Protesters in over 400 cities march vs Monsanto
LOS ANGELES — Organizers say two million people marched in protest against seed giant Monsanto in hundreds of rallies across the U.S. and in over 50 other countries today.
“March Against Monsanto” protesters say they wanted to call attention to the dangers posed by genetically modified food and the food giants that produce it. Founder and organizer Tami Canal said protests were held in 436 cities in 52 countries.
Genetically modified plants are grown from seeds that are engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides, add nutritional benefits or otherwise improve crop yields and increase the global food supply. Most corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in the United States today have been genetically modified. But some say genetically modified organisms can lead to serious health conditions and harm the environment.
The use of GMOs has been a growing issue of contention in recent years, with health advocates pushing for mandatory labeling of genetically modified products even though the federal government and many scientists say the technology is safe.
The ‘March Against Monsanto’ movement began just a few months ago, when Canal created a Facebook page on Feb. 28 calling for a rally against the company’s practices.
“If I had gotten 3,000 people to join me, I would have considered that a success,” she said Saturday. Instead, she said two million responded to her message.
Monsanto Co., based in St. Louis, said today that it respects people’s rights to express their opinion on the topic, but maintains that its seeds improve agriculture by helping farmers produce more from their land while conserving resources such as water and energy.