercialized to-date in the United States 54 contain portions of Gene VI within them. They include any with a widely used gene regulatory sequence called the CaMV 35S promoter (from the cauliflower mosaic virus; CaMV). Among the affected transgenic events are some of the most widely grown GMOs, including Roundup Ready soybeans (40-3-2) and MON810 maize. They include the controversial NK603 maize recently reported as causing tumors in rats (Seralini et al. 2012).

The researchers themselves concluded that the presence of segments of Gene VI “might result in unintended phenotypic changes”. They reached this conclusion because similar fragments of Gene VI have already been shown to be active on their own (e.g. De Tapia et al. 1993). In other words, the EFSA researchers were unable to rule out a hazard to public health or the environment.

In general, viral genes expressed in plants raise both agronomic and human health concerns (reviewed in Latham and Wilson 2008). This is because many viral genes function to disable their host in order to facilitate pathogen invasion. Often, this is achieved by incapacitating specific anti-pathogen defenses. Incorporating such genes could clearly lead to undesirable and unexpected outcomes in agriculture. Furthermore, viruses that infect plants are often not that different from viruses that infect humans. For example, sometimes the genes of human and plant viruses are interchangeable, while on other occasions inserting plant viral fragments as transgenes has caused the genetically altered plant to become susceptible to an animal virus (Dasgupta et al. 2001). Thus, in various ways, inserting viral genes accidentally into crop plants and the food supply confers a significant potential for harm.

The Choices for Regulators

The original discovery by Podevin and du Jardin (at EFSA) of Gene VI in commercial GMO crops must have presented regulators with sharply divergent procedural alternatives. They could 1) recall all CaMV Gene VI-containing crops (in Europe that would mean revoking importation and planting approvals) or, 2) undertake a retrospective risk assessment of the CaMV promoter and its Gene VI sequences and hope to give it a clean bill of health.

It is easy to see the attraction for EFSA of option two. Recall would be a massive political and financial decision and would also be a huge embarrassment to the regulators themselves. It would leave very few GMO crops on the market and might even mean the end of crop biotechnology.

Regulators, in principle at least, also have a third option to gauge the seriousness of any potential GMO hazard. GMO monitoring, which is required by EU regulations, ought to allow them to find out if deaths, illnesses, or crop failures have been reported by farmers or health officials and can be correlated with the Gene VI sequence. Unfortunately, this particular avenue of enquiry is a scientific dead end. Not one country has carried through on promises to officially and scientifically monitor any hazardous consequences of GMOs (1).

Unsurprisingly, EFSA chose option two. However, their investigation resulted only in the vague and unreassuring conclusion that Gene VI “might result in unintended phenotypic changes” (Podevin and du Jardin 2012). This means literally, that changes of an unknown number, nature, or magnitude may (or may not) occur. It falls well short of the solid scientific reassurance of public safety needed to explain why EFSA has not ordered a recall.

Can the presence of a fragment of virus DNA really be that significant? Below is an independent analysis of Gene VI and its known properties and their safety implications. This analysis clearly illustrates the regulators’ dilemma.

The Many Functions of Gene VI

Gene VI, like most plant viral genes, produces a protein that is multifunctional. It has four (so far) known roles in the viral infection cycle. The first is to participate in the assembly of virus particles. There is no current data to suggest this function has any implications for biosafety. The second known function is to suppress anti-pathogen defenses by inhibiting a general cellular system called RNA silencing (Haas et al. 2008). Thirdly, Gene VI has the highly unusual function of transactivating (described below) the long RNA (the 35S RNA) produced by CaMV (Park et al. 2001). Fourthly, unconnected to these other mechanisms, Gene VI has very recently been shown to make plants highly susceptible to a bacterial pathogen (Love et al. 2012). Gene VI does this by interfering with a common anti-pathogen defense mechanism possessed by plants. These latter three functions of Gene VI (and their risk implications) are explained further below:

1) Gene VI Is an Inhibitor of RNA Silencing

GENE VI (UPPER LEFT) PRECEDES THE START OF THE 35S RNA

RNA silencing is a mechanism for the control of gene expression at the level of RNA abundance (Bartel 2004). It is also an important antiviral defense mechanism in both plants and animals, and therefore most viruses have evolved genes (like Gene VI) that disable it (Dunoyer and Voinnet 2006).

GENE VI (UPPER LEFT) PRECEDES THE START OF THE 35S RNA

This attribute of Gene VI raises two obvious biosafety concerns: 1) Gene VI will lead to aberrant gene expression in GMO crop plants, with unknown consequences and, 2) Gene VI will interfere with the ability of plants to defend themselves against viral pathogens. There are numerous experiments showing that, in general, viral proteins that disable gene silencing enhance infection by a wide spectrum of viruses (Latham and Wilson 2008).

2) Gene VI Is a Unique Transactivator of Gene Expression

Multicellular organisms make proteins by a mechanism in which only one protein is produced by each passage of a ribosome along a messenger RNA (mRNA). Once that protein is completed the ribosome dissociates from the mRNA. However, in a CaMV-infected plant cell, or as a transgene, Gene VI intervenes in this process and directs the ribosome to get back on an mRNA (reinitiate) and produce the next protein in line on the mRNA, if there is one. This property of Gene VI enables Cauliflower Mosaic Virus to produce multiple proteins from a single long RNA (the 35S RNA). Importantly, this function of Gene VI (which is called transactivation) is not limited to the 35S RNA. Gene VI seems able to transactivate any cellular mRNA (Futterer and Hohn 1991; Ryabova et al. 2002). There are likely to be thousands of mRNA molecules having a short or long protein coding sequence following the primary one. These secondary coding sequences could be expressed in cells where Gene VI is expressed. The result will presumably be production of numerous random proteins within cells. The biosafety implications of this are difficult to assess. These proteins could be allergens, plant or human toxins, or they could be harmless. Moreover, the answer will differ for each commercial crop species into which Gene VI has been inserted.

3) Gene VI Interferes with Host Defenses

A very recent finding, not known by Podevin and du Jardin, is that Gene VI has a second mechanism by which it interferes with plant anti-pathogen defenses (Love et al. 2012). It is too early to be sure about the mechanistic details, but the result is to make plants carrying Gene VI more susceptible to certain pathogens, and less susceptible to others. Obviously, this could impact farmers, however the discovery of an entirely new function for gene VI while EFSA’s paper was in press, also makes clear that a full appraisal of all the likely effects of Gene VI is not currently achievable.

Is There a Direct Human Toxicity Issue?

When Gene VI is intentionally expressed in transgenic plants, it causes them to become chlorotic (yellow), to have growth deformities, and to have reduced fertility in a dose-dependent manner (Ziljstra et al 1996). Plants expressing Gene VI also show gene expression abnormalities. These results indicate that, not unexpectedly given its known functions, the protein produced by Gene VI is functioning as a toxin and is harmful to plants (Takahashi et al 1989). Since the known targets of Gene VI activity (ribosomes and gene silencing) are also found in human cells, a reasonable concern is that the protein produced by Gene VI might be a human toxin. This is a question that can only be answered by future experiments.

Is Gene VI Protein Produced in GMO Crops?

Given that expression of Gene VI is likely to cause harm, a crucial issue is whether the actual inserted transgene sequences found in commercial GMO crops will produce any functional protein from the fragment of Gene VI present within the CaMV sequence.

There are two aspects to this question. One is the length of Gene VI accidentally introduced by developers. This appears to vary but most of the 54 approved transgenes contain the same 528 base pairs of the CaMV 35S promoter sequence. This corresponds to approximately the final third of Gene VI. Deleted fragments of Gene VI are active when expressed in plant cells and functions of Gene VI are believed to reside in this final third. Therefore, there is clear potential for unintended effects if this fragment is expressed (e.g. De Tapia et al. 1993; Ryabova et al. 2002; Kobayashi and Hohn 2003).

The second aspect of this question is what quantity of Gene VI could be produced in GMO crops? Once again, this can ultimately only be resolved by direct quantitative experiments. Nevertheless, we can theorize that the amount of Gene VI produced will be specific to each independent insertion event. This is because significant Gene VI expression probably would require specific sequences (such as the presence of a gene promoter and an ATG [a protein start codon]) to precede it and so is likely to be heavily dependent on variables such as the details of the inserted transgenic DNA and where in the plant genome the transgene inserted.

Commercial transgenic crop varieties can also contain superfluous copies of the transgene, including those that are incomplete or rearranged (Wilson et al 2006). These could be important additional sources of Gene VI protein. The decision of regulators to allow such multiple and complex insertion events was always highly questionable, but the realization that the CaMV 35S promoter contains Gene VI sequences provides yet another reason to believe that complex insertion events increase the likelihood of a biosafety problem.

Even direct quantitative measurements of Gene VI protein in individual crop authorizations would not fully resolve the scientific questions, however. No-one knows, for example, what quantity, location or timing of protein production would be of significance for risk assessment, and so answers necessary to perform science-based risk assessment are unlikely to emerge soon.

Big Lessons for Biotechnology

It is perhaps the most basic assumption in all of risk assessment that the developer of a new product provides regulators with accurate information about what is being assessed. Perhaps the next most basic assumption is that regulators independently verify this information.  We now know, however, that for over twenty years neither of those simple expectations have been met. Major public universities, biotech multinationals, and government regulators everywhere, seemingly did not appreciate the relatively simple possibility that the DNA constructs they were responsible for encoded a viral gene.

This lapse occurred despite the fact that Gene VI was not truly hidden; the relevant information on the existence of Gene VI has been freely available in the scientific literature since well before the first biotech approval (Franck et al 1980). We ourselves have offered specific warnings that viral sequences could contain unsuspected genes (Latham and Wilson 2008). The inability of risk assessment processes to incorporate longstanding and repeated scientific findings is every bit as worrysome as the failure to intellectually anticipate the possibility of overlapping genes when manipulating viral sequences.

This sense of a generic failure is reinforced by the fact that this is not an isolated event. There exist other examples of commercially approved viral sequences having overlapping genes that were never subjected to risk assessment. These include numerous commercial GMOs containing promoter regions of the closely related virus figwort mosaic virus (FMV) which were not considered by Podevin and du Jardin. Inspection of commercial sequence data shows that the commonly used FMV promoter overlaps its own Gene VI (Richins et al 1987). A third example is the virus-resistant potato NewLeaf Plus (RBMT-22-82). This transgene contains approximately 90% of the P0 gene of potato leaf roll virus. The known function of this gene, whose existence was discovered only after US approval, is to inhibit the anti-pathogen defenses of its host (Pfeffer et al 2002). Fortunately, this potato variety was never actively marketed.

A further key point relates to the biotech industry and their campaign to secure public approval and a permissive regulatory environment. This has led them to repeatedly claim, firstly, that GMO technology is precise and predictable; and secondly, that their own competence and self-interest would prevent them from ever bringing potentially harmful products to the market; and thirdly, to assert that only well studied and fully understood transgenes are commercialized. It is hard to imagine a finding more damaging to these claims than the revelations surrounding Gene VI.

Biotechnology, it is often forgotten, is not just a technology. It is an experiment in the proposition that human institutions can perform adequate risk assessments on novel living organisms. Rather than treat that question as primarily a daunting scientific one, we should for now consider that the primary obstacle will be overcoming the much more mundane trap of human complacency and incompetence. We are not there yet, and therefore this incident will serve to reinforce the demands for GMO labeling in places where it is absent.

What Regulators Should Do Now

This summary of the scientific risk issues shows that a segment of a poorly characterized viral gene never subjected to any risk assessment (until now) was allowed onto the market. This gene is currently present in commercial crops and growing on a large scale. It is also widespread in the food supply.

Even now that EFSA’s own researchers have belatedly considered the risk issues, no one can say whether the public has been harmed, though harm appears a clear scientific possibility. Considered from the perspective of professional and scientific risk assessment, this situation represents a complete and catastrophic system failure.

But the saga of Gene VI is not yet over. There is no certainty that further scientific analysis will resolve the remaining uncertainties, or provide reassurance. Future research may in fact increase the level of concern or uncertainty, and this is a possibility that regulators should weigh heavily in their deliberations.

To return to the original choices before EFSA, these were either to recall all CaMV 35S promoter-containing GMOs, or to perform a retrospective risk assessment. This retrospective risk assessment has now been carried out and the data clearly indicate a potential for significant harm. The only course of action consistent with protecting the public and respecting the science is for EFSA, and other jurisdictions, to order a total recall. This recall should also include GMOs containing the FMV promoter and its own overlapping Gene VI.

Footnotes

1)  EFSA regulators might now be regretting their failure to implement meaningful GMO monitoring. It would be a good question for European politicians to ask EFSA and for the board of EFSA to ask the GMO panel, whose job it is to implement monitoring.

via Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crops.

via Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crops.

Global march challenges Monsanto’s dominance: LIVE UPDATES- Final Update


People carry signs during a protest against agribusiness giant Monsanto in Los Angeles on May 25, 2013. (AFP Photo / Robin Beck)

People carry signs during a protest against agribusiness giant Monsanto in Los Angeles on May 25, 2013. (AFP Photo / Robin Beck

 

Demonstrators hold banners during a rally against U.S.-based Monsanto Co. and genetically modified organisms (GMO), in Valparaiso city May 25, 2013. (Reuters / Eliseo Fernandez)

Demonstrators hold banners during a rally against U.S.-based Monsanto Co. and genetically modified organisms (GMO), in Valparaiso city May 25, 2013. (Reuters / Eliseo Fernandez)

 

20:39 GMT: Thousands protested near the Sacramento State Capitol in California. The event featured magnificent traditional Aztec dances.

 

20:27 GMT: Dozens have gathered in front of Monsanto office in Buenos Aires, Argentina, dancing and protesting GMO crops. Monsanto’s largest factory in Latin America is located in Argentina, and the company invests millions into new “experimental facilities.”

 

The March Against Monsanto, Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Image from twitter user@Ignacio_RT)

The March Against Monsanto, Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Image from twitter user@Ignacio_RT)

 

20:11 GMT: Over a hundred of activists gathered in Dallas chanting “No more lies! No more greed! We don’t want your toxic seed!”

 

The March Against Monsanto, Dallas. (Image from twitter user@reneefranks)

The March Against Monsanto, Dallas. (Image from twitter user@reneefranks)

 

20:05 GMT: The Vancouver March Against Monsanto is part of an international movement that aims to raise awareness about the impacts of genetically modified organisms in food.

Marchers gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery beginning at 11 a.m. local time before making their way through the city.

Fearing the massive effect genetic engineering has both on the environment and health, marchers have demanded that companies be forced to label foods containing GMOs.

“There’s a growing body of evidence indicating that genetically modified crops are not benign; they affect both our health and the environment,” Global BC cites Greenpeace Vancouver Local Group member, Zac Hambrook, as saying in a statement. 

 

19:58 GMT: “What do we want? Labels! When do we want em’? Now!” The March Against Monsanto making its way through downtown Cincinnati Ohio.

 

19:50 GMT: From the East Bay to California’s largest city San Diego, anti-Monsanto protests have swept through the Golden State.

 

The March Against Monsanto, San Diego. (Image from facebook.com)

The March Against Monsanto, San Diego. (Image from facebook.com)

 

19:40 GMT: Hundreds gather in San Francisco’s Union Square to take part in the nationwide as well as global march against Monsanto.
19:30 GMT: Activists in Olympia, Washington organized a march to the state capitol and onward to help take back control of their food supply. Alliance for Global Justice, an organizer behind the march, said 888 people had initially signed up to attend the poor weather conditions might have dissuaded many from turning out.

 

19:00 GMT: RT’s Anastasia Churkina is following the protests from New York.

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18:55 GMT: Environmental groups across America have blamed companies like Monsanto for the drastic decline in the honey bee population over recent years, saying the pesticides they produce have killed off millions of the vital insect in recent years.  Monsanto plans to host a “Bee Summit” in June to discuss solutions to the bee’s North American demise. “Everybody is concerned by it,” Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robert Fraley told Reuters.


18:45 GMT: Several thousand protesters marched through the streets of Vienna, Austria to rally against the US seed giant and GMO products.

 

Demonstrators hold banners during a rally against U.S.-based Monsanto Co. and genetically modified organisms (GMO), in Valparaiso city May 25, 2013. (Reuters / Eliseo Fernandez)

Demonstrators hold banners during a rally against U.S.-based Monsanto Co. and genetically modified organisms (GMO), in Valparaiso city May 25, 2013. (Reuters / Eliseo Fernandez)

 

20:39 GMT: Thousands protested near the Sacramento State Capitol in California. The event featured magnificent traditional Aztec dances.

 

20:27 GMT: Dozens have gathered in front of Monsanto office in Buenos Aires, Argentina, dancing and protesting GMO crops. Monsanto’s largest factory in Latin America is located in Argentina, and the company invests millions into new “experimental facilities.”

 

The March Against Monsanto, Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Image from twitter user@Ignacio_RT)

The March Against Monsanto, Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Image from twitter user@Ignacio_RT)

 

20:11 GMT: Over a hundred of activists gathered in Dallas chanting “No more lies! No more greed! We don’t want your toxic seed!”

 

The March Against Monsanto, Dallas. (Image from twitter user@reneefranks)

The March Against Monsanto, Dallas. (Image from twitter user@reneefranks)

 

20:05 GMT: The Vancouver March Against Monsanto is part of an international movement that aims to raise awareness about the impacts of genetically modified organisms in food.

Marchers gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery beginning at 11 a.m. local time before making their way through the city.

Fearing the massive effect genetic engineering has both on the environment and health, marchers have demanded that companies be forced to label foods containing GMOs.

“There’s a growing body of evidence indicating that genetically modified crops are not benign; they affect both our health and the environment,” Global BC cites Greenpeace Vancouver Local Group member, Zac Hambrook, as saying in a statement. 

 

19:58 GMT: “What do we want? Labels! When do we want em’? Now!” The March Against Monsanto making its way through downtown Cincinnati Ohio.

 

19:50 GMT: From the East Bay to California’s largest city San Diego, anti-Monsanto protests have swept through the Golden State.

 

The March Against Monsanto, San Diego. (Image from facebook.com)

The March Against Monsanto, San Diego. (Image from facebook.com)

 

19:40 GMT: Hundreds gather in San Francisco’s Union Square to take part in the nationwide as well as global march against Monsanto.
19:30 GMT: Activists in Olympia, Washington organized a march to the state capitol and onward to help take back control of their food supply. Alliance for Global Justice, an organizer behind the march, said 888 people had initially signed up to attend the poor weather conditions might have dissuaded many from turning out.

 

19:00 GMT: RT’s Anastasia Churkina is following the protests from New York.
18:55 GMT: Environmental groups across America have blamed companies like Monsanto for the drastic decline in the honey bee population over recent years, saying the pesticides they produce have killed off millions of the vital insect in recent years.  Monsanto plans to host a “Bee Summit” in June to discuss solutions to the bee’s North American demise. “Everybody is concerned by it,” Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robert Fraley told Reuters.


18:45 GMT: Several thousand protesters marched through the streets of Vienna, Austria to rally against the US seed giant and GMO products.

 

18:18 GMT: Several hundred protesters have amassed outside the White House  to demand the Obama administration change its policy towards Monsanto. In March, President Obama signed the so-called Monsanto Protection Act, which “effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO or GE crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from the consumption of these products may come to light in the future.”
17:58 GMT: Protesters in Los Angeles have evoked the sweeping horrors of the French Revolution to show their disapproval for Monsanto’s practices.


17:50 GMT:  Farmers form the Consortium for the Defense of Sicilian Agriculture have pulled out all of the stops…and a tractor to protest the destructive impact of Monsanto on their livelihood and the world’s food supply. 

 

17:40 GMT: #MarchAgainstMonsanto is surging on Twitter despite the virtual mainstream media blackout on the global day of action.
17:37 GMT: Several dozens protesters have come out in Wichita, Kansas to take part in the worldwide call to “take back our food.”


17:28GMT: Protesters are starting to fill up Chicago’s Federal Plaza, which is home to a regular farmers market, to take part in one of many anti-Monsanto protests being held throughout the United States.


17:10 GMT: Dozens of demonstrators have gathered in Novi Sad, Serbia’s second largest city, to take part in the global action against Monsanto.
17:00 GMT: A small group of protesters have gathered outside of the Central Academic Theatre of the Russian Army on Suvorov Square to demand a “Russia without GMO!”


16:00 GMT: Several hundred people gathered in Paris for a peaceful protest against the US agrochemical giant Monsanto. A sit in demonstration was held on the Place du Trocadéro square, across the Seine from the Eifel Tower. Protesters could be seen waving signs claiming “”Monsanto plunders and kills the farmers and the planet.”

 

Anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) activists gather on the Trocadero square near the Eiffel tower during a demonstration against GMOs and US chemical giant Monsanto on May 25, 2013 in Paris (AFP Photo / Fred Dufour)

Anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) activists gather on the Trocadero square near the Eiffel tower during a demonstration against GMOs and US chemical giant Monsanto on May 25, 2013 in Paris (AFP Photo / Fred Dufour)

 

 

Anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) activists gather on the Trocadero square near the Eiffel tower during a demonstration against GMOs and US chemical giant Monsanto on May 25, 2013 in Paris (AFP Photo / Fred Dufour)

Anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) activists gather on the Trocadero square near the Eiffel tower during a demonstration against GMOs and US chemical giant Monsanto on May 25, 2013 in Paris (AFP Photo / Fred Dufour)

 

15:40 GMT: Japanese protesters earlier gathered outside Monsanto’s headquarters in Tokyo to chant down the company’s influence on the world’s food supply.

 

14:40 GMT: Demonstrators gathered at Eastern Market in Detroit, Michigan to “Demand GMO Labeling” and join the worldwide protest against Monsanto. The “March Against Monstanto” is being held in a dozen  cities  across Michigan, including Detroit, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Traverse City and Sault St. Marie. Tia Lebherz, a local organizer for Food and Water Watch, said companies like Monsanto are “squeezing out our small farmers.”
14:10 GMT: “’At Monsanto, we are committed to sustainable agriculture and to continuously improve ways in which we contribute. We are pleased that this honor recognizes that commitment,’ said Jerry Steiner, executive vice president, sustainability and corporate affairs at Monsanto. ‘This recognition reflects the thousands of Monsanto employees who are working together with farmers and partners around the world to improve agriculture and improve lives.'”

“First published in 1999, the ‘100 Best Corporate Citizens’ list ranks large-cap Russell 1000 companies based on publicly available information in seven key categories: climate change, employee relations, environmental, financial, governance, human rights and philanthropy.”


13:50 GMT: Around 300 people have come out for the London March Against Monsanto, calling for better food labeling of products that use ingredients grown with Monsanto seeds. London Organizer Courtney Smith says the issue at heart is that Monsanto is spending millions of dollars to lobby against GMO labeling on foods.The protesters met in Victoria Park at 2:00 p.m. local time and can be seen taking up positions around Parliament.
 

13:45 GMT: The March Against Monsanto attracted a sizeable crowd on Amsterdam’s central Dam Square.

 

13:40 GMT: People take to the streets of Amsterdam by bike and by foot to protest against Monsanto.
13:30 GMT: Demonstrators marching through the streets of Munich, Germany to call for the ban of genetically Engineered and Genetically Modified Organisms. Similar protests are being held in a half a dozen cities throughout the country.

 

image by Christian Chapman

image by Christian Chapman

 


13:10 GMT: Protesters marching through the streets of Cape Town, South Africa demanding that Monsanto get out of Africa.

13:00 GMT: Members of Occupy Food Australia are currently blocking roads in Melbourne, Australia to make their presence against Monsanto felt. 

12:50 GMT: Activists in Hawaii have “made a #MAM light brigade”, adorning a wall with a popular March Against Monsanto hashtag fashioned from a string of lights. 

11:17 GMT: The Japanese are participating in the anti-Monsanto rallies across the country, locals report on Twitter.

 

image by @mkimpo_kid

image by @mkimpo_kid

 

 

image by @mkimpo_kid

image by @mkimpo_kid

 

11:10 GMT: Across South Africa, hundreds have taken to the streets to protest against Monsanto’s policies.

 

image from Revolution News's Photos facebook page

image from Revolution News’s Photos facebook page

 

 

image from Revolution News's Photos facebook page

image from Revolution News’s Photos facebook page

 

10:36 GMT: Hundreds of New Zealanders gathered around the country today to protest against genetically modified food.

 

image from Revolution News's Photos facebook page

image from Revolution News’s Photos facebook page

 


10:03 GMT:


9:00 GMT: Anti-Monsanto activists are claiming a mainstream media blackout on coverage of the protest marches.

8:20 GMT: Anti-Monsanto campaigners across the UK will march as part of a global day of protest against the GMO giant. Rallies are set to take place in London, Bristol, Glasgow, Manchester, Douglas, Torquay and Nottingham.

6:50 GMT: Sarah Saunders, an organizer of the event, said she was leading the march to “help protect the future health and food supply for my children. The long term health effects of GMOs are up for debate and I would rather my children not be science experiments.”

 

image from Revolution News's Photos facebook page

image from Revolution News’s Photos facebook page

 


6:20 GMT: Hundreds gathered in Brisbane, Australia, to join the global protest against Monsanto. 

5:40 GMT: Pictures from Melbourne, Australia, show crowds continuing their protest against Monsanto’s practices.

 

Over a thousand people take to streets in Melbourne for the March Against Monsanto (image from Revolution News's Photos facebook page)

Over a thousand people take to streets in Melbourne for the March Against Monsanto (image from Revolution News’s Photos facebook page)

 

 

image by @nrcars

image by @nrcars

 

4:21 GMT: Over 1,000 protesters gathered in Melbourne.
3:37 GMT: Activists gearing up for a protest in Albany, Australia.


3:00 GMT: Watch RT’s Anastasia Churkina report on the upcoming global protest.

 

 

2:44 GMT: Activists begin gathering for Sydney protest hours before the scheduled time.
2:14 GMT: Nick Bernabe, a social media director for March Against Monsanto, told RT that in some parts of the world, Monsanto’s tactics are leading farmers to suicide.

“If you look at what happened in India… I mean there was an epidemic of suicides of the farmers,” Bernabe said. “Monsanto sold them a kind of seed that they promised would do a certain thing and then those seeds didn’t perform how they were supposed to. And it drove a lot of those Indian farmers into sheer poverty – and they ended up committing suicide by the hundreds and thousands even.”

Meanwhile in the United States, Monsanto is known for litigating small farmers out of business, Bernabe added.

“There are a lot of small farmers they are putting out business because they have a genetic migration into crops that were not supposed to be GMO, but they are getting cross-pollinated,”
 he explained. “And then Monsanto comes in, they use their government cronies to go in and shut down small farmers because the genetics from the seeds they’ve patented have slowly crept into the genetics of non-GMO seeds.”

Bernabe says that activists “want to spread awareness and we want to start from the ground up.”

“The easiest thing you can do to know what’s in your food is to grow your own food,” he said. “We start there. At the very top we want labeling and a ban, but I think we should work from the ground up to have the best results.”

2:20 GMT: Hundreds of people gathered for an event in Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia.


1:51 GMT: 
1:48 GMT:
1:36 GMT: On the eve of the global protest against GMO, the US Senate overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would allow states to decide if genetically modified food products should be labeled.

Since the FDA has not made scientific conclusions, the opponents of the measure argued, GMOs should not be labeled.

“I believe we must rely on the FDA’s science-based examination before we make conclusions about food ingredients derived from genetically modified foods,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who chairs the Agriculture Committee.

1:00 GMT: We are beginning our extensive coverage of the global protest organized by the ‘March Against Monsanto’ movement. An estimated 200,000 activists are expected participate in the massive campaign spanning six continents, 40 nations, and at least 48 US states.

 

18:18 GMT: Several hundred protesters have amassed outside the White House  to demand the Obama administration change its policy towards Monsanto. In March, President Obama signed the so-called Monsanto Protection Act, which “effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO or GE crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from the consumption of these products may come to light in the future.”
17:58 GMT: Protesters in Los Angeles have evoked the sweeping horrors of the French Revolution to show their disapproval for Monsanto’s practices.

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17:50 GMT:  Farmers form the Consortium for the Defense of Sicilian Agriculture have pulled out all of the stops…and a tractor to protest the destructive impact of Monsanto on their livelihood and the world’s food supply. 

 

17:40 GMT: #MarchAgainstMonsanto is surging on Twitter despite the virtual mainstream media blackout on the global day of action.
17:37 GMT: Several dozens protesters have come out in Wichita, Kansas to take part in the worldwide call to “take back our food.”


17:28GMT: Protesters are starting to fill up Chicago’s Federal Plaza, which is home to a regular farmers market, to take part in one of many anti-Monsanto protests being held throughout the United States.


17:10 GMT: Dozens of demonstrators have gathered in Novi Sad, Serbia’s second largest city, to take part in the global action against Monsanto.
17:00 GMT: A small group of protesters have gathered outside of the Central Academic Theatre of the Russian Army on Suvorov Square to demand a “Russia without GMO!”


16:00 GMT: Several hundred people gathered in Paris for a peaceful protest against the US agrochemical giant Monsanto. A sit in demonstration was held on the Place du Trocadéro square, across the Seine from the Eifel Tower. Protesters could be seen waving signs claiming “”Monsanto plunders and kills the farmers and the planet.”

 

Anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) activists gather on the Trocadero square near the Eiffel tower during a demonstration against GMOs and US chemical giant Monsanto on May 25, 2013 in Paris (AFP Photo / Fred Dufour)

Anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) activists gather on the Trocadero square near the Eiffel tower during a demonstration against GMOs and US chemical giant Monsanto on May 25, 2013 in Paris (AFP Photo / Fred Dufour)

 

 

Anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) activists gather on the Trocadero square near the Eiffel tower during a demonstration against GMOs and US chemical giant Monsanto on May 25, 2013 in Paris (AFP Photo / Fred Dufour)

Anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) activists gather on the Trocadero square near the Eiffel tower during a demonstration against GMOs and US chemical giant Monsanto on May 25, 2013 in Paris (AFP Photo / Fred Dufour)

 

15:40 GMT: Japanese protesters earlier gathered outside Monsanto’s headquarters in Tokyo to chant down the company’s influence on the world’s food supply.

 

14:40 GMT: Demonstrators gathered at Eastern Market in Detroit, Michigan to “Demand GMO Labeling” and join the worldwide protest against Monsanto. The “March Against Monstanto” is being held in a dozen  cities  across Michigan, including Detroit, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Traverse City and Sault St. Marie. Tia Lebherz, a local organizer for Food and Water Watch, said companies like Monsanto are “squeezing out our small farmers.”
14:10 GMT: “’At Monsanto, we are committed to sustainable agriculture and to continuously improve ways in which we contribute. We are pleased that this honor recognizes that commitment,’ said Jerry Steiner, executive vice president, sustainability and corporate affairs at Monsanto. ‘This recognition reflects the thousands of Monsanto employees who are working together with farmers and partners around the world to improve agriculture and improve lives.'”

“First published in 1999, the ‘100 Best Corporate Citizens’ list ranks large-cap Russell 1000 companies based on publicly available information in seven key categories: climate change, employee relations, environmental, financial, governance, human rights and philanthropy.”


13:50 GMT: Around 300 people have come out for the London March Against Monsanto, calling for better food labeling of products that use ingredients grown with Monsanto seeds. London Organizer Courtney Smith says the issue at heart is that Monsanto is spending millions of dollars to lobby against GMO labeling on foods.The protesters met in Victoria Park at 2:00 p.m. local time and can be seen taking up positions around Parliament.
 

13:45 GMT: The March Against Monsanto attracted a sizeable crowd on Amsterdam’s central Dam Square.

 

13:40 GMT: People take to the streets of Amsterdam by bike and by foot to protest against Monsanto.
13:30 GMT: Demonstrators marching through the streets of Munich, Germany to call for the ban of genetically Engineered and Genetically Modified Organisms. Similar protests are being held in a half a dozen cities throughout the country.

 

image by Christian Chapman

image by Christian Chapman

 


13:10 GMT: Protesters marching through the streets of Cape Town, South Africa demanding that Monsanto get out of Africa.

13:00 GMT: Members of Occupy Food Australia are currently blocking roads in Melbourne, Australia to make their presence against Monsanto felt. 

12:50 GMT: Activists in Hawaii have “made a #MAM light brigade”, adorning a wall with a popular March Against Monsanto hashtag fashioned from a string of lights. 

11:17 GMT: The Japanese are participating in the anti-Monsanto rallies across the country, locals report on Twitter.

 

image by @mkimpo_kid

image by @mkimpo_kid

 

 

image by @mkimpo_kid

image by @mkimpo_kid

 

11:10 GMT: Across South Africa, hundreds have taken to the streets to protest against Monsanto’s policies.

 

image from Revolution News's Photos facebook page

image from Revolution News’s Photos facebook page

 

 

image from Revolution News's Photos facebook page

image from Revolution News’s Photos facebook page

 

10:36 GMT: Hundreds of New Zealanders gathered around the country today to protest against genetically modified food.

 

image from Revolution News's Photos facebook page

image from Revolution News’s Photos facebook page

 


10:03 GMT:


9:00 GMT: Anti-Monsanto activists are claiming a mainstream media blackout on coverage of the protest marches.

8:20 GMT: Anti-Monsanto campaigners across the UK will march as part of a global day of protest against the GMO giant. Rallies are set to take place in London, Bristol, Glasgow, Manchester, Douglas, Torquay and Nottingham.

6:50 GMT: Sarah Saunders, an organizer of the event, said she was leading the march to “help protect the future health and food supply for my children. The long term health effects of GMOs are up for debate and I would rather my children not be science experiments.”

 

image from Revolution News's Photos facebook page

image from Revolution News’s Photos facebook page

 


6:20 GMT: Hundreds gathered in Brisbane, Australia, to join the global protest against Monsanto. 

5:40 GMT: Pictures from Melbourne, Australia, show crowds continuing their protest against Monsanto’s practices.

 

Over a thousand people take to streets in Melbourne for the March Against Monsanto (image from Revolution News's Photos facebook page)

Over a thousand people take to streets in Melbourne for the March Against Monsanto (image from Revolution News’s Photos facebook page)

 

 

image by @nrcars

image by @nrcars

 

4:21 GMT: Over 1,000 protesters gathered in Melbourne.
3:37 GMT: Activists gearing up for a protest in Albany, Australia.


3:00 GMT: Watch RT’s Anastasia Churkina report on the upcoming global protest.

 

 

2:44 GMT: Activists begin gathering for Sydney protest hours before the scheduled time.
2:14 GMT: Nick Bernabe, a social media director for March Against Monsanto, told RT that in some parts of the world, Monsanto’s tactics are leading farmers to suicide.

“If you look at what happened in India… I mean there was an epidemic of suicides of the farmers,” Bernabe said. “Monsanto sold them a kind of seed that they promised would do a certain thing and then those seeds didn’t perform how they were supposed to. And it drove a lot of those Indian farmers into sheer poverty – and they ended up committing suicide by the hundreds and thousands even.”

Meanwhile in the United States, Monsanto is known for litigating small farmers out of business, Bernabe added.

“There are a lot of small farmers they are putting out business because they have a genetic migration into crops that were not supposed to be GMO, but they are getting cross-pollinated,”
 he explained. “And then Monsanto comes in, they use their government cronies to go in and shut down small farmers because the genetics from the seeds they’ve patented have slowly crept into the genetics of non-GMO seeds.”

Bernabe says that activists “want to spread awareness and we want to start from the ground up.”

“The easiest thing you can do to know what’s in your food is to grow your own food,” he said. “We start there. At the very top we want labeling and a ban, but I think we should work from the ground up to have the best results.”

2:20 GMT: Hundreds of people gathered for an event in Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia.


1:51 GMT: 
1:48 GMT:
1:36 GMT: On the eve of the global protest against GMO, the US Senate overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would allow states to decide if genetically modified food products should be labeled.

Since the FDA has not made scientific conclusions, the opponents of the measure argued, GMOs should not be labeled.

“I believe we must rely on the FDA’s science-based examination before we make conclusions about food ingredients derived from genetically modified foods,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who chairs the Agriculture Committee.

1:00 GMT: We are beginning our extensive coverage of the global protest organized by the ‘March Against Monsanto’ movement. An estimated 200,000 activists are expected participate in the massive campaign spanning six continents, 40 nations, and at least 48 US states.

 

AnonymousHealthHuman rights,ProtestScandalScience

The March Against Monsanto has seen millions in 436 cities in 52 countries challenging biotech corporations and protesting against genetically modified foods, which despite bans in some states due to potential health hazards remain legal in many others.

Read RT’s breakdown of the March Against Monsanto here:

23:01 GMT: Marches against the biotechnology giant Monsanto have taken place in 436 cities across 52 countries with an estimated total number of participants standing at over two million, the organizers of the global event said.

“If I had gotten 3,000 people to join me, I would have considered that a success,” founder and organizer Tami Canal said. Instead, she said two million responded to her message.

22:37 GMT: In order to take full control of the global food chain the world’s largest owner of patents on seeds Monsanto is lobbying, bribing, suing small farmers out of business and altering scientific research, geopolitical analyst F. William Engdahl told RT.

22:02 GMT: Hundreds flooded the streets of Florida calling on the US government to stop lobbying for biotechnology giants.

May 25 March Against Monsanto


On May 25, activists around the world will unite to March Against Monsanto.

Why do we march?

Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects.
In the United States, the FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, and we feel that’s a questionable conflict of interests and explains the lack of government-lead research on the long-term effects of GMO products.
Recently, the U.S. Congress and president collectively passed the nicknamed “Monsanto Protection Act” that, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s genetically-modified seeds.
For too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favoritism. Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to forge its monopoly over the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup.
Monsanto’s GMO seeds are harmful to the environment; for example, scientists have indicated they have caused colony collapse among the world’s bee population.

What are solutions we advocate?

Voting with your wallet by buying organic and boycotting Monsanto-owned companies that use GMOs in their products.
Labeling of GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier.
Repealing relevant provisions of the US’s “Monsanto Protection Act.”

Calling for further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs.

Holding Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism, social media, etc.
Continuing to inform the public about Monsanto’s secrets.
Taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won’t take these injustices quietly.

We will not stand for cronyism. We will not stand for poison. That’s why we March Against Monsanto.

Find cities already participating: http://bit.ly/ZTDsk8

Monsanto is HUMANITY and the EARTH’S Enemy. Please IF you care about our world JOIN US. WE are all one we cannot do this without one another!. WE need to STOP this before Monsanto stops us. Please RE-BLOG this event. IF there is no march in your city START IT!. AWARENESS=CHANGE. There is nothing to SMALL or to BIG. WE must come together FOR OUR FUTURE, OUR CHILDRENS FUTURE and most importantly our EARTH.

Protests Against Monsanto in 55 Countries


Activists from 55 countries will participate in a global protest this month against biotechnology giant Monsanto. According to mother-turned-protest organizer, Tami Monroe Canal, the idea was born of frustration.

“The first few months after moving to Utah I didn’t have access to farmer’s markets and the fresh produce that I had out in California,” said Canal. “I became increasingly angry every time I would go to the grocery store and spend a small fortune to ensure I wasn’t feeding my family poison.”

Canal began the project as a Facebook page on Feb. 28, and says her anger was sparked by California’s Proposition 37 campaign to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The measure failed, but the fight gave her a clearer picture of GMOs, Monsanto, and the food manufacturers who spent $45 million to defeat the initiative.

Prop 37 really opened my eyes to what GMOs truly are and how damaging they can be to human health,” Canal said. “I just couldn’t in good conscience feed my family that anymore.”

Consumers don’t buy products directly from Monsanto, but the company’s biotech corn and soy dominate the American market. The protest encourages people to join a growing boycott of companies likely to use GMOs—including Kellogg’s and General Mills—as a way to change the system.

Anonymous endorsed the upcoming event, but organizers say most of the people involved in the march have never been to a protest before. According to Canal, people from all walks of life share her frustration.

“Food affects everyone,” she said.

Blurry Line

Monsanto has a legacy of controversial and poisonous products—such as PCBs, Agent Orange, DDT, bovine growth hormone (rBGH), Roundup, and aspartame to name a few. For the past two decades, however, Monsanto’s main focus has been GMOs, and many are concerned that the new food technology threatens human health.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that GMOs are safe, but many farmers, doctors, and researchers disagree. Estimates suggest that roughly 80 percent of U.S. food products contain GMO ingredients. With no labels to identify GMOs, Canal says that Americans still need to know that there is cause for concern.

“We’re trying to raise consumer awareness,” she said, “because who in their right mind is going to give their kids something that’s going to give them all these adverse health issues.”

Soon after Canal developed the march and boycott idea, she enlisted the help of seasoned Seattle activist and journalist, Emilie Rensink.

While critics have been speaking out against Monsanto for years, Rensink says that a combination of unpopular policy decisions and social media created just the right conditions for a big demonstration.

“This was kind of the perfect storm,” she said.

Attention for the march picked up speed soon after President Obama signed a budget bill including a measure dubbed the Monsanto Protection Act. However, critics say the recent legislation is only one example of the blurry line between industry and government.

“I think the whole recipe for [Monsanto’s] success is due in large part to the political favoritism that they receive in the United States,” said Rensink. “The FDA is headed by ex-Monsanto executives, and they give them special subsidies over smaller farmers and other farming operations. They are given an unfair advantage in my view.”

Canal points to Michael Taylor, who for the past two decades has bounced back and forth between his job as Monsanto attorney and head of U.S. food regulation.

“It’s a huge conflict of interest for him to be holding the position of power that he holds,” Canal said. “I honestly think going through the government is futile at this point, because the FDA is so embedded with Monsanto.”

While U.S. regulators have shown little concern for GMOs, outside the United States the push back has been much more significant. According to the Non-GMO Project, most developed nations label, restrict, or ban GMOs.

In an email, Monsanto spokesman Tom Helscher said the company had no statement regarding the upcoming protest. However, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant recently characterized GMO critics as social media elitists who overlook the pressing food problems of the less fortunate.

“There is this strange kind of reverse elitism: If I’m going to do this, then everything else shouldn’t exist,” Grant told Bloomberg in a May 14 interview. “There is space in the supermarket shelf for all of us.”

Monsanto supporters point to the company’s promise to address world hunger with increased crop yields and lower food prices, but critics dispute this claim as well.

In Seattle, protesters will march in front of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to highlight what they consider to be an institution helping to further the GMO agenda.

“Bill Gates has been a large proponent of GMOs as a solution for world hunger,” Rensink said, but studies have shown that GMOs don’t produce higher yields. So the notion that GMOs are somehow able to feed the world is really just an empty assertion.”

The march and rally in Salt Lake City will feature a local Vietnam vet discussing how he lost friends to Agent Orange, a beekeeper speaking about the danger Monsanto pesticides pose to the bee population, and a presentation by Grow Food Not Lawns about self-sustainability, and supporting organic co-ops.

Like other venues around the world, Salt Lake will also feature bands playing protest songs against Monsanto and GMOs.

“We’re trying to keep it a little lighthearted,” Canal said. “But I want people to understand the severity of the issue and realize that it is our time in this nation to stand up to something that is so wrong.”

via Protests Against Monsanto in 55 Countries » The Epoch Times.

Trouble in Monsanto Nation


images (2)

Reliable sources in Washington D.C. have informed the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) that Monsanto has begun secretly lobbying its Congressional allies to attach one or more “Monsanto Riders” or amendments to the 2013 Farm Bill that would preempt or prohibit states from requiring labels on genetically engineered (GE) foods.

In response to this blatant violation of states’ rights to legislate, and consumers’ right to know, the OCA and a nationwide alliance have launched a petition to put every member of Congress on notice: If you support any Farm Bill amendment that would nullify states’ rights to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs), we’ll vote – or throw – you out of office.

On Wednesday, May 15, an amendment to the House version of the Farm Bill, inserted under the guise of protecting interstate commerce, passed out of the House Agricultural Committee. If the King Amendment makes it into the final Farm Bill, it would take away states’ rights to pass laws governing the production or manufacture of any agricultural product, including food and animals raised for food, that is involved in interstate commerce. The amendment was proposed by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), largely in response to a California law stating that by 2015, California will allow only eggs to be sold from hens housed in cages specified by California.  But policy analysts emphasize that the amendment, broadly and ambiguously written, could be used to prohibit or preempt any state GMO labeling or food safety law.

Will the King Amendment survive the Senate? No one can be sure, say analysts. However few doubt that Monsanto will give up. We can expect that more amendments and riders will be introduced into the Farm Bill–even if the King Amendment fails—over the next month in an attempt to stop the wave of state GMO labeling laws and initiatives moving forward in states like Washington, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut and others.

Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) have admitted privately that they’ve “lost the battle” to stop GE food labeling at the state level, now that states are aggressively moving forward on labeling laws. On May 14, Maine’s House Ag Committee passed a GMO labeling law. On May 10, the Vermont House passed a labeling bill, 99-42, despite massive lobbying by Monsanto and threats to sue the state. And though Monsanto won a razor-thin victory (51 percent to 49 percent) in a costly, hard fought California GMO labeling ballot initiative last November, biotech and Big Food now realize that Washington State voters will likely pass I-522, an upcoming ballot initiative to label GE foods, on November 5.

If Monsanto can’t stop states from passing laws, then the next step is a national preemptive measure.  And all signs point to just such a power grab.  Earlier this year, Monsanto slipped its extremely unpopular “Monsanto Protection Act,” an act that gives biotech immunity from federal prosecution for planting illegally approved GE crops, into the 2013 Federal Appropriations Bill.  During the June 2012 Farm Bill debate, 73 U.S. Senators voted against the right of states to pass mandatory GE food labeling laws. Emboldened by these votes, and now the House Ag Committee’s vote on the King Amendment, Monsanto has every reason to believe Congress would support a potential nullification of states’ rights to label.

The million-strong OCA and its allies in the organic and natural health movement are warning incumbent Senators and House members, Democrats and Republicans alike, that thousands of health and environmental-minded constituents in their Congressional districts or states will work to recall them or drive them out of office if they fail to heed the will of the people and to respect the time-honored traditions of shared state sovereignty over food labels, food safety laws, and consumers’ right to know.

Trouble in Monsanto Nation

Over the past 20 years Monsanto and the biotech industry, aided and abetted by indentured politicians and corporate agribusiness, have begun seizing control over the global food and farming system, including the legislative, patent, trade, judicial and regulatory bodies that are supposed to safeguard the public interest.

In the U.S., despite mounting evidence of the damage GE crops inflict on human health and the environment, approximately 170 million acres of GE crops, including corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, sugar beets, alfalfa, papaya, and squash, are currently under cultivation. These crops, untested and unlabeled, comprise 41 percent of all cultivated cropland, or 17 percent of all cropland and pastureland combined. According to the GMA, at least 70 percent of non-organic grocery store processed foods contain GMOs. And GE grains and mill byproducts now supply the overwhelming majority of animal feed on the factory farms that supply 90 percent to 95 percent of the meat, eggs and dairy products that Americans consume.

Yet despite their marketplace dominance, record profits and enormous political clout in Washington D.C., Monsanto and the biotech industry are in deep trouble. Evidence is mounting that Monsanto’s top-selling herbicide, Roundup, is a deadly poison, destroying important human gut bacteria and likely contributing to the rapid increase of food allergies and serious human diseases including cancer, autism, neurological disorders , Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), dementia, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Those most susceptible to poisoning by Monsanto’s Roundup are children and the elderly.

Scientists aren’t the only ones raising new questions about Roundup. Farmers are complaining that they’re being forced to spray more and more chemicals on crops increasingly under siege from a growing army of herbicide-resistant weeds.  The situation is so bad that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just raised the limits of Roundup residue allowed on grains and vegetables to even more dangerous levels. But just in case the EPA someday stops raising the limits, Monsanto, Dow and the biotech industry are working on a new “solution” to the onslaught of herbicide-resistant Superweeds: They’ve applied  for approval of a new and highly controversial generation of super toxic herbicide-resistant GE crops, including “Agent Orange”  (2,4-D and dicamba-resistant) corn, soybeans and cotton.

As a recent widely-circulated article points out,

“The use of 2,4-D is not new; it’s actually one of the most widely used herbicides in the world. What is new is that farmers will now ‘carpet bomb’ staple food crops like soy and corn with this chemical at a previously unprecedented scale—just the way glyphosate has been indiscriminately applied as a result of Roundup Ready crops. In fact, if 2,4-D resistant crops receive approval and eventually come to replace Monsanto’s failing Roundup-resistant crops as Dow intends, it is likely that billions of pounds will be needed, on top of the already insane levels of Roundup being used (1.6 billion lbs were used in 2007 in the US alone).”

In addition to these Agent Orange crops, an expanded menu of genetically engineered organisms are awaiting approval. Next on the menu?  GE apples, trees, and salmon.

State Labeling Laws: The ‘skull and crossbones’ that terrify Monsanto

Monsanto’s greatest fear isn’t a federal government charged with protecting the health and safety of its citizens.  Congress and the White House seem only too happy to oblige the biotech industry’s unquenchable thirst for growth, power and dominance. No, it’s the massive, unstoppable (so far) grassroots movement of Millions Against Monsanto that strikes fear in the heart of the Biotech Bully. U.S. citizens are waking up. They’re demanding labels on genetically engineered foods, similar to those already required in the European Union. They’re calling for serious independent safety-testing of GE crops and animals, both those already approved (especially Monsanto’s Roundup-resistant crops) and those awaiting approval.

The anti-GMO movement has finally figured out, after 20 years of fruitlessly lobbying Congress, the FDA and the White House, that the federal government is not going to require labels on GE foods. Instead the movement has shifted the battleground on GMO labeling from Monsanto and Big Food’s turf in Washington D.C. to the more favorable terrain of state ballot initiatives and state legislative action—publicizing the fact that a state GMO labeling law will have the same marketplace impact as a national labeling law.

State laws spell doom for Monsanto. Companies like Kellogg’s, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Pepsi/Frito-Lay, Dean Foods, Unilever, Con-Agra, Safeway, Wal-Mart and Smuckers are not going to label in just one or two states.  Monsanto knows that U.S. food companies will go GMO-free in the entire U.S., rather than admit to consumers that their products contain GMOs.

As Monsanto itself has pointed out, labels on genetically engineered foods are like putting a “skull and crossbones” on food packages. This is why Monsanto and their allies poured $46 million into defeating a California ballot initiative last year that would have required labels on GMO foods. This is why Monsanto has lobbied strenuously in 30 states this year to prevent, or at least delay, state mandatory labeling laws from being passed. This is why Monsanto has threatened to file federal lawsuits against Vermont, Connecticut, Maine and Washington if they dare grant citizens the right to know whether or not their food has been genetically engineered or not.

And this is why Monsanto’s minions are trying to insert amendments or riders into the Farm Bill that will make it nearly impossible, even illegal, for states to pass GMO labeling laws. And there’s nothing to stop them when Congress is filled with pro-biotech cheerleaders who could care less that 90 percent of U.S. consumers want mandatory labels and proper safety testing of genetically engineered crops and foods.

Countering Monsanto’s Final Offensive: Throw the Bums Out!

Only a massive grassroots resistance will deter the U.S. Senate and House from stomping on our rights. Only an unprecedented campaign of public education, petition-gathering and grassroots pressure will be able to convince the ever-more corrupt and indentured politicians in Washington D.C. to back off.

Eighteen state constitutions have century-old provisions for state registered voters to collect petitions and recall state and local officials, forcing them to either resign or stand for reelection. But what very few Americans, and even members of Congress, realize is that 11 states have constitutional provisions to recall U.S. Senators and House of Representative members, as well as state elected officials.

It’s time we exercise the full power of direct democracy, not just state and municipal ballot initiatives. We must continue to support efforts like the current state ballot initiative to label GMOs in Washington state, and county ballot initiatives to ban GMOs, factory farms and other corporate crimes, in the 24 states and hundreds of counties and municipalities where these are allowed.  But we also need to use the power we have to recall and throw out of office our out-of-control Congressional Senators and Representatives as well.

If our elected officials in Congress continue to represent Monsanto and big corporations, rather than their constituents, then let’s throw the bums out! If the Washington political Establishment, both Democrats and Republicans, continue to trample on our inalienable constitutional rights and contemptuously disregard the 225-year principle of a shared balance of power between the federal government, the states and local government, then we have no choice but to recall them or throw them out of office.

Please join the nation’s organic consumers and natural health advocates in this strategic battle, the Food Fight of Our Lives. Please join this campaign to save, not only our right to choose what’s in our food, but our basic right to democratic representation and self-determination as well.  Sign the petition.  Tell your Congressmen and women, especially the 73 incumbents who voted last year to eliminate states rights’ to legislate on GMO labels, and those in the House this week who voted to support the King Amendment that “enough is enough,” “ basta ya.”

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Power to the People!Ronnie Cummins is National Director of the Organic Consumers Association.

via Trouble in Monsanto Nation » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.

via Trouble in Monsanto Nation » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.

Ireland Allows Iconic Potato to be Genetically Modified


Genetically modified potatoes now threaten the purity of potatoes internationally. All it takes is a careless farmer to allow his modified crop to be planted elsewhere, without properly labeling the crop as modified. This would mix in the genetically modified crop with traditional, and even organic, crops. This is a legitimate environmental issue, as it is a major threat to food integrity.

In a monumental move that signifies the truly terminal state of the international food supply, Ireland’s government officials have given the green light to begin genetically modifying the iconic potato. Met with severe resistance from both citizens, watchdog organizations, and political figures, the decision allows for the genetically modified potatoes to be planted within Ireland by the Irish food development authority Teagasc.

Starting off with a trial within the nation’s borders, Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authorized Teagasc to plant the GMO crops throughout a two hectare land plot. While supports continue to assert that the relatively small size makes the process ‘safe,’ experts from within the Emerald Isle say otherwise. In response to the idea that starting the trial with a ‘small’ land plot is safe, The Organic Trust in Dublin explains that once you unleash genetically modified seeds into the environment, the consequences that may follow do not depend on how many acres of land is modified — only the fact that genetically modified seeds have been planted.

Spokesperson Gavin Lynch stated:

It is only a two hectare trial, but that’s like saying you’re only a little bit pregnant, there are no grey areas with GM…. Organic Trust calls on Teagasc not to act on the approval granted but to adhere to the wishes of the vast majority of Irish citizens not to pollute our precious land. Not one single solitary benefit will accrue to Ireland as a result of this trial. So why it is going ahead?”

The above stated is a valid question to which the answer may hide in previously leaked documents dating as far back as 2007. It was back in 2007 that WikiLeaks cables revealed a surprising threat made to nations who rejected GMO crops and biotechnology overall. As plainly stated by the United States ambassador to France and business partner to George W. Bush, Craig Stapleton, all nations that oppose GMOs will be hit with calibrated ‘target retaliation’ and ‘military-style trade wars’.

Stapleton even goes on to specifically state that many European nations are culprits of such anti-GMO activity and should therefore be hit with such target retaliation. In other words, it is becoming more and more apparent that political incentives and even political threats appear to play a much greater role in the establishment of genetically modified crops and subsequent trials than public opinion. And until the public utilizes serious political activism and peacefully demands change from their representatives on a major scale, such political corruption will continue to ultimately influence decisions that affect your daily life.

Source: http://naturalsociety.com/

via Ireland Allows Iconic Potato to be Genetically Modified | World Truth.TV.

via Ireland Allows Iconic Potato to be Genetically Modified | World Truth.TV.

M&S, Co-op and Sainsbury’s say chickens will be fed on GM soya


Britain’s supermarket giants have been accused of caving in to the genetic modification lobby by dropping their decade-long stance against selling chickens fed on genetically modified crops.

The move has been seen as a key victory for GM food giants such as Monsanto which, environmental groups claim, will benefit from the switch. It is also being seen as a precursor to the introduction of GM meat and poultry by “softening up” consumer resistance to the controversial technology.

It has emerged that Marks & Spencer, the Co-operative and Sainsbury’s are following Tesco, Asda and Morrisons and reversing policies that prohibit their suppliers from feeding GM soya to chickens used in the production of their own-brand eggs and poultry. The move came following fierce lobbying from groups such as the National Farmers Union and the British Poultry Council.

The supermarket giants said suppliers had told them that non-GM feed for poultry is now too difficult and too expensive to obtain. There are also concerns that there is a risk non-GM and GM animal feed could become mixed up, making it more difficult to police the UK food chain.

But non-GM feed producers in Brazil, a major source of animal feed to the UK, expressed surprise at the claims, saying they were producing record amounts of animal feed. They said there was no difficulty separating the two types of feed and claimed the move was more about the UK wanting to do more business with US GM companies.

Environmental groups warned that there would be consumer protests if non-GM options were removed. “The supermarkets should stand up for their customers and secure long-term contracts for all their non-GM food and feed supplies,” said Dr Helen Wallace of the campaign group GeneWatch UK, which is critical of the GM lobby. “If access to non-GM feed for chickens is allowed to be blocked today, how long before we have no choices left?

“People have a right to choose what food they want to eat and we must guard against corporate interests, cartels and monopolies taking over global food and feed supplies.”

The UK’s new position is at odds with its European neighbours. Supermarket chains in Germany, France and Austria are increasing their use of non-GM soya in livestock production in response to consumer demand. French supermarket giant Carrefour is launching a label to signal to its customers that its animals have not been fed GM food. Abrange, which represents Brazil’s non-GM soya producers, said that the desire for clearer labelling was shared by the British public. It pointed to a recent survey that suggested 67% of people prefer milk, eggs, poultry and meat produced with non-GM feed.

It said claims that non-GM soya was hard to source following a temporary slowdown in exports were inaccurate. “This year Brazil has enjoyed a record soybean harvest of over 82m tonnes, large enough to more than provide Europe’s entire soya meal demand,” Abrange said.

The organisation said it believed the UK was repositioning itself on GM technology. “This change could well have as much to do with interest in opening the UK to imports of GM soya from the US than to the temporary slowdown in Brazil.”

In a statement Tim J Smith, Tesco group technical director, explained that the supermarket chain was making the decision to buy livestock fed on GM soya because the risk of finding GM material in non-GM feed was increasing and because 80% of the world’s soya is now modified.

Environmental groups believe the government is increasingly enthusiastic about GM. Environment secretary Owen Paterson has branded sceptics of the technology as “humbugs”. Supporters say GM food will help feed a burgeoning population, but sceptics say the claims made for the technology are overblown.

A Monsanto spokesman said they were not aware of a rise in demand for its GM soya product since the supermarkets changed their policy. He said the supermarkets’ decision was taken after lobbying from farmers’ groups, concerned about the rising costs of animal feed, not as a result of pressure from the GM lobby.

via M&S, Co-op and Sainsbury’s say chickens will be fed on GM soya | Environment | The Observer.

via M&S, Co-op and Sainsbury’s say chickens will be fed on GM soya | Environment | The Observer.

Monsanto protests scheduled in 36 countries


An international protest planned for later this month against biotechnology company Monsanto is slated to span six continents and include demonstrations in dozens of countries around the globe.

Amid growing concerns over St. Louis, Missouri-based Monsanto and the impact the company is having on agriculture, activists have planned rallies for later this month in 36 countries.

Monsanto, a titan of the emerging biotech industry, has come under attack from environmentalists, agriculturalists and average consumers over the company’s conduct in the realm of genetically-modified organisms and genetically-engineered foods. Despite research on the effects of GMO crops being largely considered inconclusive, Monsanto has lobbied hard in Washington and around the globe to be able to continue manufacturing lab-made foods without the oversight that many have demanded.

In March, Congress passed a biotech rider dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act” by its critics that essentially allows that company and others that use GMOs to plant and sell genetically-altered products without gaining federal permission.

“The provision would strip federal courts of the authority to halt the sale and planting of an illegal, potentially hazardous GE crop while the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) assesses those potential hazards,” dozens of food businesses and retailers wrote Congress before the bill was passed.

In the weeks since the rider was approved within an annual agriculture spending bill, anti-Monsanto sentiment has only increased. The international day of protest scheduled for May 25 is now looking at becoming one for the record books, and even a number of celebrities have lent their star power to help raise awareness of the movement.

“Here in America you don’t get the right to know whether you’re eating genetically modified organisms,” award-winning music performer Dave Matthews says in a video for the march that has been uploaded to the Web. Comedian Bill Maher and actor Danny DeVito also appeared in the clip to plead with people around the world to rally against GMO companies.

But even as the anti-Monsanto movement increases in intensity, the company itself continues to generate record-setting profits. In April the company announced a 22 percent increase in net profits, and representatives for the companies said they expect to see that trend continue.

“So our bottom line business outlook today means the momentum that we anticipated in our first quarter has clearly carried through into even stronger business results for the second quarter,” CEO Hugh Grant told analysts and reporters during a phone call last month.

Earlier this year, Grant told the Wall Street Journal that despite an international backlash, venues around the world have been unable to link to his company with any concrete health risks caused by their products.

“They’re the most-tested food product that the world has ever seen. Europe set up its own Food Standards Agency, which has now spent €300 million ($403.7 million), and has concluded that these technologies are safe,” Grant said in January. “France determined there’s no safety issue on a corn line we submitted there. So there’s always a great deal of political noise and turmoil. If you strip that back and you get to the science, the science is very strong around these technologies.”

But despite those claims, anti-Monsanto actions are expected to continue as planned around the world — and in those very countries. Four demonstrations are scheduled for Britain, including events in London and Bristol, and two separate events are scheduled for May 25 in Paris. In the US, demos are planned in 48 of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.

via Monsanto protests scheduled in 36 countries — RT USA.

via Monsanto protests scheduled in 36 countries — RT USA.

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