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!
Protesters marking the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement gathered at three St. Louis area locations to protest against Monsanto Co., including the biotechnology giant’s Creve Coeur headquarters.
The protests here, organized by a network calling itself Occupy Monsanto and by the group GMO-Free Midwest, were among 45 other “actions” held across the country Monday, organizers said.
Calling on the company to more rigorously test and label genetically modified ingredients, the protesters first gathered outside the Millenium Hotel downtown, then outside the Whole Foods Market in Brentwood and finally outside the company’s offices.
“We’re celebrating the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street,” said Barbara Chicherio, of the Gateway Green Alliance and Safe Food Action St. Louis, and a spokesperson for Occupy Monsanto’s efforts here. “We had a lot of concerns about large corporations controlling the government, but it wasn’t very focused. Now we’re focusing on Monsanto.”
The protests are the latest in a series of events over the past year in which activists have called for mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients. A petition urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to require labeling gathered more than 1 million signatures earlier this year, and a proposition requiring labeling will go before voters in California this November.
According to records filed with the California Secretary of State, Monsanto has contributed more than $7 million to defeat the proposition.
Now, activists say, they are reaching beyond the labeling issue. “Over 1 million signatures were sent to the FDA and they were basically ignored,” said Adam Eidinger, a coordinator with Occupy Monsanto. “So what’s left to do? It’s time for civil disobedience.”
Eidinger said the company temporarily suspended operations at two of its California facilities in the past week because of protest actions.
Monsanto would not comment on the suspension of operations, saying only that the safety of its employees was paramount.
MASON — Melissa Chapman of St. Clair dressed in a biochemical hazard suit had a simple message.
“We want to protect people,” Chapman said.
Chapman and 20 others protested in front of the Monsanto company as part of a nationwide movement called “Occupy Monsanto” Monday afternoon.
“We are basically here protesting the use of GMOs (genetically modified organisms),” Chapman said.
According to Monsanto’s website, the worldwide company’s purpose is to work alongside farmers by selling seeds, developing traits through biotechnology and crop protection chemicals. In 1982, Monsanto’s scientists were the first to genetically modify a plant cell.
Chapman, who is involved with the Occupy Monsanto Genetics Crimes Unit, said she would like to see labels on products that use GMOs.
“What we figure is that if it is labeled, people won’t buy it,” Chapman said.
We arrived around 10 a.m. In the end, we were 13 in total. The cops came by a few times and just asked us to stay behind the white road line and not impede traffic. We got a number of positive thumbs up and enthusiastic beeps from people driving by, along with a few middle fingers! Even the employees leaving the facility for lunch gave us thumbs up!
There was an older woman visiting from CA who was very passionate and who is heavily involved in the passing of Prop 37 there. She knew her stuff and was great to talk with. There was also a woman my age who was an organic farmer in Fowlersville. He dad is 82 years old and is a “monsanto farmer!” She is dubbed as the black sheep of the family. I learned a lot from her!
Lastly, there was Bob, who had been involved in protests since Wallace in 1948. He didn’t know what GMOs were, but hopped on board and was a lovely addition to out little group
When I first arrived, I sat in the grass on the easement across from their front door…to give them time to notice me. I promptly saw people peering out of windows, and a gentleman who appeared to be security stood on a 2nd floor balcony and looked at me (I smiled and waved, but he didn’t wave back). Then I gathered my things together as the rain began to fall and starting walking the perimeter of the building, sign on my shoulder. A gentleman walking with two older ladies passed by and asked what I was doing. I briefly explained my stance, and he said “sure, they should at least let us know what we’re eating! Stand strong, girl!” and they continued to walk. A couple of passersby asked what I was about, and some studiously avoided eye contact (lol). A very pleasant young lady who worked in an adjacent building approached me, because she couldn’t read my sign from her window. She and I had a very enjoyable and educational discussion. She is apparently a researcher of some variety, so we discussed the various sides of the debates in regards to things like the vitamin A enriched “super rice” and environmental manipulation. Ultimately, on some things we agreed, and others we differed, but we agreed that everyone would benefit if agribusiness, lobbyists and concerned citizens could figure out how to come to the table and agree to transparency and honest communication.
About 50 protesters, on the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the “Occupy” movement, were in front of a Monsanto plant in Davis this morning, saying they want to shut down the local office of the multinational biotechnology company.
In March, protesters staged a similar protest. At that time, the Missouri-based company decided not to open its Davis office and did not make anyone available for comment.
Davis police were monitoring the situation about 7 a.m. today as protesters sat, stood and paced outside Monsanto. Demonstrators had one driveway to the Monsanto complex partially blocked with yellow caution tape.
Protesters carried signs that said “Occupy will bring Monsanto to its knees” and “Genetic Contamination is forever.” Some of the protesters wore costumes resembling hazardous material protective gear.
Steven Payan, representing Occupy Woodland, in a news release accused the company of “mass pollution to environment.”
Protesters said the effort is in conjunction with other “shut down” Monsanto demonstrations worldwide.
CREVE COEUR, MO (KPLR) – Part of those occupy protests nationwide were aimed at St. Louis-based Monsanto, objecting to what organizers call the corporate food supply.
A few dozen demonstrators came to Monsanto’s international headquarters to protest Monsanto’s use of so called GMOs, genetically modified organisms.
The anti-Monsanto protestors started out at Whole Foods, angry that the organic food retailing giant also sells corn and other vegetables that are genetically modified.
Demonstrators were allowed to talk to customers. They were not allowed to carry signs or dress in costumes.
From there, they took their complaints to Creve Coeur and Monsanto world headquarters. They say most of Monsanto’s genetic tinkering, involves becoming resistant to bug killing chemicals.
“Mostly plants at this point by Monsanto are genetically engineered so that they’re resistant to their herbicides and pesticides, roundup,” said Barbara Chicherio with Safe Food Action-St. Louis. “So they’ve genetically engineered plants so they can spray the pesticide on it, which actually also has a lot of health concerns.”
“What Monsanto does is to corner the market on farming products and especially pressure farmers to buy GMO seeds and GMO seeds are something that can threaten human health, GMO seeds can be very bad for the environment, and GMO seeds can basically drive farmers into bankruptcy,” said Don Fitz with Gateway Green Alliance.
But while the protestors in front of Monsanto say genetically modified organisms are dangerous, Monsanto says they’re helping to feed the world.
No Monsanto spokesman would appear on camera. But the company did issue a statement:
“The 21,000 people who work for Monsanto are proud of our efforts to help improve farm productivity and food quality. Agriculture and its uses are important to Missouri, the United States and the world. Among the challenges facing agriculture are producing food for our growing population and reducing agriculture’s footprint on the environment. We respect each individual’s right to express their point of view on these topics. At Monsanto, we believe we can make a contribution to improving agriculture by helping farmers produce more from their land while conserving natural resources such as water and energy.”
Other anti-Monsanto protests were held worldwide. But will protests like this alter the behavior of a multi-billion dollar bio-agricultural giant? Not likely.