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Millions March Against Monsanto
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More than two million people around the world took to the streets on Saturday to protest genetically modified food and the companies that produce it. Called “March Against Monsanto,” organizers and protesters are speaking out against the proliferation of unlabeled genetically modified foods, which are believed to be detrimental to human health. Monsanto is an agricultural biotechnology company that has developed a number of strains of genetically modified seeds, and is the corporate face of genetically modified foods in the United States.

  
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The root of the issue is that genetically modified foods, many of which are developed by Monsanto and similar agricultural companies, are not required to be labeled as such when sold or used in the creation of food. Monsanto and the federal government maintain that genetically modified foods are just as safe as those that have not been modified, but, as those who oppose genetically modified foods are eager to say, Monsanto’s previous agricultural developments, which include DDT, Agent Orange, and saccharine, were all sold as “safe” before later studies proved otherwise. The majority of the corn, soybean, and cotton crop in the United States is genetically modified.

For their part, Monsanto claims that, as the human population of the planet continues to balloon and people go hungry in every nation, genetically modified food allows farmers to use their existing resources to grow more resilient, larger-yielding crops.

Opponents of the company say that these types of foods have not been proven safe for human consumption, and that Monsanto itself uses unfair business practices and exercises far too much political influence on virtually every level of the government.

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More than 2 million protestors gathered in 53 cities around the world on Saturday to march in one unified front against Monsanto, in what was aptly named the “March Against Monsanto” movement. The initiative was created by Tami Canal, who created a Facebook page for the group on February 28 that called for a rally against the company. “If I had gotten 3,000 people to join me, I would have considered that a success,” Canal told the Guardian. Canal worked with Seattle blogger Emilie Rensink and Anti-Media.org’s Nick Bernable to promote the event via social media.

“It was empowering and inspiring to see so many people from different walks of life put aside their differences and come together today,” said Canal, who indicated that she will continue to raise awareness about Monsanto and genetically modified food.



The St. Louis-based Monsanto responded to the protests, saying that the company respects people’s rights to express their opinions, and maintained the safety of their products.

The protest comes shortly after the U.S. Senate voted against allowing states to create regulations for labeling genetically modified food.



 

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