Saturday, May 25th, 2013 over 100 people Marched Against Monsanto in Fargo, North Dakota. They marched with two other North Dakota cities and over 400 cities world wide. The March aimed to raise awareness about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) specifically focused around Monsanto GMO seeds.
The March gathered at Island Park in Fargo, ND. When asked why they Marched Against Monsanto, Molly McLain said, “We march for what we want to see which is a sustainable future.” The hundred or so marchers joined a global estimate of between two hundred and three hundred sixty thousand people.(Based on facebook events)
Fargo, North Dakota’s March Against Monsanto marched with Williston and Bismarck in North Dakota in what March against Monsanto organizers dubbed, “A global day of action.” The main organizing webpage released a flyer for why they march which stated various goals of the march from spreading awareness about the harmful effects of genetically modified foods, to exposing cronyism between big business & government.
According to marcher Betty Stieglitz, “The US[United States] is the only developed nation in the world that doesn’t require labeling. Even Russia and China have labeling for genetically modified foods. As consumers in America we have a right to know what we’re eating.” This information, Betty said, would allow families to make healthy decisions for their loved ones. The labeling of GMO foods came to the forefront in the United States when Prop 37 was proposed in California. Prop 37 would have required the labeling of GMO foods in California. The food industry spent 46 million dollars to ensure that genetically modified food would not be labeled. Monsanto alone contributed 8.1 million dollars, a stunning amount compared to the total pro labeling budget of 9.1 million dollars.
Jamie Holding Eagle spoke about Monsanto as well, “We all know that Monsanto is bad, but what can we do about it?” Jamie explained about the brand new Red River Valley Seed Library which had opened up in Moorhead,MN. She said that this type of library strengthens local foods, and would get people to start sharing seeds with their neighbors which would weaken Monsanto’s grasp on the food system.
The marchers began the day by signing postcards asking their local representatives to oppose the recently passed “Monsanto Protection Act.” Which shields Monsanto from lawsuits which may stem from the negative health effects of any of their GMO seed products. The march streamed down Broadway from Island Park lasting about an hour before returning to the park. Marchers various chants included, “Hey hey, hoho, we don’t want no GMO’s.” to “Hey! ho! Mon san to! We don’t want no GMOS” The march ended back in Island Park for some final words.
Bob Shimek ended the march by saying, “He was pleased to hear that all over the world people were saying no to Monsanto.” He said that it’s hard to remain reasonable while these “Huge multinational corporations wreak havoc with our communities, our environment, the planet we live in.” Molly Mclain told us that the Multinational Corporation Monsanto portrays itself as a food company, but that Monsanto’s work with Agent orange during the Vietnam war shows the truth about GMO corporations. She said GMO corporations are chemical corporations first, and foremost, and should have nothing to do with our food.
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