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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Environment & Forest Defense | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Health, Housing, and Public Services
GMO Apocalypse Zombies "Occupy Monsanto" at Seminis Office
On March 16, approximately two dozen community members, many dressed as zombies, demonstrated at the office of Seminis, Inc., which is owned by Monsanto Company and located in the city of Salinas. The group was protesting, in their words, Monsanto's efforts to, "take total control of the World's seed supply by patenting genetically modified seed."
Seminis Inc. is the largest producer of fruit and vegetable seeds in the world, and agriculture is a $3.8 billion dollar industry in the Salinas Valley. A genetically modified organism (GMO) is a life form whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Scientists have been experimenting with GMOs since the early 1970s, and GMOs where first used in relation to food crops in the 1980s by large companies such as Monsanto. Large scale commercial farms began to plant GMOs in the 1990s, and presently, the U.S. is the largest commercial grower of geneticlly modified food crops in the world.
The Seminis office was empty on the day of the zombie demonstration, and the company's sign was removed from the front display, but a cap with Monsanto printed on it was visible in the office, as was a packet of Seminis seeds. A woman who worked for the building's management company told demonstrators that the office was, "rarely occupied, " and another tenant in the complex confirmed that commercial activity by Seminis was rarely seen.
The demonstration was organized by members of Occupy Monterey Peninsula, and also participating in the event were members of Occupy Santa Cruz, Occupy Cabrillo, and representatives of UNITE HERE (formerly the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Union or HERE), Local 483.
Demonstrators distributed a flier that communicated the, "things Monsanto does not want you to know," which were listed as:
1- Foods containing GMOs don't have to be labeled in the U.S.
2-There is a lack of adequate safety training with GMOs.
3-Monsanto puts small farmers out of business.
4-Monsanto products pollute the developing world.
5-Monsanto blocks government regulations.
6-Monsanto was found guilty of false advertising in 2009.
7-Consumers through major retailers have rejected the bovine growth hormone.
8-GMO crops do not increase crop yields.
9-Monsanto controls the U.S. soy market.
10-GMO foods may lead to food allergies.
In addition, the flier asked consumers to tell the following companies to stop using and selling GMO ingredients: Kellog's/Kashi, Coca-Cola, Kraft/Nabisco, McDonald's, Frito-Lay, General Mills, Quaker Oats, Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Safeway, Campbell Soup, and Wal-Mart.
For more information about Occupy Monterey Peninsula, see:
For more information about GMOs and the food supply, see:
Organic Consumers Association
A demonstrator gets a chuckle out of a zombie as he plays "Zombie" by the Cranberries.
"Hey! Monsanto if you're so proud of your GMOs, why don't you label them?"