On May 25th, millions around the globe are expected to take part in a global action and march against Monsanto. Here is why.
When it comes to hating big companies, Monsanto makes the top of my list. In fact, I am so passionate about the destruction of Monsanto that I have written articles in my campus newspaper and gave a speech in my speech communications class that ended up costing me points off my grade because the speech was too long. (Oh well, it’s for the cause, right?)
Before one dives into the forever-growing campaign against Monsanto, there is a few basic facts that one must educate themselves with.
Monsanto makes most of its money from Genetically Modified Organisms which is often abbreviated “GMOs.” But what is a GMO?
Genetically modified organisms are plants and even animals that are created from modified DNA structures in that organism or as I like to call them “Franken-crops.” These Franken Crops are designed to be infertile after grown and have pesticides built into them which creates a major problem for life on Earth.
One of the first issues that are present with GMOs is bees. Bees pollinate 70% of the 100% of the crops that feed 90% of the world’s population. If you haven’t heard, bees are disappearing and this is known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is when a hive or a colony of bees dies off and this is happening on a global scale and has happened more rapidly over the last few years. When I was a young kid, I remember playing outside and seeing bees constantly, and today, well, I haven’t seen a bee in over a year.
Although the exact cause of CCD is unknown, there is irrefutable proof that GMOs and big companies like Monsanto are a predominant factor. GMOs are not only modified to be infertile to prevent farmers from replanting them which causes bees to become malnourished and deprived of the basic nutrients and substances that their colony needs to survive, but also these GMOs have pesticides built in them that either kills the bee immediately or weakens a bee’s immune system causing them to become sick and then die off.
Monsanto is not only a maker of modified organisms, but the largest producers of pesticides as well. That’s right, the company that is engineering your food is also producing poison as well. One of the most historic pesticides created by Monsanto was used as chemical warfare during the Vietnam War under the name “Agent Orange”
During the Vietnam war, the US military began “Operation Ranch Hand” which was a military objective to not only cause deforestation to prevent guerilla cover, but to cause famine as well. The operation killed nearly 400,000 people as well as caused over 500,000 birth defects which today the Red Cross of Vietnam has estimated that over 1 million people have been killed or disabled by Agent Orange.
During the 1980s, China’s use and deregulation of pesticides on plants exploded, and the effect of that today leaves an absence of honey bees to pollinate the crops. Instead, farmers in China must now hire humans to do the job that bees once naturally did, and the efficiency of human pollinators are much lower than if it was performed by natural pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Despite a lack of an affirmative claim by the health industry of GMOs on human life, studies have already proven that GMOs have negative effects on health in other species. To refer back to the bees, there was a study of bee’s digestive tracts of bees who died from GMOs compared to healthy bees that have not been exposed to GMOs. What the study found was that the digestive tracts of bees exposed to GMO crops were much darker and unnaturally softer.
The discoloration of this is similar to what is present in colon cancer and with the rise of GMOs now to the point where GMOs dominate the market; according to the Grocery Manufacturing Association, 70% of the foods that we buy and eat contain GMOs, it is possible that the rise in GMOs correlates to the rise in colon cancer.
But bees are little different from humans, however, there is one animal that has very similar DNA and biological structures to human beings which are rats. Because rats share such similar biological structure with humans, they are often use and are effective for any study on how certain things affect us biologically or neurologically. In a study conducted by Dr. Irina Ermakova, a leading scientist at the Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, mother rats were fed GMO soy beans and as a result 56% of the offspring from these mother rats died. Can the increase of mortality of offspring in rats after exposure explain the increase in infant mortality and birth defects in the United States?
Moving on beyond the apparent health effects of GMOs, there are also negative economic effects of GMOs as well. Normally, seeds can be replanted, but as I stated earlier, Monsanto seeds are designed to be infertile which requires the farmer to repurchase seeds every year. If a farmer is caught saving the seeds, they are sued. In fact, this occurrence of Monsanto suing farmers for everything that they have and economically devastating them is so common that Monsanto actually puts the question “Why Does Monsanto Sue Farmers Who Save Seeds?” on their website. The answer provided on the website is
“Monsanto patents many of the seed varieties we develop. Patents are necessary to ensure that we are paid for our products and for all the investments we put into developing these products. This is one of the basic reasons for patents. A more important reason is to help foster innovation. Without the protection of patents there would be little incentive for privately-owned companies to pursue and re-invest in innovation.”This must beg a bigger question though about our food industry and the growing privatization of our food supply. Recently, Monsanto was able to lobby for even more protection from persecution and gained more power in our government which only makes it harder to label GMOs.
Not only does this question the growing privatization of our food supply, but the privatization of life. No longer do we corporations just get away with profiting off of the services that sustain life, but actually profit from patents of life. With the logic of patenting life, shouldn’t we be allowed to patent our own children then?
Now we face a bigger battle not only for the sustainability of life, but the freedom of life as well. So when you ask me where I will be on May 25th,I will tell you that I will be in the streets of Chicago at Federal Plaza at noon. And for you, you can find your nearest protest and march here.
Spread the word! Get Involved! This is a literal fight for your life!