Two Million People Worldwide Protest Against Monsanto, Mainstream Media Barely Covers It

monsanto

On May 25th, millions of people gathered in cities all over the world to “March Against Monsanto,” protesting both the genetically modified crops they create as well as their unethical business practices. The media barely noticed.

Just a few short months ago, a Facebook page popped up which made a simple plea:

I’m tired of the poisoning of our food supply. Will you help me organize a rally in your area? May 25th, 2013. Spread the word, Please!!

March Against Monsanto Facebook page. Despite the large turnout all over the world, very little of substance is being reported through the mainstream media. Las Vegas resident Andrew Garcia, who attended yesterday’s march in the heart of Sin City joined by his girlfriend and her sister, noted that he didn’t see a single reporter or news truck at the event.

There were at least 2500 people there, and not one of them was a reporter. To actually see with my own eyes how much they are trying to cover up makes me sick.

Many media accounts that are available are based largely on one Associated Press article. The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, USA Today, and others all report on the marches with the same AP article, adding little to no actual reporting. ABC News didn’t even bother with the entire article, but just small snippets of it. One has to wonder at the reasons for not properly covering an event this widespread. Further, the article makes Monsanto sound like a saint of a company, saving the world one genetically modified crop at a time, eradicating hunger in the face of constant adversity from lunatic activists who are making a big deal out of nothing.

So what exactly is the purpose of protesting Monsanto?

Garcia says that what brought Monsanto to his attention was the 2003 documentary “The Corporation,” which tells the story of Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, reporters for a Fox news station in Tampa, Florida. In the late 1990s, Akre and Wilson began work on a story investigating Monsanto’s use of recombinant bovine human growth hormone (or rBGH), an additive that increases a cow’s milk supply. There had been controversy surrounding rBGH, and the two reporters found that despite the FDA approval, the technology was believed to be the cause of various health concerns in both cows and humans. “The reporters were silenced by Monsanto, forced out of business and their image destroyed,” said Garcia.

On top of that, he says, the treatment of small farmers by Monsanto has left behind a vile taste, referring to the lawsuits Monsanto has filed against small farmers for theft of intellectual property; that is, their seeds. Each Monsanto seed is encoded with patented gene technology that makes it resistant to their pesticides, for which Monsanto charges a royalty. Their dominance of the market makes it practically impossible to find seeds that haven’t been affected by such a gene. If a farmer doesn’t pay the royalty, even if it was used by no intention of their own, such as in the case of pollination, Monsanto takes them to court. Often, the court costs alone put the small farmer out of business, regardless of whether or not they win their case.

As good a reason as all the above is to protest against Monsanto, many people cite the harm created by genetically modified crops as their main motivation for bringing awareness to the issue. On the March Against Monsanto website, the group gives the following reasons under the title “Why do we march?”:

  • Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects.
  • 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.
  • For too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favoritism. 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 makeup.

On their Facebook page, March Against Monsanto estimates that two million people in fifty-five countries joined in the protest, and it is certain that many others would have joined but were, for whatever reason, unable. But, what now, after the march has passed? The protest doesn’t end, say the group organizers, just because the march has. Taking care to look at what you eat, demanding local food, and growing a garden are all wonderful ways of keeping the fight against Monsanto alive. And for those of you who are so technologically inclined, don’t forget about that ‘Buycott’ app.