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.
Puunene resident Mary Whispering Wind protests genetically modified organisms in food Monday in Kihei. The protest was hosted by Occupy Wall Street Maui and GMO Free Maui and drew about 100 people to the rally. BRUCE DOUGLAS photo
A sign-waving rally was held Monday afternoon at the intersection of Piilani and Mokulele highways to mark the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement and to show solidarity with the “Occupy Monsanto Global Protests” worldwide, according to an announcement.
The event was hosted by Occupy Wall Street Maui and GMO Free Maui. (GMO refers to genetically modified organisms.)
Occupy Monsanto rallies also were held on Molokai, Kauai, Oahu and the Big Island, said organizers, who put the number of people taking part in the Maui rally at more than 100.
The group said its aim was to “bring awareness to the growing concern of unlabeled GMOs in our food supply.”
“Hawaii is the world’s capital for open air genetic crop experimentation, and GMO seed corn is our largest agricultural seed crop,” the group said. “There is growing concern about agricultural chemicals, such as Roundup, affecting our reefs and water supply.”
In response, Monsanto Co. Hawaii Community Affairs Manager Alan Takemoto said: “Monsanto has been recognized here in Hawaii and elsewhere for our high standards of quality, robust safety programs and strong commitment to environmental stewardship. We’re dedicated to improving modern agriculture through advanced technologies and committed to offering the best products that farmers depend on to increase their production and yields.”
Takemoto said the company’s goal is to use “cutting-edge research to help find solutions to some of the planet’s most pressing problems, such as global food security.”
In Hawaii, Monsanto employs about 1,000 people, he said.
“Our soil and water conservation efforts are governed by an approved natural resources conservation plan that was developed in consultation with the (U.S. Department of Agriculture’s) Natural Resources Conservation Service, and we use an integrated pest management program as part of our commitment to environmental stewardship,” he said.
Takemoto added that Monsanto is committed to “transparency and dialogue.”
“We understand that people have questions, and we welcome open, respectful dialogue with anyone genuinely interested in learning more about who we are and what we do,” he said.
On this week’s Maui County Council meeting agenda, Council Member Elle Cochran has proposed a resolution to include in Maui County’s legislative package a bill for the state Legislature that would require the labeling of genetically engineered food products. There’s also a proposed bill to label GMO products as part of the Hawaii State Association of Counties’ legislative package of bills.
The council meeting begins at 9 a.m. Friday in the eighth-floor Council Chambers of the Kalana O Maui building.
Protesters marking the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement gathered at three St. Louis area locations to protest against Monsanto Co., including the biotechnology giant’s Creve Coeur headquarters.
The protests here, organized by a network calling itself Occupy Monsanto and by the group GMO-Free Midwest, were among 45 other “actions” held across the country Monday, organizers said.
Calling on the company to more rigorously test and label genetically modified ingredients, the protesters first gathered outside the Millenium Hotel downtown, then outside the Whole Foods Market in Brentwood and finally outside the company’s offices.
“We’re celebrating the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street,” said Barbara Chicherio, of the Gateway Green Alliance and Safe Food Action St. Louis, and a spokesperson for Occupy Monsanto’s efforts here. “We had a lot of concerns about large corporations controlling the government, but it wasn’t very focused. Now we’re focusing on Monsanto.”
The protests are the latest in a series of events over the past year in which activists have called for mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients. A petition urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to require labeling gathered more than 1 million signatures earlier this year, and a proposition requiring labeling will go before voters in California this November.
According to records filed with the California Secretary of State, Monsanto has contributed more than $7 million to defeat the proposition.
Now, activists say, they are reaching beyond the labeling issue. “Over 1 million signatures were sent to the FDA and they were basically ignored,” said Adam Eidinger, a coordinator with Occupy Monsanto. “So what’s left to do? It’s time for civil disobedience.”
Eidinger said the company temporarily suspended operations at two of its California facilities in the past week because of protest actions.
Monsanto would not comment on the suspension of operations, saying only that the safety of its employees was paramount.
DAVIS— Sacramento Occupy protesters will gather at Monsanto’s Davis facility Monday morning to kick off a series of anti-Monsanto protests — on the day the Occupy Movement began just one year ago.
“We are going to be blockading the entrances where cars can come in,” said event organizer Kim Sloan. “What we are trying to do is showing the community that we want our food controlled by the people instead of big corporations and agriculture companies like Monsanto.”
They are part of a national movement that began protesting corporate greed and income inequality.
Overtime their focus changed to other topics, with people criticizing the group, saying they had no real aim. But organizers here feel they are still making a difference.
“I feel we have been very effective in raising awareness for the community at large like also in getting things like the homeowners bill of Rights to go through,” said another Occupy Sacramento protester, Faygo.
Recently, city council members voted to limit the groups presence at city hall, but despite the challenges the group continues to stay active.
“My hope is that we continue to grow and achieve the main goal that started us and put an end to corporate personhood,” said Faygo.
Occupy protesters will begin protesting at 6 a.m. at Monsanto located at 1920 5th St. in Davis.