Will the Millions March On Against Monsanto?
May 25th, 2013 saw a worldwide coordinated protest against GMO tyrant Monsanto. According to the schedule there were at least 430 planned marches. I’ve seen news reports claiming the protests happened in anywhere between 250-400+ cities with estimates of about 2 million people in attendance worldwide.
“Protesters in more than 50 countries mobilized on Saturday for a series of demonstrations against agricultural business titan Monsanto, far surpassing the organizer’s expectations, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“If I had gotten 3,000 people to join me, I would have considered that a success,” activist Tami Canal told the newspaper. Instead, she said the “March Against Monsanto,” which originated as a call to action via Facebook on Feb. 28, drew about two million people to demonstrations in 436 cities in 52 countries.” – rawstory.com ‘March Against Monsanto’ protests attract millions worldwide
It’s an impressive display to be sure. One that you would think would be taken seriously. But is it? Sure Monsanto is seeing great resistance but they are still going strong. Even several countries have banned Monsanto and many of their Frankenfoods. The United States however isn’t really seeing such action. Attempts to get legislation passed to simply require GMO’s be labeled are being shot down. Let’s not forget the “Monsanto Protection Act”that allowed seeds to be planted even before they are deemed safe by the USDA. The powers that be don’t seem to be listening or care. Monsanto says it’s not their responsibility to make sure the food is safe, it’s the FDA’s job. The FDA says it’s the food producers job. A letter on file with the FDA from July 2000 from Illinois resident Gail Thompson highlights this lack of accountability. It doesn’t help the cause when former Monsanto executive, Michael Taylor, is a high-level FDA decision maker. Monsanto seems to have people in their pocket while others are scared. In one case a whole state seems to be nervous of incurring the wrath of the corporate behemoth. Vermont recently voted in favor of a bill that would require GMO labeling but would only go into effect if certain conditions were met that probably won’t be anytime soon.
The most frequent point of opposition voiced on the floor concerned a likely lawsuit from the biotech or food industries that the Attorney General’s Office estimates could cost the state more than $5 million. – thegrist.org Vermont House passes GMO-labeling law
You can tax your brain trying to figure out why requiring people be told what they are eating would result in a credible lawsuit and how come not telling people the truth about what is in their food apparently does not. Weird? No…capitalism, corporatocracy, sell-out leaders and those with no integrity or a good solid pair.
The worldwide protests are a great way to show opposition and should continue. These types of activities bring like-minded people together, serve to alert the uninformed, and potentially fire up the apathetic. What else can be done though? It’s not like we can protest everyday or can we? Of course we can. In a capitalistic system the protest that is paid attention to the most is the one done with dollars. A protest is great for the reasons previously mentioned but if it doesn’t do anything to the bottom line of the corporations then they’ll scratch the annoying itch and move on with their day. This isn’t just a social issue where just showing up with millions of people will make things happen. This fight heavily relies on the rules of economics and that is its Achilles’ heal.
In order to carry out an ongoing protest in between these massive events we have to become more diligent with our dollars. We have to stop buying what we are protesting against and buy examples of what we what to be offered. It’s not a one day, part-time protest. It has to be a lifestyle course change. We do have the power of numbers and the connectivity of social media to our advantage. This blog at Care2 gives 10 Ways to Take Action Against Monsanto. There are also two smartphone apps that are out at the forefront of making informed purchases that will aim to aid in that fight. Fooducate and Buycott help by allowing you to scan barcodes of food items and gives you information with which you can make decisions. Is that food GMO? Is this product affiliated with the mean old Koch brothers? Fooducate has been around in obscurity for several years while Buycott is a more recent offering.
Information is power. They are using the control of information against us why not return the favor? Imagine if those 2 million global protestors used those apps or followed those tips. Or both. Imagine if those 2 million people said we aren’t going to buy this specific product anymore. That’s a direct action that will get serious attention, that’s an itch they can’t ignore because doing so makes them lose money and that is their weakness. The people are the power. We just have to always remember that fact and focus that power in a way that maximizes our strength.