BRANTFORD – This coming Saturday people in over 50 countries will hold actions and rallies to voice their opposition to the giant multinational company Monsanto and their efforts to introduce genetically modified organisms (GMO) into food systems throughout the world.
In a press release posted on the March Against Monsanto website, founder Tami Monroe Canal stated, “Monsanto’s predatory business and corporate agricultural practices threatens this generation’s health, fertility and longevity. MAM supports a sustainable food production system. We must act now to stop GMOs and harmful pesticides.”
Two enthusiastic students from this region have also planned a local rally for the Brantford and Six Nations area. The Two Row Times spoke with Jennie Rideout and Rachael Sawczuk by phone earlier this week. When asked why they took the initiative to organize the rally Rideout stated, “[We want to] bring the community together, it’s something we’re both passionate about, it’s something we think other people should be passionate about, it affects enough people that we thought it could definitely gain a lot of support from the community.”
One of the demands of the rally will be for labelling on food that contains GMOs, “We have the right to know what we’re eating,” stated Sawczuk. The Monsanto corporation has established such a negative reputation throughout the world that organizers are hoping to draw greater attention to the influence of this corporation over agricultural production. “Nobody is going to have control over their own food, that’s scary,” said Sawczuk, “If you’re concerned about your heath, then you should be concerned about this corporation.”
Monsanto has lobbied governments throughout the world to help facilitate their dominance in the agriculture industry. Their aim is to be able to sell and distribute GMO seeds and foods without oversight even though the safety of GMO foods has yet to be conclusively determined. Several countries have banned or put a temporary moratorium on the introduction of GMO seeds.
Monsanto has also successfully lobbied to extend property rights to the seeds they create in their laboratories. Rideout, with disbelief in her voice, told us, “They’re patenting life, they’re patenting the seed.” Farmers and peasants throughout the world have been pushed into a situation of destitution after buying seeds that did not perform as promised or because they are forced to buy seeds that are engineered so they can’t reproduce.
The local rally in Brantford will be held at 2 pm on May 24 at Victoria Park, at the intersection of Market and Darling streets, all are welcome. More information is available on the Facebook event page or by contacting the organizers directly. See https://www.facebook.com/events/1464898253743705 for details.