This is a Call to Action for a Non-Hierarchical Occupation of Monsanto Everywhere
Whether you like it or not, chances are Monsanto contaminated the food you ate today with chemicals and unlabeled GMOs. Monsanto controls much of the world's food supply at the expense of food democracy worldwide. This site is dedicated to empowering citizens of the world to take action against Monsanto & it's enablers like the FDA, USDA, EPA, GMA, BIO, and the processed food companies that use Monsanto's products.
We urge you to help organize and attend the closest March Against Monsanto taking place on Saturday, May 25, 2013!
On May 25, activists around the world will unite to March Against Monsanto.
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.
In the United States, the FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, and we feel that’s a questionable conflict of interests and explains the lack of government-lead research on the long-term effects of GMO products.
Recently, the U.S. Congress and president collectively passed the 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 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.
Monsanto’s GMO seeds are harmful to the environment; for example, scientists have indicated they have caused colony collapse among the world’s bee population.
What are solutions we advocate?
Voting with your dollar by buying organic and boycotting Monsanto-owned companies that use GMOs in their products.
Labeling of GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier.
Repealing relevant provisions of the US’s “Monsanto Protection Act.”
Calling for further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs.
Holding Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism, social media, etc.
Continuing to inform the public about Monsanto’s secrets.
Taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won’t take these injustices quietly.
We will not stand for cronyism. We will not stand for poison. That’s why we March Against Monsanto.
So you want to March Against Monsanto? First, check and see if there’s already being one planned for your city, and if so, if there’s someone leading the organizing on it yet: http://bit.ly/ZTDsk8
If not, please read these guidelines for a general idea of what goes into planning a demonstration.
If you feel you can take it on, send a message to the page letting us know which city you’re in and that you’ve read this guide. We’ll then create an event for you and add you as a host.
Step 1: Decide whether to do a march or a single rally. If you can get at least 20 people, a march has the potential to reach a lot more people than a rally.
Step 2: Pick a good location. For a rally, a state capitol building or city hall is a good spot. If there are any GMO-related headquarters or corporations in your city, that’s another good spot.
If you’re doing a march, pick two well-known locations to start and end your march. You can do mini-rallies at each location. Keep in mind walking distance; around a mile is a good distance.
Step 3: Research which permits may be necessary to make your event legal. You can research this on the Internet by looking on city government websites or calling their offices. Requirements are usually different depending on whether you’re doing a march or a rally and where it will be held.
Step 4: Reach out to potential speakers if you plan to have a rally or mini-rallies along with a march; this is a great way to increase the turnout and get media coverage. Try reaching out to organizations in your city that oppose GMOs and/or Monsanto like farmers and organizations that promote organic foods. If there are politicians in your city/state who advocate GMO labeling, that’s another good idea as well.
Note: If you’re having speakers, you may need to get additional permits for a PA system and/or a bullhorn.
Step 5: Once you have all of the details worked out for your rally, it’s time to promote it! This is done by use of flyers, including large ones to post to telephone poles and small ones to handout.
Also send a press release to your local media alerting them to the event.
If you’re doing a march, be sure to create a banner to carry so people know why you’re marching. Also, make signs and have attendees bring their own as well.
*We will provide some guidance for you, but ultimately the success of your march will be in your hands, as this is a grassroots-led movement. Thank you!*
Official MAM statement
We would like to remind everyone that MAM does not support violence or aggression towards property or people. Violence will only set us back.
Please be clear this movement is non-violent. We want the world to hear us. We must behave like adults not stoop to the level of violence.
Our Marches are family events. We will have children, elderly, and disabled people present. Violence of any kind will not be acceptable.
Please be warned that often times Monsanto themselves will send in their own plants to try and incite or instigate aggression. Do not be fooled. They are trying to destroy our unity.
With that said, Please do not bring violence or abusive comments to our March or to our Event pages. Your comments will be deleted and if it continues you will be banned.
We encourage all organizers of the individual events to share this message.
Please be warned if you are an instigator you will not be tolerated at our march and we our organizers will ask you to stop or leave. If you continue we ourselves will politely and calmly ask a Police officer to remove you.
We encourage all organizers to be open and talk with your local police and make clear to them that these events are family events and we will cooperate and work with them to remove anyone who incites aggression.
Please understand, we are not trying to be authoritarian but that we have a responsibility to create a peaceful event for our children, parents, grandparents and all attending.
Remember the world will be watching and we have an example to set. Violence would be seized upon by the media and Monsanto. They would use this as propaganda to discredit the movement and label us as eco-terrorists. This is not a joke we are standing up against one of the most powerful corporations that ever existed.
This is why we reiterate no violence of any kind will be tolerated. We know most of you know this but for the few who did not you do now. For the instigators you are not welcome and we stand firm united in NON-Violence.
While we will be speaking up against the politicians and the corporations we will not condone any comments or threats of aggression towards them. We will expose their crimes and demand justice and change of policy. We do not by any means condone any type of vigilantism. Our mission is to raise awareness, expose, and legally stop Monsanto, and their cronies, crimes against humanity. We would like to see GMOs Labeled and/or banned until they can without a doubt be proven safe. So far we have seen the opposite. GMOs are not safe. Monsanto is an unethical unmoral corporation and they have been committing crimes against humanity for decades.
This event is a platform to bring us together in Unity. From here we can work together to create a powerful base of grass roots activism . We encourage all to network together and continue to work towards supporting ballot initiatives that are in place to label GMOs or Ban them, and create initiatives that have not yet been created. Continue working together to expose politicians that serve Monsanto and promote politicians that stand with the people. We encourage all to create mailing lists and or FB groups where you can continue working together after the march and until we have reached our goals. You may want to bring an ipad and have everyone who is interest type in their emails so you have a ready digital email list to bring people together for future efforts. This event has created powerful momentum and its in our best interest to brainstorm Ideas on how we can keep the ball rolling.
Activists to Prepare & Share “Stone Soup” to Protest
FDA’s Antiquated Policies on Genetically Engineered (GMO) Foods
COLLEGE PARK, MD – Alarmed by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) outdated and pro-biotechnology industry policies concerning the labeling & safety of GMO foods sold in America, safe food activists will hold the largest protest to date at the FDA to demand immediate policy changes. On Monday, April 8, concerned citizens traveling as far away as the Midwest will descend on the FDA for a day-long “Eat-In” outside the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition located at 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740. Organic farmers and backyard gardeners will bring organically-grown vegetables from their region that will be combined in a huge cooking pot to make a special, GMO-free “Stone Soup” that will be eaten in protest as a picnic-style event outside of the FDA.
WHAT: “Eat-In” at the FDA for GMO Food Labeling and Food Democracy.
WHERE: Sidewalk outside of the Food And Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway College Park, MD 20740 – Directly across the street from the College Park Metro Station (Green Line).
WHEN: All day, Monday, April 8 from 8am until 6pm – From 8am until Noon Safe Food Activists will prepare the Stone Soup and at 1pm the Stone Soup will be served to everyone with a bowl. After lunch, there will be a seed exchange and workshops on various topics.
Last week Safe Food Activists formally invited FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and the staff at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition to speak at 1pm while the Stone Soup is being served. In the letter, they requested the FDA explain why they’ve refused to change the official policy toward labeling of GMO foods and to explain why the transgenic Aquabounty Salmon does not merit a GMO label.
“The FDA has a terrible track record when it comes to genetically engineered food,” said Patty Lovera, assistant director at the consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch. “They have allowed GE ingredients to spread through our food supply without labels and they may soon make it worse by approving GE salmon, the first genetically engineered food animal. If FDA wants to actually fulfill it’s mission to protect the public, it needs to reject GE salmon.”
“The awareness is growing in the US, from the grassroots up, of people from all walks of life and from moms to students to CEOs, that are demanding their right to transparency in the labeling of genetically engineered foods. It is time that the FDA fulfill its role of protecting citizens by granting us our right to know what we’re eating,” said Lisa Stokke, co-founder of Food Democracy Now!, a grassroots advocacy organization based in Iowa. “The folks gathering near the FDA building, and in over 20 states where legislation for labeling is being considered, are a testament to the strength and resolve of the food movement.”
While Occupy Monsanto originally called for the demonstration, there have been numerous groups that have pledged their support for the picnic protest, including Food Democracy Now!, Food & Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, GMO Inside, and the Right to Know GMO, a grassroots Coalition of States for GMO Labeling. There will be buses and vans from across the United States making their way to the FDA with the common goal of getting GMO foods labeled like they are in most industrialized nations.
“There have been ‘Be-Ins’ and ‘Sit-Ins’ but there has never been an ‘Eat-In’ in the history of the FDA,” says Adam Eidinger, spokesman for Occupy-Monsanto.com. “Its shameful the White House has nothing to say about the multiple ‘We The People’ petitions on GMO labeling that have gone unanswered for over a year,” adds Eidinger.
“The fable of ‘Stone Soup’ has been rewritten many times throughout history and will be rewritten once again on April 8,” says Tom Llewellyn, a lead organizer with the REAL Cooperative in Asheville, NC. “One version of the ‘Stone Soup’ tale is about a hungry soldier who, when passing through an impoverished village, announced that he would make ‘Stone Soup’ for everyone in town. The promise of this mysterious ‘Stone Soup’ persuaded people in the small village to pool their resources and offer up their hidden onions, carrots, lettuce, and spices to feed everyone. With all food activists and citizens working together, a greater good can be achieved by forcing changes in the way huge food corporations source ingredients and the way our government regulates food safety,” says Llewellyn.
Nearly 93% of all soybeans grown in America contain man-made, patented genes owned by a very small number of agrochemical companies that the FDA passively oversees. Instead of conducting rigorous independent analyses of patented GMO crops that make up Americas food supply, the FDA has relied on short-term industry studies that were written for profit, not food safety. In a January 2013 article in the Wall Street Journal, Monsanto’s CEO Hugh Grant stated the corporation was open to the FDA allowing GMO labeling, but only if it was done scientifically. “What is more scientific than a patent listing,” asks Emma Hutchens of the REAL Cooperative. “The FDA says that GMOs are not materially different than their non-GMO counterpart, but if the plants are patented there must be a material difference, otherwise there would be no need for a patent. They can’t have it both ways.”
In 2011 and 2012 over a million Americans signed the “Just Label It” FDA petition for GMO labeling, but the FDA has responded with silence. “The Food and Drug Administration is not listening to the overwhelming majority of Americans who want honest food labels,” says Emilianne Slaydon, founder of GMO Free DC. “We have signed numerous petitions but we’ve received no response. We only want the same food labels citizens of over 40 countries enjoy, so we are going to enjoy some ‘Stone Soup’ to demand this simple democratic right.”
Food activists opposed to genetically modified crops will take their fight to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration next week, sponsoring an old school eat-in at the agency’s College Park, Md., campus staged around a truly historic meal.
The anti-GMO protest is scheduled for 8 a.m.-6 p.m. April 8 outside the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (5100 Paint Branch Parkway) and will feature a full day of activities. It will include the preparation and consumption of a massive cauldron — “Don’t forget to bring your own bowl, spoon, mug, and vegetables!” the group advocates on its promotional materials — of all-inclusive “stone soup.”
Occupy Monsanto organizer Adam Eidinger told HOH that the event is geared toward one simple goal: a clear understanding of what we are all eating.
“We want transparency. This is a very reasonable thing to ask for,” he said, adding that protesters would, obviously, also have plenty to say about the controversial agri-industrial safeguards that hitched a ride to President Barack Obama’s desk via a recent spending bill.
“We’re going to be talking about the Plant Protection Act, the Monsanto Protection Act … same thing as far as we’re concerned,” Eidinger said. But since that’s already been inked into law — “It should be taken out when the next budget is approved,” Eidinger counseled — organizers are focusing their efforts at proactive rather than retroactive changes.
Part of that outreach will include urging demonstrators to take control of their personal eating habits. Attendees are invited to bring heirloom seeds to share/swap and are encouraged to bring whatever vegetables/herbs they care to contribute to the communal soup party.
Eidinger credited activists from The Real Cooperative (Asheville, N.C.) with dreaming up the bring-your-own-vegetable format. He said chef Jonny Motto, who plies his steamy trade at TAAN restaurant in Adams Morgan, had volunteered to tend to the giant 200-quart pot of communal brew.
The Honorable Margaret Hamburg
Food and Drug Administration
5100 Paint Branch Parkway
College Park, MD 20740-3835
cc: Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Food
Dear Commissioner Hamburg:
We write to you with the invitation to come join us for some delicious Stone Soup that we will prepare on Monday, April 8, outside the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, Maryland. At 1pm we would like you to address our concerns about the labeling of genetically engineered foods sold in the United States of America. We will bring a small public address system and will provide you with an opportunity to speak to those gathered about why the FDA refuses to change its outdated policies concerning the labeling of genetically modified (“GMO”) foods. We promise to be respectful. We are genuinely hungry for answers to our concerns.
As you very well know, your administration purports man-made, patented genetic technology in our food does not constitute a “material difference” to require a byline on a food label. This is a grossly benighted position that has evoked an eruption of public protest and media investigation for over a decade. This position leads us to ask: whom does the FDA aspire to protect? You owe the American people an explanation for why U.S. policy on GMO labeling keeps us ignorant of whether our food has been genetically modified, while citizens in other countries around the world are granted the right to make informed decisions based on accurate food labels.
Americans from all over the country will bring ingredients to make the Stone Soup on the public sidewalk outside the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.. Before they add their ingredient(s) to the pot, they will have the opportunity to address you and your staff members in order to express why they want genetically engineered foods to be properly labeled in America. The soup will be 100% vegan and we will compile a thorough ingredient list to show how easy it is to make an honest food label.
We expect some may come to speak about the pending disapproval of the genetically engineered Aquabounty Salmon and we hope staff members will consider listening to these oral comments, as well as accept hand-deliveries for docket FDA-2011-N-0899. As a novel drug that is bypassing the normal clinical research phases that drugs overseen by your administration normally require, there needs to be much more dialog with the American public in order to provide absolute proof that the food adulterants used to produce synthetic meat for human consumption are safe enough to not require mandatory GMO labels.
While we have asked everyone to bring their own bowls and spoons so that our picnic will not generate unnecessary waste, we will bring you and Michael Taylor your own bowls & spoons because we genuinely desire your presence. Our upcoming picnic has a purpose that we hope you and your staff members will fully acknowledge and embrace, which is Americans want the FDA to require GMO labeling. Moreover, we hope your staff members feel empowered to engage in a friendly dialog with us over a bowl of delicious Stone Soup.
By offering you organic food, we are not trying to bribe you or your administration in any way. Rather, we wish to speak with you through the act of sharing of a communal meal. Our sharing of food is symbolic of our peaceful demonstration of free speech, and thus an expression of one of the myriad fundamental freedoms we cherish as citizens. We hope you feel welcomed by our invitation, and that this letter inspires you and your staff to join us in the spirit of camaraderie between fellow eaters.
“The FDA has the opportunity and authority to do right by the American public. When issuing its rule requiring radiated foods to be labeled, FDA stated in broad terms that a decision to require labeling is not just based on the physical changes to the food but also on whether consumers view such information as important, and whether the omission of label information may mislead a consumer. The fact that the FDA has already adopted this broad interpretation of “material” facts demonstrates that [GMO labeling] is a reasonable – and therefore permissible – interpretation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).”
We are unaware of any official reply that was generated from your administration. Before we arrive on Monday, April 8, to prepare the Stone Soup, we would love a response posted on the FDA website because, frankly, we are really hungry for some answers.