Here are six things you need to know about the “March Against Monsanto:”
- The effort was started in February as a Facebook (FB) campaign by a Utah mother Tami Monroe Canal, who was incensed by the failure of California’s Proposition 37, which sought to require labels for genetically modified food products (GMOs).
- While Monsanto doesn’t produce food products itself, it sells genetically modified corn and soy seeds to farmers. Those crops later end up in foods from popular manufacturers.
- Environmental activists have expressed concerns that genetically modified foods could harm both consumers and the environments in which such crops are grown.
- Canal’s call for a boycott has been taken up by activists and organizations in 55 countries, who are coordinating local protests against Monsanto.
- Momentum for the boycotts and protests was accelerated by the passage of a U.S. farm bill that contains provisions that environmentalists claim specifically protect Monsanto.
- Protesters in Seattle will gather outside the offices of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which they accuse of promoting GMOs.
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley has indicated that he plans to introduce legislation repealing the portion of a Senate spending bill that shields manufacturers of genetically modified seeds from litigation. Activists have dubbed that portion of the bill, the “Monsanto Protection Act.”