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.
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.
- maize (corn)
- sugar beet
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.