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INCIDENT REPORT: Atlanta’s Food Supply Rescue Coalition Holds March Calling for End to Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered Food System

Posted: September 27th, 2012 | Filed under: Incident Reports, Photos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

All photos by Sean Suddes

Atlanta’s Food Supply Rescue Coalition Holds March Calling for End to Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered Food System.

By Effe Slayer

Standing outside an Atlanta Kroger grocery store, food advocate Steven Wing reads lyrics to a crowd of protestors and curious shoppers.

“If you’re gonna play God with my food.
If you’re gonna play God and leave organic farmer’s screwed.
If you’re gonna play God with my decisions….
If you’re gonna play God I want a new religion.”

In a moment that is being referred to as “the food fight of the decade“, the lyrics to “Tell Us What You’re Growing“, written by an Arizona songwriter, Celia, couldn’t be more poignant.

The group of protesters is participating in the “Occupy Monsanto Global Day of Action”. They’re on a mission to raise awareness about lab-created genetically modified organisms (GMOs) within the food supply. With rally stops at five “Monsanto Points of Distribution” locations – Publix, Kroger, Home Depot, Whole Foods Market, and McDonald’s – the Occupy Monsanto Genetic Crimes Unit (GCU) declares each location a genetic crime scene for their sale of Monsanto’s toxic products.

“This is a decontamination zone”, declares Vince C. through a megaphone. He is dressed in a biohazard suit. “If you’ve been contaminated by Monsanto’s toxins, you’ll need to be tagged.” Shoppers are outfitted with special hospital wristbands to symbolize a health biohazard.

“There’s something wrong when the chemical manufacturer Monsanto, the same company that made Agent Orange, owns our commercial food supply”, says Food Supply Rescue Coalition‘s Jaye Crawford. Ms. Crawford, a fitness professional, mother, and food advocate, formed the FSRC in order to educate the community on the dangers of genetically engineered food. “It’s a shame. Consumers have no idea they’re eating Frankenfoods contaminated by Monsanto’s GMOs. Consumers don’t know because our government is corrupt. FDA, USDA, Monsanto are one of the same. We want a Monsanto-free food supply. We want labels. We want what 50 other countries and 40% of the world‘s population has, which is the right to know, and the right to choose what we eat,” says Crawford.

This “food fight” over genetically modified organisms has recently gained attention and the national spotlight. In November, Californians are poised to vote “yes” for the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Prop 37, a ballot initiative, would require food manufacturers to label products containing GMOs by 2013.

“We already have food labels showing nutrition, allergy information and other facts consumers want to know. This measure simply adds information telling us if food is produced using genetic engineering, which is when food is modified in a laboratory by adding DNA from other plants, animals, bacteria or viruses”, says Nina Roark, a concerned grandmother form Atlanta. “We’re hoping that the seeds of change blow from California to put an end to this GMO food insanity.”

With over $32 million in opposing donations to Prop 37, Roark reminds consumers, “Now more than ever, it’s crucial for consumers to choose manufacturer loyalties wisely. We have to vote hard with every food dollar we spend.”

Early voting for Prop 37 begins on October 9. Voting at polling locations takes place on November 6, 2012.


The Nation: Occupy Monsanto

Posted: September 5th, 2012 | Filed under: Press | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Occupy Monsanto

Peter Rothberg, September 5, 2012 – 4:02 PM ET

One of the most important legacies of the Occupy movement has been the sustained, focused campaigns that have emerged from the broad, diffuse protests that captured the world’s attention last fall. Occupy the SEC has kept up the pressure for the Volcker Rule, while Occupy Colleges is determined to end the student debt crisis.

Another powerful example is the expanding network known as Occupy Monsanto, which has emerged over the past eight months staging numerous protests at companies connected to the global trade of genetically engineered foods, known as GMOs.

(GMO foods are organisms which have had specific changes introduced to their DNA using genetic engineering techniques. The plants produced by Monsanto’s seeds are designed to be treated with toxic herbicides and pesticides, chemicals which have been suspected to increase allergies and have been linked to decreased fertility, asthma, organ failure and even, possibly, cancer. The jury is still out, but Occupy Monsanto sensibly argues that vegetables are fine the way nature intended them, and that Monsanto is devoting far more research to the financial metrics of GMOs than to the health implications.)

Trying to sustain its focus, Occupy Monsanto recently announced that it will organize a full week of protests in St. Louis, home of the Monsanto Corporation, on the anniversary of OWS, September 17, 2012. The protests based on the idea that Monsanto’s push to control agriculture poses a great threat not only to consumers in the United States but to farmers and communities throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia, will call on US legislators to mandate the labeling of GMO food, so consumers can decide whether to ingest these products or not.

Occupy Monsanto aims to aggressively confront and expose the industrial agriculture system head-on. “There is something wrong when a chemical manufacturer, the same company who made Agent Orange, controls the US food supply,” said activist Jaye Crawford.

“Wall Street and the American political elite have underestimated and even ignored our potential to effect rational policy change on GMOs which would include labeling for GMOs and restrictions on GMO cultivation,” says Gene Etic an anti-GMO campaigner based in Washington, DC. “If Occupy Monsanto’s anti-GMO actions are successful, after September 17 the media and increasingly more voters will ask tough questions about these experimental GMO crops especially within the context of the presidential election, as that office holds the power to determine American food policy,” says Etic.

The protests will vary in size and nature but are unified in rejecting the legitimacy of GMO food. Check out this interactive map with times, dates and locations of the more than sixty protests organized so far.

Source: The Nation