More than a million people around the world marched against biotech giant Monsanto on May 25. The event was held across six continents, in 36 countries, and in over 250 cities. In India marches were held in Delhi and Bengaluru
Why they marched?
- Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as development of cancer tumours https://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/gm-maize-rats, infertility and birth defects.
- In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, and that’s a questionable conflict of interest and explains the lack of government-led research on the long-term effects of GM products, say anti-GM activists.
- Recently, the US Congress and president collectively passed the law nicknamed “Monsanto Protection Act” that, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s genetically-modified seeds.
- For too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favouritism in various countries across the world. Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to forge its monopoly over the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic make-up.
- Monsanto's GM seeds are harmful to the environment. For example, scientists have indicated they have contributed to Colony Collapse Disorder among the world's bee population.
What are their demands?
- Buy organic and boycott Monsanto-owned companies that use GMOs in their products.
- Labelling of GMOs so that consumers can make informed choices
- Repealing relevant provisions of the US's "Monsanto Protection Act"
- Further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs
- Hold Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism and social media
- Continue informing the public about Monsanto's secrets
- Take to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that people won't take these injustices quietly
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