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.
After a banner year of bringing attention to big corporations’ role in climate disruption, Reverend Billy will conclude 2014 by confronting the company that is responsible for Agent Orange, PCBs, GMOs, Bovine Growth Hormone, Glyphosate and more.
Known by millions as the most environmentally destructive corporation on the planet, Monsanto, for nearly two decades, has been controlling political campaigns and affecting the regulatory process of agricultural systems all over the world. In the U.S. alone, more than 90 percent of soybeans and 80 percent of corn are grown with seeds containing Monsanto-patented genetics.
“Monsanto must be stopped,” said award-winning Reverend Billy, who has been jailed more than 50 times protesting social and environmental injustices. “Monsanto is the devil and what better day than Thanksgiving to remind the world that eating local, organic food is one way to stop this profit-mongering, biodiversity-destroying monopoly.”
Industrial agriculture and the entire globalized food system, which is becoming more large-scale and centralized every day, destroys biodiversity, soils and local food systems, and is responsible for accelerating climate change by contributing more than 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir will premier their new show, Monsanto Is the Devil, with the Not Buying It Band on Sunday, Nov. 23 at Joe’s Pub at The Public in New York City. Then the troupe will travel by bus to St. Louis, meet at a local park on Nov. 27 and march one mile to Monsanto’s world headquarters to have a festive organic Thanksgiving day meal where they will perform songs from their new show. The choir will be dressed in stylish Pilgrim and honey bee costumes.
“Despite its various marketing incarnations over the years, Monsanto is a chemical company that got its start selling saccharin to Coca-Cola, then Agent Orange to the U.S. military, and, in recent years, seeds genetically engineered to contain and withstand massive amounts of Monsanto herbicides and pesticides,” said Ronnie Cummins, executive director of Organic Consumers Association. “Monsanto has become synonymous with the corporatization and industrialization of our food supply.”
In addition to the Thanksgiving day meal, an online campaign has been launched encouraging people to take a pledge to cook an organic and local meal on Thanksgiving.
Monsanto’s world headquarters is located at 800 North Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri 63167.
On Saturday, May 24, 2014, March Against Monsanto in your community! Below is a spreadsheet export made on May 21, 2014 that lists all of the upcoming marches with Facebook Event invites. For the latest spreadsheet of planned marches, check out the official listing on the March Against Monsanto website.
This list was last updated on October 11, 2013 and will not be updated again until after the March. If you would like to add an event to the list, please find MAM on facebook or email mam.newmexico(at)gmail.com
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.
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.
Company supports consumer’s right to know by setting five-year deadline for labeling GMOs
Whole Foods Market announced today at Natural Products Expo West that, by 2018, all products in its U.S. and Canadian stores1 must be labeled to indicate if they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs)2. Whole Foods Market is the first national grocery chain to set a deadline for full GMO transparency.
“We are putting a stake in the ground on GMO labeling to support the consumer’s right to know,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. “The prevalence of GMOs in the U.S. paired with nonexistent mandatory labeling makes it very difficult for retailers to source non-GMO options and for consumers to choose non-GMO products. Accordingly, we are stepping up our support of certified organic agriculture, where GMOs are not allowed, and we are working together with our supplier partners to grow our non-GMO supply chain to ensure we can continue to provide these choices in the future.”
Whole Foods Market has been collaborating with many of its supplier partners for several years to source products without GMO ingredients. In 2009, the company began putting its 365 Everyday Value™ line through Non-GMO Project™ verification and encouraged its grocery supplier partners to do the same. Whole Foods Market currently sells 3,300 Non-GMO Project verified products from 250 brands, more than any other retailer in North America. It will now expand this effort, working with suppliers in all categories as they transition to ingredients from non-GMO sources, or clearly label products containing GMOs by the five-year deadline. Whole Foods Market will make announcements about progress and key milestones along the way.
“We’re responding to our customers, who have consistently asked us for GMO labeling and we are doing so by focusing on where we have control: in our own stores,” said Robb.
GMOs are now part of an ongoing national conversation, thanks to efforts of various advocacy groups such as JustLabelIt.org and to individual states considering their own mandatory labeling laws, like the efforts that are now underway in Washington state. “Whole Foods Market supports that measure and looks forward to supporting other state efforts that may finally lead to one uniform set of national standards,” said Robb. “While we are encouraged by the many mandatory labeling initiatives, we are committed to moving forward with our own GMO transparency plan now.”
“We have always believed that quality and transparency are inseparable and that providing detailed information about the products we offer—such as 5-Step Animal Welfare ratings in meat, Eco Scale rated cleaning products in grocery, stringent wild and farm-raised standards in seafood, and now labeling GMOs throughout the store—is part of satisfying and delighting the millions of people who place their trust in Whole Foods Market each day,” said A.C. Gallo, president of Whole Foods Market. “This bold task will encourage manufacturers to ask deeper questions about ingredients, and it will help us provide greater transparency about the products we sell so our customers can be empowered to make informed decisions about the foods that are best for them.”
Until there is GMO labeling, consumers can rely on Non-GMO Project verified products and certified organic products if they want to avoid GMOs. The U.S. National Organic Standards prohibit the intentional use of GMO seed in the production of organic crops. As a pioneer in the U.S. organic food movement for the past 32 years, Whole Foods Market now offers thousands of organic products, the largest variety in the country.
1 The company has 7 stores in the U.K., which already requires labeling for all foods or feeds that intentionally contain or are produced from GMO ingredients.
2 Plants that have been altered through a technique that changes their genetic makeup, producing new combination of genes and traits that do not occur in nature, including the possibility of the introduction genes from other species, are called genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods.
Gary Hirshberg is Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and Managing Director of Stonyfield Europe, with organic brands in Ireland, and France. Gary serves on several corporate and non-profit boards including Applegate Farms, Honest Tea, Peak Organic Brewing, Late July, The Full Yield, SweetGreen, RAMp Sports, Glenisk, the Danone Communities Fund and the Danone Livelihoods Fund. He is the Chairman, CEO and Co-founder of Chelsea’s Table Cafés, a natural and organic fast casual restaurant firm. In 2011, President Obama appointed Gary to serve on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. He is a Co-Chair of AGree, an agricultural policy initiative formed by the Ford, Gates, Kellogg, Rockefeller, Walton and other leading foundations. He is Chairman and a founding Partner of Just Label It, We Have the Right to Know, the national campaign to label genetically engineered foods, and is co-author of Label It Now — What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Foods. He is the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World.
Gary has received nine honorary doctorates and numerous awards for corporate and environmental leadership including a 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award by the US EPA. Previously, he was the Founder of Climate Counts, Director of the Rural Education Center, the small organic farming school from which Stonyfield was spawned and Executive Director of The New Alchemy Institute — a research and education center dedicated to organic farming, aquaculture, and renewable energy. Before that he was a water-pumping windmill specialist and an environmental education director with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He also authored books on wind-power and organic gardening.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)