Tuesday, May 28, 2013

If the Media Don't Tell Us, We Must Not Need to Know

Lansing's March Against Monsanto

If these Facebook posts I'm seeing are accurate and there were massive protests against Monsanto all over the world, how come I haven't heard/seen anything about it on the TV news?!

It’s easy to dislike Monsanto. The multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation – producer of genetically engineered seeds and genetically modified crops as well as the herbicide known as “Roundup” (and former producer of DDT and Agent Orange) – is a fine example of what’s wrong with our economic system. Its only goal is to make a profit for the few at the expense of the many.

What’s not easy is watching or reading anything in the mainstream media about what politicians and greedy conglomerates like Monsanto are doing to us and how we’re responding.

Last Saturday, two million people gathered in more than 100 U.S. cities – including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Austin, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, Philadelphia and right here in Lansing, Michigan – and over 50 other countries around the world to “March Against Monsanto.” Yet it was easier to find the back of an earring in my front lawn than to find television coverage of this massive, nonviolent event. Apparently global protests against GMOs and unethical business practices are as newsworthy as the genocide in Darfur or the disappearance of young American females who don’t have white skin and blond hair.

If you ask me, any time the United States is on the same page as Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Channel Islands, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Macedonia, Malta, México, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Senegal, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey on any issue, it’s worth interrupting our vapid sitcoms and reality shows.

So why were so many people taking to the streets and public squares last Saturday? According to Occupy Monsanto:

  • Research has found that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects.
  • Here in the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – the agency charged with ensuring our food safety – is steered by former Monsanto executives (which explains the lack of government research on the long-term effects of GMOs).
  • Congress just passed and President Obama signed what’s been dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act” that, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s genetically-modified seeds.
  • Monsanto has long been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favoritism. Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to enjoy a monopoly over the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup.
  • Monsanto’s GMO seeds are harmful to the environment; scientists have discovered a direct link to colony collapse within the world’s bee population among other negative impacts.

What do protestors want? For starters, a) labeling of GMOs so consumers can make informed choices more easily, b) repealing relevant provisions of the Monsanto Protection Act, and c) calling for more scientific research on the health effects of GMOs.

Sounds reasonable to me. It’s not like they’re asking for free college tuition or the right to occupy Zuccotti Park, for Pete’s sake.

Click here to read, “A New App Lets You Boycott Koch Brothers and Monsanto By Scanning Your Shopping Cart.”  Click here to read, “Hey Hey! Ho Ho! GMOs Have Got to Go!,” March 19, 2013.

Visit this link to learn about “Fooducate,” which helps consumers make better food choices and is “like having a dietician on speed dial.” Click here for a list of Monsanto companies to avoid, and here to read, “Monsanto’s Dirty Dozen: The 12 Most Awful Products Made By Monsanto.”

And watch this video:

Special thanks to Ken D. Orlich for his activism on this and other issues.

Sources: Occupy Monsanto, Fooducate.com, United Human Rights Council, Occupy.com, AddictingInfo.org, Fractured Paradigm.

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