We passed our EMT class yesterday, but still need to pass another skills exam on friday before we are finished. Then it’s off to Wyoming on Saturday! But before then, we will be participating in a peaceful protest — the March Against Monsanto on saturday afternoon. This is going to be big, and should be covered widely in mainstream media, although I wouldn’t be suprised if it isn’t.
Citizens will be marching on Saturday all over the world in over 300 cities to unite peacefully and make a stand against Monsanto, and all that this company stands for. The main objective is to bring attention to GMO foods, and the fact that foods containing GMOs are not labeled at this time in most countries. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to complaints we have against Monsanto, however. Labeling GMOs is one thing, but the fact that they even exist and are considered safe for consumption is widely disputed. GMOs have been in existence at least 15 years, and yet there have not been any conclusive studies to prove that they are safe. In fact, there have been recent studies that prove GMOs cause tumors, birth defects, and are linked to a plethora of other harmful diseases and problems. Check out this website for up-do-date studies: seralini
For a wikipedia definition of GMO see here: GMO
Many believe that GMOs are a way to solve World Hunger, since they are designed to be packed into small spaces and withstand pesticides and herbicides, thus producing more food. Pestcicides and herbicides are written into the DNA of the GMO plants, theoretically making them able to withstand boatloads (or more literally: plane-loads) of chemicals dropped on them. But plants are smarter. And report after report is appearing from Monsanto farmers saying that new super-weeds are popping up to withstand what is being sprayed, and more problems are arising. Beyond that, new studies are saying that by eating these GM foods, it is re-writing our DNA. I don’t know about you, but I’m not so keen on having pesticides be a part of my DNA.
The real problem with GMO and monocrop systems is that they are creating problems and then “fixing” those problems with an approach that simply doesn’t work, is harmful to everything around it, and is the furthest thing from sustainability. “Pests” and “weeds” are a relatively new idea. Insects and plants are not a problem in a polyculture system where all plants and insects work together to create a balanced, healthy, simbiotic relationship. This is why we are so enthralled with the idea of Permaculture, which teaches us to observe nature and design systems that essentially function as a natural forest does. The introduction video on the Monsanto website has inspiring music and uses the word “sustainability” a dozen times, but it is a blatant misuse of the word and a media ploy to get people to believe they are doing something positive. Not only are GMO foods not solving world hunger, they are destructive, and designed to work into an unnatural system that is completely harmful and inefficient.
What bothers Tony and I more is the monopoly Monsanto has taken on our agricultural system. Innumerable small farmers have been put out of business by Monsanto controlling the food system, and essentially owning the farmers who work for them. These farmers can’t even grow edible food for themselves or their family. Instead they are required to grow a monocrop like corn that is inedible, and used to create processed foods with no nutritional value. This corn is also fed to meat and dairy animals on feed-lots, which is completely unnatural, makes the animals sick, and without antibiotics, would cause them to die. And this is the meat we find in supermarkets. Almost every packaged food you see in a conventional supermarket will have “corn syrup” and other unpronouncable corn derivatives that are destructive for the human body.
Monsanto is essentially taking over the world, and has it’s hands in nearly every facet of our economy. Take a look at these graphics, which show how far Monsanto’s reach extends: monsanto’s coporate reach. The problem is, Monsanto has control of the FDA, our lawmakers, and the media. Unfortunately, money talks. There’s a reason GMO labeling wasn’t passed in California last fall. Monsanto funded commercials and campaigns, telling lies about how GMO labeling will hurt farmers. You mean the farmers that Monsanto already controls?
Monsanto, and other large companies are trying to own our food. It is already illegal for Monsanto’s farmers to save their own seeds. And the threat will extend to small gardeners and farmers who grow and save their own heirloom seeds. In fact, if any of Monsanto’s seeds blow onto your land, they will put you out of business with lawsuits.
It should be a standard right to have our foods labeled if there are GMOs inside of them. But beyond that, why do we even allow them? We are essentially being slowly poisoned. And why are we allowing a company with no interest in our health to completely take over and own our food, and our right to know about it? Many countries around the world are beginning to ban GMOs. Here is a growing list of countries and counties banning GMOs. What are we waiting for?
There are a few lists out there of food companies to boycott who use GMO or are sponsored by Monsanto. It’s easy enough to stop eating processed foods and stick with organic grains, and vegetables we grow ourselves. But what would we do if it became illegal to grow our own unadulterated food? For those of us who want to start a small farm and create food systems that truly are sustainable, Monsanto is a large threat. They can, and have, put many farmers out of work.
We have decided to join the March Against Monsanto this saturday to show our concern. With so many people joining in nations all over the world, this should at least bring attention to the problems we face. There needs to be legislation against Monsanto, instead of the recent legislation protecting Monsanto. But we as consumers have a lot of say in what happens. We can run Monsanto out of business by staying aware, and buying wisely. We will march this weekend to stand up against a company that is taking over our world, and poisoning us without our knowledge. Not anymore. Check out this website if you are intersted in finding a march near you this coming Saturday, May 25th: MARCH
Also, if you are interested in learning more, there are many documentaries out there like KING CORN and FOOD INC. that we recommend.