Over 75 locations held protests working against companies, such as Monsanto, connected to the global trade of genetically engineered foods, also known as GMOs. The network conducting the protests is known as Occupy Monsanto and hopes to pass legislation for labeling GMOs.
GMOs are genetically modified organisms altered through the use of genetic engineering. Genetically modifying organisms have been criticized as tempering with nature and have raised ecological and economic concerns in the past, according to Lesley Hunt, Ph.D. in the agribusiness and economics research unit at the University of Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand.
On the other hand, according to the World Health Organization: “GM foods currently available on the international market have passed risk assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved. Continuous use of risk assessments based on the Codex principles and, where appropriate, including post market monitoring, should form the basis for evaluating the safety of GM foods.”
The primary concern of Occupy Monsanto is the use of Glyphosate (Roundup), one of the most toxic herbicides and third most common cause of pesticide related sicknesses for agricultural workers according to Greenpeace, and its overuse on resistant GMOs.
Because GMOs have higher resistance to the herbicide, Occupy Monsanto says farmers will use the substance more liberally and the consumer may be put at risk.
According to the press release on occupy-monsanto.com, “Occupy Monsanto means to confront the industrial agriculture system head-on.”
Danielle Lapiano, an undergraduate student working on her bachelor degree in public health from New Mexico State University headed the protest in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Lapiano said, “occupy Monsanto is trying to get GMOs labeled. It just makes people sick.” She said most GMO products are not properly labeled or are misleading to the consumer.
Lapiano said she came out to “spread the word” on the dangers of GMOs. She set up a table in the Corbett Center Student Union and wore a full body bio-suit to emphasize the dangers of GMOs.
Rica Madrid, a member of Occupy Monsanto accused politicians and corporations of supporting GMOs at the expense of public health, saying, “People are stirred by the evidence that GMO foods compromise human health. Politicians and their sponsoring corporations ignore public outcry over GMOs to protect huge profits over health.”
Since GMOs’ introduction to the food supply in the mid 1990s, food allergies have expanded, according to Center for Disease Control data.
Source: Roundup Daily