Tag Archives: GMO

100 Studies on the Effects of GMOs


The Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance has partnered with March Against Monsanto to raise awareness about Agent Orange.

Contaminated corn field. (AP Images)

Contaminated corn field. (AP Images)

During the Vietnam War, the United States government approved the use of the defoliant to eliminate cover for the north Vietnamese.

According to a Monsanto blog, nine companies  fulfilled the government contract for Agent Orange.

Regarding their role in the alleged birth defects resulting from the dioxin in Agent Orange, Monsanto writes, “U.S. courts have determined that wartime contractors (such as the former Monsanto) who produced Agent Orange for the government are not responsible for damage claims associated with the chemistry. ”

A physically and mentally disabled child sits on the steps of a hospital ward at a "peace village" center in the village of Thuy An, Vietnam, which houses people suffering from illnesses and deformities associated with contact to dioxin in chemical defoliant Agent Orange on Tuesday, May 15, 2007. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

A physically and mentally disabled child sits on the steps of a hospital ward at a “peace village” center in the village of Thuy An, Vietnam, which houses people suffering from illnesses and deformities associated with contact to dioxin in chemical defoliant Agent Orange on Tuesday, May 15, 2007. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

The company goes on to write, “While a causal connection linking Agent Orange to chronic disease in humans has not been established, some governments have made the decision to provide certain medical benefits to veterans and their families even though there has not been a determination that an individual’s health problem was caused by Agent Orange.”

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March Against Monsanto 2014 Calendar

IMG_0688Portland’s March Against Monsanto Rally is on May 24 this year.

March Against Monsanto is an annual rally organized to protest against the chemical giant, Monsanto, known for making genetically modified seeds that are grown around the world. Representatives from water rights organizations also attended.

Biodiversity researcher and Seed Savers Exchange Board Member, Hope Shand, reported that in 2009, 53% of the globe’s see purchases came from genetically modified seeds purchased from three chemical companies: Monsanto (27%); DuPont (17%); and Syngenta (9%). The top ten biochemical companies supplied 73% of the annual seed purchase that year.

Biodiversity researcher and seed saver advocate, Hope Shand. (Photo hosted on Seed Savers Exchange website)

In that same year, only 21% of the purchased seeds came from farmer-saved seed.

In her report, Shand cites six crops that the largest six biochemical companies have bred for just two traits: herbicide tolerance and insect resistance.

  • soybean
  • cotton
  • maize (corn)
  • canola
  • sugar beet
  • alfalfa

In July of 2013, NPR ran a story follow up story about genetically modified wheat exports from Oregon that were rejected by Japan and other countries on the basis that the crops were found to contain genetically modified wheat.

Some protestors at last year’s rally blame the neonicotinoids in herbicides, like Monsanto’s Round Up, for declining bee populations. Bees, nature’s pollinators are critical to the success of each year’s crops. Monsanto held a “bee conference” this year to address the issue of colony collapse disorder.

This year the protest will be held concurrently at 568 sites around the globe. Last year there were just over 400.

Grassroots organizers facilitate the local events. Tiffany Ayers will be heading the project again this year in Portland, Ore. Interested parties can visit the Facebook page that Ayers and five others moderate to invite friends to the event.

Last year protestors used the Facebook page to organize carpools and sign making parties.

The following is a map to Holladay City Park, where Portland’s rally will be begin at 11 a.m.

A list of rallies that will be held concurrently around the globe is embedded below.

Google Drive

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March Against Monstanto Portland (#mampdx): the People, the Issues, the Personality, the pictures

[embedit snippet=”monsanto-slideshow”]

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#MAMPDX: Everyone Gets Prepared and 5 Tips for Being Safe in Crowds

The Event and The Senator

Saturday May 25 at 11 a. m. PST, concerned citizens and food activists around the world will sip freshly-juiced, locally-grown, organic fruits and vegetables on the way to their local March Against Monsanto venues. Organizers plan 421 synchronized, family-friendly rallies across six continents to increase public awareness about the infiltration of GMO’s into the global food supply and to protest biotech-giant, agri-corporate, Monsanto’s, alarming influence over the federal legislative process.

Portland, Ore. local, Tiffany Ayers, a first-time organizer and food activist and her small cadre of volunteers and friends has been tirelessly working on the logistics and promotion for Portland’s event which will begin at 11 a.m. in Halladay Park. “Success (for this rally) will look like more public awareness of GMO’s,” reports Ayers, adding in “increased public pressure on legislators to create mandatory labeling on foods containing genetically modified organisms.”

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley is also concerned about Monsanto’s involvement in food legislation. According to Ayers, the Senator’s office contacted her and asked if today’s rally could also promote his online signature-gathering campaign. Merkley’s goal is to force a vote in the United States Congress to repeal the “Monsanto Protection Act.”

For security reasons, Juan, Senator Merkley’s receptionist was unable to confirm whether the Senator planned on attending today’s march. He was also unable to speak to the Senator’s knowledge of allegations that Missouri Senator Roy Blunt worked with Monsanto to craft the legislation in question, stating, “You can find the Senator’s opinions on his website.”

The Permit

In preparation for today’s event, Ayers filed a “Special Event / Special Use Permit” with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. Applying for a permit for a special event with the City of Portland is a process that eventually involves law enforcement. “We want to work with the police to make sure this is a peaceful event,” Ayers says.

Photo of Portland Public Information Officer, Sergeant Pete Simpson is from http://connectedcops.net/2011/06/30/portland-or-police-bureau-embracing-social-media/

“It has nothing to do with free speech or the content of the gathering,” Sergeant Pete Simpson, the Portland Police Bureau’s Public Information Officer emphasized in a phone interview late Friday afternoon. He is addressing criticism he has heard from protestors that frequently accompanies the requirement for groups who gather to get permits to do so. “(The permit) is all about logistics,” Simpson continues. “If we know the location, the number of people, and the proposed route, we are better able to work with organizers to adjust routes to take traffic into consideration.”

Simpson explains that police have a duty to uphold all citizens’ rights: not just event attendees’ rights. “We also need to consider the rights of citizens who want to be able to drive on roads that may be blocked by unorganized assemblies,” he reasons.

Not all events are as organized as Ayers’ and not all event organizers apply for a permit. “When we hear about groups that are gathering and have not filed for permits, or groups that have content that has been historically confrontational, we have red flags from Jump Street,” Simpson says.

Not filing for a permit is an indication to law enforcement that organizers don’t intend to work with them cooperatively to manage the flow of people, and it puts law enforcement on alert that there may be trouble brewing. Simpson cites anti-police brutality marches and anti-corporate marches as examples of previous marches that have led to property damage in the City of Portland.

The Safety Tutorial

Simpson reports that he had been on the March Against Monsanto Facebook page and had seen the threads from parents asking if the event was going to be safe for children. He reports that he has no indication of threat whatsoever about this morning’s march, adding: “We get the issue. This is global.”

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Video captured by Sue Edmunson on May 25, 2013 at Holladay Park in Portland, Oregon

According to Simpson, trouble-makers thrive in the anonymity of a crowd; they can become emboldened and confrontational and put other people at risk. He offered the following general tips for individuals and families to remain safe in public gatherings:

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention.
  • Be on the lookout for alarming behavior. If people start putting on masks, carrying sticks, or shouting obscenities, it’s time to get your family out of that area.
  • If the speakers’ content changes from what you came to hear and the crowd begins to feel confrontational, move away.
  • Stick with groups of people you know and feel safe with.
  • Report suspicious activity to law enforcement. Alert, intelligent crowds are the best deterrent to trouble.

“Crowd behavior can be a funny thing,” Simpson explains. “People gather because they feel passionately about something and they want to express that, but people can get caught up in it. Use common sense and pay attention.”

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