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.
Surf legend Kelly Slater has come out with a stunning attack on GMOs and their biotech giant developers’ seed patents. In his Hawaii video, produced by the Hawai’i GMO Justice Coalition, he also criticizes the islands for allowing GM crop trials on a large scale.
Kelly Slater states in the video that “if your father dies of cancer like mine did or if you have friends who are affected by having kids with autism you start to have a lot of questions, like where are these coming from? It seems like every day we are either learning about a new disease or a higher rate of disease in children.”
“Now these large food companies have created all these seed banks and patented the seeds, so basically they own all the seeds and they are getting rid of biodiversity in alot of ways,” he added.
Slater also slated the idea that GMO labeling is in any way a bad idea; “It seems like a no brainer to me I couldn’t imagine coming out against labeling GMO foods.”
He also added that “Hawaii’s a bunch of guinea pigs, the islands are a bunch of guinea pigs for these companies,” referring to the biotech giants who have taken over the islands for GM crop field trials.
“The track record of Monsanto doesn’t seem to be that good by most people’s calculations. How toxic is that land going to be after it is sprayed with Roundup for 15 years? Its almost going to be unusable for anything else” Slater concluded.
In another anti-GMO video out of Hawaii yesterday, Babes Against Biotech, led by Nomi Carmona, attacked the pro-GMO policies of Colin Barnett’s current government in the surf paradise of Western Australia ahead of elections there on March 9 – Watch It Here!
Robert Kelly Slater (born February 11, 1972, Cocoa Beach, FL, USA) is an American professional surfer known for his competitive prowess and style. He has been crowned ASP World Champion a record 11 times, including 5 consecutive titles from 1994–98. He is the youngest (at age 20) and the oldest (at age 39) to win the title. Upon winning his 5th world title in 1997, Slater passed Australian surfing legend Mark Richards to become the most successful champion in the history of the sport.
Hawai’i GMO Justice Coalition
The is an organization made up of truth tellers who are tired of the chemical status quo. They are dedicated to ending the GMO chemical warfare against our ‘aina from 25 years of GMO field trials and are committed to educating the public about issues not being reported by the mainstream media. They define justice as eviction and reparations.
Many different versions of the fable “Stone Soup” have been written throughout history. One story is about a hungry soldier who, when passing through an impoverished village, announced that he would make ‘Stone Soup’. The promise of mysterious Stone Soup persuaded the small village to pool its resources and offer up its hidden onions, carrots, and spices to feed everyone in town. By working together, with everyone contributing something, a greater good can be achieved.
Today, America can be a food desert, devoid of healthy options and corporate transparency, but with our resources combined, we can move toward a more informed, healthy, and just food system. Mandatory GMO Labeling, Testing and Regulation is a BIG step along the way to an honest and sustainable food democracy in the USA.
Jump on an action-bound bus from your region to the FDA!
Pack a picnic, bring an arm full of (vegetarian) ingredients (herbs, spices, veggies, stock) from your region to add to the (Giant) “Stone Soup”.
Join a demonstration at the FDA and enjoy a day of sunshine and picnic-style protest. Are YOU hungry for some food democracy?
On Monday, April 8th, Americans will head to the FDA, to face down the institution that chooses Monsanto’s industrial interests over policy transparency and public health. Join this historic event to make your voice heard as we begin to take back our food system.
Why: The FDA is supposed to be the watchdog that protects us. Their purpose is to safeguard the consumer against industry, but instead they often seem to do the absolute reverse. The FDA has failed in its core purpose. FDA policies have lead to: a Lack of Transparency, Revolving Door with Industry, Market Bullying, Widespread Illness, Seed Privatization and Well Documented Risks to our Health: Lets take back our Food System!
The Occupy Monsanto team is eager to work with you on scheduling and filling a bus from your region to College Park, MD (Washington, D.C.). We are able to offer limited financial support for buses that register early and our organizers can offer helpful guidance and advertise your bus on this page.
Bus coordinators are responsible for:
Helping reserve their bus
Working with organizers to recruit riders
Assisting with logistics like rider payment and pickup locations
Our national organizers are here to help with all of these steps.
As buses to the Eat-In are scheduled, we will list them above along with contact and sign-up information. This page will be frequently updated.
To see if there is a bus publicly announced in your area, please check back here frequently. If you have any other questions about buses, please email StoneSoup@Occupy-Monsanto.com or call Gene at 202-805-1603.
By Plane: Local airports include Reagan National (DCA), Baltimore-Washington International (BWI), and Dulles International (IAD). Only DCA & BWI have connections to mass transit options. From DCA take a Fort Totten-bound Yellow Line train to Fort Totten Station, transfer to Greenbelt-bound Green Line train, get off at College Park-U of MD Station. From BWI, take the B-30 MetroBus ($6 cash fare) to the Greenbelt Metro Station, then take the next train one stop to College Park-U of MD Station.
You wonder why we think petitions are a waste of time? Watch what happened on October 11, 2012, when OCA Political Director Alexis Baden-Mayer attempted to deliver petitions for GMO labeling:
We are told the arrest was for trespassing (When? Where? How are we supposed to deliver petitions in person?). We’ll update this entry with any further details…
Text from YouTube:
There’s no more basic right than petitioning the government – but not if there’s no one to receive the petitions. And so it was with the petition that called for the labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms (GMO). Plenty of people want to know what they are eating and want food labeling to indicate if the food has been genetically modified.
But in this Instant Film, the story gets [interesting] when a couple of Jewish “missionaries” coincidentally roll up at the White House and ask to see the President, then perform the Jewish Tefillin ritual which consists of strapping a small box containing Torah verses to the head and arm of Adam, one of demonstrators, whispers to them about how GMO foods are not Kosher and how the insecticides now genetically engineered into corn, are killing the bees. But all this does not go unnoticed by the uniformed Secret Service, who become increasingly impatient, with a demonstration, now blocking an entrance, that seems to be spiraling out of control. But instead of arresting those blocking the entrance, they arrest the person trying to deliver the petitions, Alexis Baden-Mayer from the Organic Consumers Association.
A spokesman for the East Wing declined to comment on the record about the petition delivery or Mrs. Obama’s position on Prop. 37. And when she delivers the petition to the White House at 3:00 PM, Baden-Meyer will not be meeting with anyone from Mrs. Obama’s East Wing staff or the Let’s Move! campaign, she said, but rather with Stephanie Valencia, the Deputy Director of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement.
Public Health minister Beth Mugo subsequently directed all Public Health Officers at all ports of entry and all other government regulators to enforce the ban on importation of Genetically Modified Foods in the country.
This she says was following the decision made by the cabinet to ban the importation of GMO foods into the country due to inadequate research done on GMOs and scientific evidence provided to prove the safety of the foods until such a time that the country will certify that they have no negative impacts on the health of consumers.
“Consequently, the government has decided that until such an informed policy decision is made, all GMO food imports are completely banned. All relevant government agencies have according been instructed to immediately comply with this directive and enforce the ban on importation of all GMO foods.”
She urged stakeholders to verify the custom entry documents of food consignments to ascertain that their GMO certificate.
“The protection of the consumer and assurance to the public on the safety of food is extremely important in making decisions about food importation, distribution and consumption. Where there is apprehension and uncertainty with regard to the safety of food products, precautionary measure to protect the health of the people must be undertaken.”
She threatened legal action against those who do not comply with the directive.
” I am therefore, calling upon all stakeholders and government regulators involved in importation of GMO foods to take note of this directive that no importation of GMO foods will be allowed into the country until further advice by the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation.”
Protest across the street from the GMO industry conference at the Millennium Hotel in St. Louis, MO. Photo: Langelle/GJEP
Occupy Monsanto in St. Louis: Action 1
“Stop Talking or You Will Be Removed from the Hotel”
by Don Fitz
On September 17 we were gathering to walk into the Millennium Hotel for the second day of “GMO Free Midwest,” the St. Louis portion of Occupy Monsanto. Daniel (digger) Romano told us that we had been moved from the “Lewis and Clark” room to the “Laclede” room on the other side of the floor.
As we entered the new room, it struck me that it was half the size of the one we had paid for. Conference coordinator Barbara Chicherio went to find the supervisor in charge. She walked down the hall to a roped off area guarded heavily by hotel security. On the other side of the rope were attendees of the industry-backed “International Symposium on Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms.” [GMOs]
It appeared that the Millennium Hotel was as interested in making sure that we did not contaminate its audience as we were interested in preventing GMOs from contaminating the environment.
“Sir, are you in charge here?” Barbara asked. “Uptight” can barely describe the Millennium supervisor who starred back at her, stiff as a board. “I need to talk to you,” she continued. “Why were we moved from the room we rented?”
There was no answer.
“And why were we moved to the far end of the hall? And why were we put in a room half the size of what we paid for?”
Still, no answer.
“Could you tell me why there is a pot of coffee when I told staff that we could not pay $175 for it? And when can we get the table to go up in front of the room for the book signing that I explained we were having?”
“Did you read your contract?” finally came the response from the cardboard supervisor. “Read the BOE part of your contract.”
“What does that have to do with our being moved to a smaller room?”
“If you don’t stop talking to me, I will have you removed from the hotel,” was the most thoughtful answer he seemed able to come up with. Looking at his name tag, Barbara saw that he was “Rich Martin, Director of Catering and Convention Services.”
As the conversation was unfolding, Orin Langelle with the Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) pulled out his camera to film the interaction. Rich put up his hand, growling “No photos! You get away from me or I’ll have you removed from the hotel.” Nearby Orin was Anne Petermann, also with GJEP. She slid her camera away as she quietly caught Rich on film.
Rich Martin threatens to throw out organizers and journalists from the GMO Free Midwest. Photo: Petermann/ GJEP
Months before, Brian Tokar had told Barbara that a major pro-GMO symposium would be happening in Monsanto’s home town of St. Louis during September 16–20. Occupy Monsanto activists thought it might be interesting to have an event critical of GMOs at the same time and place. Barbara went to work booking a room.
In May 2003, the need for early booking was driven home. Alerted to a major biotech industry event by Jim Scheff, the Green Party of St. Louis planned Biodevastation 7 to occur at the same time. Groups planning for street theatre hoped to reserve the park near the industry event. Unfortunately, they waited until 2–3 months before the event to ask the City of St. Louis for the park. By then, the City had been informed by the police of plans for protests and refused to rent it.
In St. Louis, virtually every large institution has received major funding from Monsanto. There is a history of people reserving hotel or college space for events critical of Monsanto having to confront the problem of rent zooming up or other pressure to leave the location.
With a contract signed months in advance of the event, we went to the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) to ask about our legal options if history were to repeat itself. One of the many pieces of useful information the NLG gave us was that the hotel would have the right to prevent us from entering if we were wearing T shirts with slogans they did not like. So, we covered our T-shirts with jackets before entering and took jackets off once inside. (Though the hotel could have told us we could not wear them, it is hard to treat people as a group when they are milling around.)
Madeline Buthod and her two children protest Monsanto and GMOs outside of the Millennium Hotel. Photo: Langelle/GJEP
This second day of GMO Free Midwest was to begin with our last panel before having multiple actions. The first day had included discussions of Genetically Engineered Trees, Health Effects of GMO Foods, Round Up as the New Agent Orange, Bee Colony Collapse, Dangers of Industrial Agriculture and GMOs as a Weapon of Global Domination.
Just as we were about to begin the final panel, a woman came in wearing a name tag of the Biosafety Symposium. We wondered if she wandered into our room by mistake. She introduced herself as Dr. Irina Ermakova and said she was more interested in what we were doing than in that conference.
Irina Ermakova, a leading scientist at the Russian Academy of Scientists, speaks to GMO Free Midwest. Photo: Petermann/GJEP
She was recognized as the author of some of the most important papers documenting dangers of GMOs. Dr. Ermakova is a Russian scientist who replicated work of Dr. Arpad Puztai. Dr. Puztai gained notoriety in 1998 when after reporting his research finding damage to the gut of rats fed GMOs. He had been a supporter of GMOs prior to his research but announced that he would never eat them after what he discovered. His employer, the famed Rowett Institute, then suspended him. Later, it came to light that Monsanto had given Rowett Research Services a grant of $224,000.
Dr. Ermakova found that offspring of female rats who had been fed GMO soy had a death rate of 50% within three weeks of birth. The death rate of infant rats whose mothers had eaten non-GMO soy was 10%. Offspring of GMO-fed rats were smaller and unable to reproduce when they reached adulthood. After reporting her findings, Ermakova experienced frequent verbal abuse from biotech enthusiasts and discovered charred remnants of papers placed in her office.
She felt much more welcome at GMO-Free Midwest than at industry’s “Biosafety” event. Orin Langelle and I delayed our panel on “Green Economics: Reality vs. Fantasy” so that Dr. Ermakova could review her research and concerns with GMO food.
The final panel of the conference built on information which had been covered the previous day to explain how GMOs are part of an overall thrust by neoliberalism to control the world economy. Orin spoke of the tragedy of Monsanto workers dying from chemical poisoning in addition to the contamination of entire communities. He detailed how false solutions for climate change such as the Green Economy and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) only serve to make corporations richer.
I pointed out that, during the twentieth century, the food industry faced the problem of how it could continue to grow once it became possible to feed the entire global population. Agribusiness continued to grow by inventing needs for pesticides, herbicides, processing, packaging, storing, advertising, and genetic modification, none of which increased the nutrition of food. The food industry is typical of other areas of production, which have grown not by improving people lives, but by developing wasteful and destructive processes and products.
With the discussion portion of GMO Free Monsanto over, everyone left the room, with many wearing T-shirts calling for the labeling of GMO food or noting its dangers. As several St. Louis cops began moving toward our room, we briskly walked outside.
Mutant corn is turned away from participating in the 12th International Symposium on Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms. Photo: Langelle/GJEP
Across the street, our picket signs were joined by large puppets of mutant GMO corn and pesticide resistant larva. A banner was soon hung from the fourth floor of a neighboring parking building which read “THE WORLD DOESN’T WANT YOUR GMOs”
Banner hung across the street from the GMO industry conference Photo: Sandy Griffin
A few minutes later, the picket line was joined by our most honored guest, Dr. Irina Ermakova. We happened to have a “Burma Shave”-type sign series which read “WHY IS — MONSANTO — PUSHING — FOOD THAT — RATS — WON’T EAT?” Dr. Ermakova posed in the center for a photo that ran in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the next day.
Irina Ermakova, a leading scientist at the Russian Academy of Scientists, joins GMO Free Midwest picket. Photo: Don Fitz
In a recent French lab study, rats that were fed genetically modified foods had a tendency to develop tumors and suffer severe organ damage. GMO’s have become a hot topic in the United States and in California people are demanding GMO food be labeled in the state. Many consumers feel humans will suffer the same fate as the lab rats and are hoping to put a stop to GMO food. Alexis Baden-Mayer, political director for the Organic Consumers Association joins us with more on the startling consequences and why Americans should be aware if they are buying GMO foods or not.