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.
From sunset Friday, January 10 until at least 2am, January 11, 2014, safe food activists will be holding a nighttime vigil outside of the FDA’s Center For Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (5100 Paint Branch Pkwy College Park, MD 20740) to demand the FDA require mandatory labels for foods containing genetically engineered ingredients. Throughout the evening activists will be projecting crowdsourced food labels, photos, and videos submitted by concerned citizens from around the world on to the side of the FDA building.
WHAT TO BRING
This demonstration will be taking place at night in the middle of the winter and we anticipate COLD weather. Organizers will bring outdoor heaters and some blankets, but it is advised to bring hand & toe warmers, a warm winter jacket, wool socks, long underwear, blankets, folding chairs, flashlights, a tent & sleeping bag (if you plan on staying overnight), thermos of coffee or tea, signs, and the desire to get the FDA to require mandatory labels.
GETTING TO THE FDA
The FDA’s Center For Food Safety and Applied Nutrition is located at 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy College Park, MD 20740. The building is conveniently located across the street from the College Park Metro Station on the Green Line. We recommend using a SmarTrip card (available for purchase at any station, except Dulles & BWI airports) to bypass the $1 surcharge on paper tickets.
- If coming by car, there is street parking available near the building as well as a parking garage at the College Park Metro Station ($4.50 per day, credit card only)
- If coming by Bus or Train, take the Red Line from Union Station in the direction of Shady Grove to the Gallery Place Station, change trains to the Green Line (on the lower level) in the direction of Greenbelt, and get off at the College Park Station.
- If flying into Reagan National Airport, take the Yellow Line train in the direction of Fort Totten to the Gallery Place Station, change trains to the Green Line (on the lower level) in the direction of Greenbelt, and get off at the College Park Station.
- If flying into Dulles International Airport, take 5A Bus ($6 exact fare – pickup located at Curb 2E) to the L’Enfant Metro Station, take the Green Line in the direction of Greenbelt, and get off at the College Park Station.
- If flying into BWI Airport, take the B30 Bus ($6 exact fare – pickups located at Concorse A and E. Follow the signs that say “Public Transit”) to the Greenbelt Metro Station, take the Metro one stop and get off at the College Park Station.
The Washington Metro runs until around 2am and restarts at 7am on Saturday morning.
We know that it may be difficult for many of you to attend in person, but you can still participate by submitting your photos, videos, and mock gmo food labels (upload form below). If you can’t attend in person, please select “Maybe” on the Facebook event page and invite all your friends. If you can come, please select “Going” and invite your friends!
Some questions to ponder:
- What does GMO labeling mean to you? What would a GMO label look like?
- How would you like to label the FDA? Do you have video of your March Against Monsanto you’d like to share?
- Do you have photos from your city’s March Against Monsanto you think would look nice projected on to the building?
Think it over!
In order to prepare the multimedia for projection on Friday, January 10, the window to upload graphics ended on Wednesday, January 8. THANK YOU to everyone who contributed!
Check out the Photos & Videos from our last visit to the FDA’s Center For Food Safety and Applied Nutrition last April!
Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993
April 29, 2013
Dear Commissioner Hamburg,
We sincerely appreciated the response from your secretary on April 4, concerning your inability to attend our demonstration outside the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition that took place on Monday, April 8. The demonstration was successful and generated numerous newspaper articles across the country.
We write today to request a meeting with you concerning the labeling of genetically engineered foods in America. We are aware that representatives from the FDA have attended similar meetings with representatives from the chemical and processed food industries, and we deserve the opportunity to meet and discuss our concerns. We are willing to accommodate your busy schedule and can meet on the date and time of your choosing in May, June, or July. Upon confirmation from your office, we intend to invite business leaders in the organic food industry who share our concerns related to labeling of genetically engineered foods.
As you know, last year there were over one million signatures submitted to your agency asking you to require mandatory labels for foods produced using modern genetic engineering techniques. However, we still have not received a thorough reply from the FDA regarding this petition. We have reviewed the statements on the FDA website, and have concluded that instituting mandatory labels for genetically engineered foods is currently within your power and that such implementing such a policy does not require Congressional action.
Your failure to allay the concerns of American consumers and respond to the petition has resulted in growing distrust of your agency. We interpret the FDA’s resolve to ignore the people’s overwhelming support of mandatory GMO labeling as demonstrative of your true priority: protecting corporate interests, rather than protecting consumers’ safety and our fundamental right to transparency in food labeling. If the FDA is to regain the trust of American consumers you must demonstrate real action and commitment to introducing GMO labeling policy. Our proposed meeting is the crucial first step in beginning that process.
Consumers want the FDA to reject the purported authority of arbitrary biotechnology corporations as providers of safety studies. We demand independent tests conducted by the FDA or respected researchers at universities. Moreover, consumers are concerned that the existing body of safety studies are woefully incomplete and do not reflect the data recorded over the entire lifespan of animals fed genetically engineered foods.
The biotechnology industry says that there have been over 3 trillion meals served using genetically engineered ingredients without any health issues. We believe this statement is misleading; it is impossible to trace any health effects due to the consumption of genetically engineered foods when there are no mandatory labels on genetically engineered foods. Conversely, since genetically engineered foods entered the American food supply in the late 1990s, there has been a noticeable increase in diabetes, asthma, autism, cancer, and stomach maladies in America. Some concerned consumers believe this unfortunate increase is the direct result of consuming genetically engineered foods. This anecdotal evidence is not based on science. However, unless consumers are given the opportunity to choose between foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients and those that don’t, the anecdotal evidence will continue to yield further speculation on the dangers of consuming genetically engineered foods.
We look forward to hearing from you.
GMO Policy Analyst
When authorities got wind of a demonstration planned for Monday outside the Food and Drug Administration’s offices in College Park, they fortified their defenses.
A motorcycle and nine police vans, ominously marked “Homeland Security,” parked in front of the FDA building, and uniformed officers fanned out across the entrance, where they waited.
They needn’t have. The demonstrators, demanding that the FDA require the labeling of genetically modified foods, hadn’t come with violence in mind, or even civil disobedience. They had come to cook a 50-gallon vat of soup on the sidewalk and then consume the stuff — a first-ever “eat-in” at the FDA, they said.
There were no foul-mouthed anarchists dressed in black — just the sort of well-heeled crowd you’d come across at Whole Foods. “I packed up my kids’ lunches and drove from Boston to Hartford to ride a bus for five hours,” Kristi Marsh told the crowd, using the sound system to recount her trip to Monday’s protest. She wore a chef’s hat hand-lettered with the words “Everyday Mom.”
“I’ve never, ever protested before,” Marsh told me after her speech. “I was nervous. I had these visions of overturned buses and policemen dressed up like storm troopers. But when I saw part of the labor was to commit to no alcohol, no drugs, no violence, then I thought, ‘I want to be present.’ ”
She reached into her handbag. “Want some sunscreen?” she asked.
This is the face of the new protest movement — or at least organizers hope to make it so.
“We wanted a comfortable event,” Tom Llewellyn, the 30-year-old organizer, said of the FDA action, billed as “a day of sunshine and picnic-style protest” against GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. “It’s all about who you’re appealing to. There has to be a face of the movement for every single demographic to connect with.”
Taking a page from the gay-rights playbook, other causes on the left are holding fewer of the disruptive protests of recent decades and opting for persuasion over confrontation. In part, this strategy reflects the failure of recent movements, such as Occupy Wall Street and the anti-globalization demonstrations, to turn protesters’ enthusiasm into enduring public support.
The campaign against GMOs is typical: The movement has dropped its demand that such altered foods be banned, instead embracing the more reasonable goal of labeling such foods accurately. And activists are looking for non-threatening ways to broaden the cause’s appeal.
Llewellyn based Monday’s event on “Stone Soup,” a European folk tale about a traveler who persuades villagers to contribute to a communal meal. He borrowed the idea from peace activists of decades past, but made his a GMO-free soup.
“I’ve come here with this magical soup stone,” he told the crowd of 60, which swelled through the morning as the soup boiled.
The demonstrators, some wearing aprons, chef’s hats or clothing with GMO themes (“Give Peas a Chance”), handed over their organic vegetables and told their stories to the TV crews and reporters who had come to witness the spectacle:
“Hi, I’m Tory and this is my grandmother Nettie. We brought carrots . . . ”
Peter, a 12-year-old from Pennsylvania, announced: “I came here today with just organic mushrooms.” His mom patted him on the back after his turn at the microphone.
Another woman said, “My name is Erin O’Maley. I’m a chiropractor. . . . I brought some zucchini.”
A woman from Atlanta, Jay, was one of several to call for the resignation of Michael Taylor, the deputy FDA commissioner who had worked at Monsanto, a major GMO producer. “I’m a mother of an 8-year-old child and she’s not a science experiment,” the woman said.
Not all of the demonstrators were of the sort that would help the movement broaden its appeal. One man, in fatigues and a T-shirt covered with handwritten slogans, said he had brought “a non-edible mushroom” and complained that “my soup kitchen serves food that sucks.”
But the organizers found their target audience in Marsh of Massachusetts. Marsh, who writes tips on healthful living, said the image of the typical protest, angry and defiant, “scares people away.”
But as the soup simmered Monday, she told her fellow demonstrators that she would convert other mothers — “everyday me’s,” she called them — to the cause. “As long as you are out there doing this kind of stuff, I will be out there,” she said. “And I will be educating the everyday me’s, because that’s the masses that you need your support from.”
Source: Washington Post
This article was syndicated in the Salt Lake City Tribune, The Oregonian, The Herald, The Orland Sentinel, West Hawaii Today, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Shreveport Times, Delmarva Now, The Herald Tribune, AZ Central, and Faribault Daily News.
“Over 100 protesters, activists and food advocates gathered outside of the FDA Center Food Safety and Applied Nutrition today to participate in the first ever Occupy Monsanto Eat-in. On the menu: stone soup and U.S. policies when it comes to labeling genetically Modified foods. The protesters demanded all GMO foods to be labeled and an end to the revolving door between the Washington and the biotech industry. RT Correspondent Meghan Lopez was at the eat-in and took a bite out of the issue.”
Source: RT America