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Marching against Monsanto in Washington DC. Photo: Stephen Melkisethian via Flickr.
Marching against Monsanto in Washington DC. Photo: Stephen Melkisethian via Flickr.
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Why we are Marching against Monsanto

Dr Mae Wan Ho

28th May 2014

A huge turnout was recorded for the 2014 March Against Monsanto, with protests in over 400 cities in 52 countries and 47 US states. Dr Mae Wan Ho says this worldwide movement will keep on growing, until Monsanto and its toxic products are defeated.

The days of GMOs are numbered ... GM crops have remained a minority sector in food production, now shrinking fast from consumer and farmer rejection worldwide.

I have been marching against Monsanto for close to 20 years now since GM crops were commercialized and I first warned of the dangers of GMOs and Roundup herbicides.

Unfortunately, all my predictions and more have come true. Over the years, farm workers and their families across the world have been seeing sharp rises in birth defects, cancers, allergies, lethal kidney disease and so on.

Their livestock die, get diarrhoea, become sterile, cannot conceive, or give birth to dead and deformed animals.

The threat of independent science

Scientists had to get through tremendous hurdles and obstructions to do the research, not just from Monsanto, but also from corrupt and/or misguided governments, including the UK.

For years, practically the only research on safety of GMOs was carried out by the companies themselves, and their raw data are kept from the public as commercially sensitive information.

But whenever and wherever independent scientists carried out feeding trials, they find what farmers have found, regardless of the GM crop or animal species, with, or without glyphosate / Roundup herbicides, or with Roundup herbicides alone.

This includes Monsanto's data obtained through the courts: kidney and liver problems, gut inflammation, immune problems, premature deaths, sterility, birth defects, still births, and recently, excess of large grotesque tumours.

Poisoned for 20 years

Monsanto and other biotech companies have been poisoning us with GMOs and herbicides for the past 20 years; and they've also done their best to suppress the information by vilifying the scientists, and the farmers who dare to fight them. But we won't tolerate that! 

Arpad Puztai and his colleagues Susan Bardocz and Stanley Ewen here in Britain were the first to lose their research grants and jobs in the University of Aberdeen, because they found that rats fed GM potato with snowdrop lectin had gut inflammation and damage to practically every organ system.  

Andres Carasco from Argentina sadly died a couple of weeks ago. He was a developmental biologist and government advisor - and was forced to give up his job because he showed that glyphosate caused the same kind of birth defects in frogs that the farm worker families were seeing in their new born.

The latest, molecular biologist and toxicologist Gile-Eric Séralini and his team at University of Caen in France showed that rats fed over their lifetime with Roundup tolerant GM maize and / or Roundup herbicide had all the health problems previously identified compared with controls and in addition, tumours so large that the rats had to be put down.

The technology no one wants - if they have the choice 

They are just a few in a long and growing list of distinguished scientists who will be honoured and remembered when we have wiped GMOs and Roundup herbicides from the globe, and we will!

The days of GMOs are numbered. If you look at the real evidence behind the hype and the lies, you will see that GM crops have remained a minority sector in food production, now shrinking fast from consumer and farmer rejection worldwide.

US farmers are abandoning GM crops and turning back to non-GM and organic, mainly because it is more profitable due to increased demand for non-GMO and GM-free produce by people everywhere including in the USA, the world's top GM producer.

In 20 years, GM crops are still confined to 27 countries out of a total of 196 in the world. They are now explicitly banned in at least 29 countries, and GMO-free regions and partial bans exist in most other countries including the USA.

Yes, do ban GM food from your home, your schools, your local communities; you don't need to wait for governments to do that for you.

99% of farmers are GMO-free

GM crops now occupy 175.2 m ha or 11% of cultivated land globally compared with the 89% occupied by non-GM crops.

GM crops are restricted to two main traits - herbicide tolerance and insect resistance - in three major crops: maize, soybean and cotton. Non-GMO crops consist of thousands of domesticated species with millions of local varieties created by peasant farmers.

GM crops are grown by less than 1% of the 2.6 billion farmers in the world, 99% growing non-GM crops are peasant farmers with small farms producing 70% of the world's food.

Three quarters of those peasant farmers farm ecologically with no chemical input on 600 m ha globally, producing well over half of the world's food consumed. It is by far the largest food sector in the world.

These farms are 2 to 10 times as productive as monoculture industrial farms, they are environmentally and climate friendly as well as sustainable and resilient to climate extremes.

That is the way ahead for people and planet, and we won't let Monsanto get in our way. Tell Monsanto, and tell your governments.

 


 

Dr Mae Wan Ho is the director of the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS), which campaigns against unethical uses of biotechnology.

This article was originally published by ISIS.

See also: Fifty-two countries join 'March against Monsanto'.

 

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