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March Against Monsanto in Santa Cruz
by Bradley Allen ( bradley [at] bradleyallen.net )
Sunday May 25th, 2014 12:30 AM
Kelly L. Derricks started March Against Monsanto’s Agent Orange awareness program to educate people on Agent Orange, the deadly chemical weapon that Monsanto was the largest manufacturer of during the Vietnam War era. Derricks states, “If we fail to realize that March Against Monsanto is not about GMOs alone, then we have already lost the battle.”
On Saturday, May 24, people all around the world united, including in Santa Cruz, California, to March Against Monsanto, calling for the permanent boycott of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and other harmful agro-chemicals. Marches occurred on six continents, in 52 countries, with events in over 400 cities. In the USA, demonstrations were held in 47 states.
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[Photo: Tarah Locke, a Mother and the Founder of GMO-Free Right to Know! Santa Cruz, speaks at the March Against Monsanto rally at the clock tower in downtown Santa Cruz.]
Thanks to the March Against Monsanto for the press release outlining most of the information for this article! :-)

The Santa Cruz rally and march was organized by GMO-Free Santa Cruz. The group’s main focus coalesced around Proposition 37 to Label GMOs in California. They are now working to promote SB 1381, a new California GMO labeling bill that made it to the Senate, and is expected to be voted on sometime between May 28 and May 30. If approved by the Senate, SB 1381 will then go on to the Assembly.

The March Against Monsanto (MAM) movement was founded by Tami Monroe Canal in response to the failure of Proposition 37 in California, a 2012 ballot initiative that would have required labeling many of the food products made from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Canal says she was inspired to start the movement to protect her two daughters. “Monsanto’s predatory business and corporate agricultural practices threatens their generation’s health, fertility and longevity. MAM supports a sustainable food production system. We must act now to stop GMOs and harmful pesticides.”

GMOs are not adequately monitored to ensure public safety. Long term, independent, peer reviewed studies were not conducted before GMOs were introduced for human or animal consumption. In the USA, the revolving door between Monsanto employees, government positions, and regulatory authorities has led to key Monsanto figures occupying positions of power at the FDA and EPA.

Monsanto has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to obstruct all labeling attempts; they also suppress any research containing results not in their favor. The scientifically established health risks include, but are not limited to: organ damage, sterility, infant mortality, birth defects, auto-immune conditions, allergies and increased cancer risks.

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

Kelly L. Derricks started March Against Monsanto’s Agent Orange awareness program to educate people on Agent Orange, the deadly chemical weapon that Monsanto was the largest manufacturer of during the Vietnam War era. Kelly is the president and co-founder of the non-profit, Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance (COVVHA). The organization fights internationally for the children exposed to Agent Orange through generational exposure that is killing tens of thousands with no recognition from the United States Government. She is quoted saying, “If we fail to realize that March Against Monsanto is not about GMOs alone, then we have already lost the battle.”

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

In India, more than 250,000 farmers have committed suicide after Monsanto’s Bt cotton seeds did not perform as promised. Farmers, left in desperate poverty, are opting to free their families of debt by drinking Monsanto pesticide, thereby ending their lives. Many farmers in other countries are also stripped of their livelihood as a result of false promises, seed patenting and meticulous legal action on the part of Monsanto and other big-ag interests. In many parts of Africa, farmers and their communities are left to choose between starving or eating GMOs.

An “Open Letter from World Scientists to All Governments Concerning Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs),” signed by 828 scientists from 84 countries, detailed concern regarding GMOs coupled with a call for immediate 5 year suspension of GMO crops in order to conduct “a comprehensive public enquiry of agriculture and food security for all.”

Related Links

March Against Monsanto 2014:

Vandana Shiva’s Message for the March against Monsanto
http://seedfreedom.in/vandana-shivas-message-for-the-march-against-monsanto/

World protests Monsanto grip on food supply chain
http://rt.com/news/161356-anti-gmo-monsanto-protest/

Video Documentaries (Full Versions):

Genetic Roulette: The Gamble Of Our Lives
https://archive.org/details/GeneticRouletteTheGambleOfOurLives
http://vimeo.com/68422959

The World According To Monsanto
http://youtu.be/wRrTXZkDAjo


Bradley Allen is a photographer, Indymedia volunteer, and website developer living in Santa Cruz, California. All photos are free for non-commercial reuse, on non-commercial websites (So Not On Facebook). For other use, please contact me. Photo credit and a link to this article is appreciated. Support local independent media.

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SB 1381 just short of votes in Senatevia Food NavigatorTuesday Jun 3rd, 2014 5:19 PM