Millions of activists around the world will once again march against the American chemical and agricultural company Monsanto, calling for the permanent boycott of Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs. A series of events and marches on 24 May will take place over 400 cities in 52 countries. In the US, solidarity marches will reportedly take place in 47 states. "Monsanto's predatory business and corporate agricultural practices threaten their generation's health, fertility and longevity," said Tami Canal, founder of the movement March Against Monsanto (MAM). Canal was inspired to set up the international grassroots movement to protect her two daughters. "MAM supports a sustainable food production system," she added. "We must act now to stop GMOs and harmful pesticides." The establishment of the movement was triggerede by the failure of California Proposition 37, which would have made it mandatory to label food products made from GMOs. According to MAM, Monsanto, which was founded as a multinational chemical and agricultural company in 1901, has "spent hundreds of millions of dollars to obstruct all labelling attempts. "The scientifically established health risks include, but are not limited to: organ damage, sterility, infant mortality, birth defects, auto-immune conditions, allergies and increased cancer risks." Supporters of March Against Monsanto state GMOs are not adequately monitored to ensure public safety.
Grand Rapids, MI - Many are out marching and protesting Monsanto this spring, demanding food be healthy and safe, that Monsanto products be labeled as GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and insisting that one corporation should not control the entire seed supply or corner the market. Unions and immigrant rights groups are demanding protections and decent pay for farm workers who use Monsanto products in the fields. It is also important to know that Monsanto makes war in Colombia and it needs to stop. Monsanto is making the lives of poor peasant farmers in Colombia miserable, forcing hundreds of thousands to abandon their small plots of land by killing the crops on which they survive. Monsanto participates directly in the U.S. war on Colombia’s poor peasant farmers by providing the deadly “Ultra” versions of Roundup that is used to destroy their crops. The U.S. government is conducting a war in Colombia and has spent over $8 billion on it since year 2000. Started under Clinton and Gore, the U.S. Southern Command directs the war against left-wing rebel groups and is in charge of the Colombian Armed Forces. However the involvement of Monsanto is less well known. The U.S. counterinsurgency war includes chemical warfare, in the form of private military companies like DynCorp International flying over and spraying the crops and fields of poor peasant farmers in areas where the rebel insurgency is strongest. Farmers living in areas where the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia are well organized are way more likely to have their crops sprayed with Monsanto products than the areas under the control of large landowners, narco-traffickers, or multi-national mineral corporations. Monsanto is a war profiteer. Monsanto is the company contracted by the U.S. military for the glyphosate sprayed on Colombian peasants’ crops. It is the same chemical as Roundup in much, much stronger concentrations. Monsanto makes huge profits from these U.S. military contracts. It has been going on since at least 1978. The Roundup is sprayed from planes, often drifts wide of its target, kills all sorts of crops and pollutes the ponds, lakes and rivers of Colombia. The first plants to grow back are the hardy coca plants - the original excuse for spraying, but food crops and fruit trees are ruined and do not return so easily. Thousands of people suffer skin and respiratory problems, there are reports of asthmatic children dying and animals poisoned and killed. The lives of tens of thousands are ruined on a yearly basis. The U.S. ‘war on drugs’ in Colombia is a lie. There is no change in drug production after decades. The aerial spraying is part of U.S. war strategy. Monsanto’s Roundup being sprayed targets and hurts the poor peasant farmers in rebellion. It harms the base of support of the rebels and gives Colombia the largest displaced person population in the world - more than in Iraq during most of the U.S. war and occupation. It also harms the ‘lungs of the world’ - the Amazon forests are being poisoned and forests are being cut down as farmers move to new land. Here at home, the phony war on drugs imprisons hundreds of thousands of African American, Chicano and working class youth, punishing instead of treating or rehabilitating, and making them second-class citizens for life. Monsanto delivers nothing but poverty, misery, and death to Colombian farmers, children and their animals. We need to oppose Monsanto selling Roundup to be sprayed on a mass scale in Colombia. Currently, the Colombian government wants to end the program, because it does not work. The U.S. government demands it continue. We need to support Colombian farmers and say: “No more Monsanto fumigations! No to U.S. war in Colombia!”
On Friday night, a gunman killed six people in Santa Barbara, and the killer himself was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head. Soon after police began investigating the crime, 22-year-old student Elliot Rodger emerged as the main suspect.
Palm Harbor, Florida -- Surrounded by kids at a Palm Harbor park, mom of three Rebecca Werher is on a mission. The kids chant in the background: "Go away GMOs!" as they make posters, against the "genetically modified organisms." Rebecca wants local supermarket chain Publix to label which foods contain GMOS. Because of an autoimmune disease, she's cautious on what her family eats. "I'd like to see them label, like Whole Foods is. Take the reins and run with it, so parents can know what they're feeding their kids." Whole Foods made a pledge to remove all GMOs from their foods by the year 2018. Rebecca isn't alone. She and 1,200 others have signed a petition on Facebook to pressure food companies to label GMO foods:
The world will once again come together on May 24 to March Against Monsanto. As demonstrators are determined to permanently boycott genetically modified organisms (GMO) and other agro-chemicals, events are planned in 400 cities throughout 52 countries on six continents. While in the U.S., solidarity marches will take place in 47 states as millions of activists plan to take a stand against Monsanto.
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Commie-pinko-libs that we are (except for El Jefe, our editor-in-chief -- he's a company man), we feel duty bound to tell one and all there's a big nationwide protest against Monsanto on Saturday, with marches slated for West Palm Beach and Miami. We feel that duty if only because our many tree-hugger friends (we love trees too!) are nagging us to do so. So, in the spirit of "give-the-people-what-they-want-and-good-and-hard," here's the scoop.
National protest organizers say they're calling for "the permanent boycott" of GMO's and "other harmful agro-chemicals." Miami organizers share that view, slamming "poisonous Frankenfoods." West Palm Beach is more restrained, "calling into question long-term health risks" of GM foods and "demanding" their labeling "so that consumers can make informed decisions."
Broward County protestors, who had a separate anti-Monsanto march last year (these things are becoming annual events), will caravan down to join the Miami action, "Due to red tape with City of Hollywood," according to their Facebook post.
The marches look like they'll be fun, as well as, hopefully, informative.
Miami peeps were told:
Wear black/red -or- dress in your craziest modified Vegetable or make your own costume!! Dress a bee or butterfly, Think creatively! Bring instruments and your coolest Signs!
*STAY TUNED FOR Party Bus from Hollywood AND AFTER PARTY WITH MUSICMi Vida Cafe, Vegan Cuisine
West Palm Beach includes an after-march "sustainable mingle" at O'Shea's Irish Pub, with music from Future Prezidents and others.
If there appears to be a certain skepticism on our part: that's because there is. We're down with the First Amendment, and all for civic engagement. And we hold no brief for Monsanto (the folks who brought you napalm and Agent Orange), multinational biotech in general, or actually existing capitalism. But we're not sold on claims that GMO foods are -- in and of themselves -- harmful to human health. (And we're not talking "not proved" as argued by climate-change-denialists, where the scientific community is overwhelmingly in agreement and a so-called "independent-minded citizenry" challenges them. In the matter of GMOsthe science has, by and large, given GMOs a clean bill of health.)
Here's where we come down: Monsanto bad, GMO labeling good, GMOs tbd. March on.
Details on Saturday's March[es] Against Monsanto can be found here, here and here.
Fire Ant -- an invasive species, tinged bright red, with an annoying, sometimes-fatal sting -- covers South Florida news and culture. Got feedback or a tip? Contact Fire.Ant@BrowardPalmBeach.com.
The production of Agent Orange gave Monsanto huge profits while millions died from it and millions more continue to suffer in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. U.S. GIs and their families continue to struggle with the impact of this deadly chemical. Monsanto profited from the production of PCBs but the community of Times Beach Missouri near one of the production/ distribution sites had to be evacuated because of pollution. Thousands lost their homes. Monsanto versus Seed Sovereignty There have been demonstrations across the world, from Haiti to India, demanding seed sovereignty, or the right to control seeds used in their country against monopoly demands by Monsanto that they use GMO seeds. Following the money Hugh Grant Monsanto CEO salary was $1.4 million in 2013 but with stock awards etc his compensation was $12.57 million for 2013. Monsanto profits for just the first three months of 2014 were up 13% to $1.67 billion. Where did those profits come from? Migrant workers from Texas and Arizona have sued the company in 2011 and 2012 for not paying minimum wage. The company has a history of refusing demands for wages benefits and safety by unions representing workers in their factories. Monopoly control of the seed industry allows the company to charge whatever it wants while at the same time it sues farmers for violations of its patents that allow monopoly control. Who controls Monsanto? The Board of Directors includes the CEO of Peabody Energy the world’s largest private coal producer and the company that has robbed the pensions of US coal miners while exploiting the world. Other Board members include a former president of McDonalds Corporation, famous for low pay and no benefits in the fast food industry and a former CEO of Lockheed Martin from the military industrial complex. These are the “front men”. Real control is by finance capital institutions that control the overwhelming majority of the stock. Just the top 10 own over 30 percent of all of the stock and control the company. They include JPMorgan Chase, BlackRock, FMR, etc. Monsanto and the US Government In March 2013 President Obama signed a bill making it impossible to sue Monsanto for any ill health effects from its genetically modified food. This was passed without debate by the Republicans and Democrats. A symptom of what is wrong with the system. Content may be reprinted with credit to LiberationNews.org.
Almost 10 years ago, I watched a documentary titled The Corporation and was astounded at the breadth of injustice committed by big companies. One story in the film was about Vandana Shiva, an environmental activist and anti-globalization author based in Delhi. Shiva's story opened my eyes to the genetically modified crop practices of Monsanto, which link to the food that my family, friends and neighbors eat and share every day. What I began to learn disgusted me as much then as it does now. This Saturday, May 24, millions of people around the world will once again March Against Monsanto, calling for the permanent boycott of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other harmful agro-chemicals. Marches will occur on six continents, in 52 countries, with events currently planned in over 400 cities. In the U.S., marches are slated to occur in 47 states. A comprehensive list of actions can be seen here.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has introduced a comprehensive bill to improve VA health care and dental care, expand educational opportunities, help the VA address a disability claims backlog, help veterans find jobs and much more.
Tomorrow, May 24, 2014, the Libertarian Party of Collier County (LPCC) will walk arm-in-arm with Naples Progressives in their effort to raise awareness about the chemical company Monsanto. The march is part of a worldwide effort to educate the public as to how Monsanto has taken over the agricultural industry. Libertarian Party of Florida Gubernatorial candidate Adrian Wyllie will also beprotesting tomorrow, however in Miami, Florida.
The LPCC is growing in popularity as it works 'across the isle' with both conservatives and liberals on different issues, which is the appeal of the Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party of Collier County is the only political party in southwest Florida that fights for individual liberty, economic freedom, and limited government. The LPCC's involvement in the march is to educate the public as to free market solutions to Monsanto's grip on farming through its cronyism with government.
Most libertarians are against regulation with the exception of disclosure when it comes to finance and food products. Libertarian Party of Florida candidate for Attorney General, Bill Wohlsifer said this yesterday, "Libertarians recognize that not all laws are bad. But we apply strict scrutiny to even the most local ordinance. As candidate for Florida Attorney General my position on GMO Labeling laws is not to regulate an industry, but to provide consumer information and protection. I believe consumer protection is a proper role of government and a high priority for the people’s Attorney General."
Polls show that over 80% of the public would like genetically modified organisms (GMOs) labeled yet Monsanto continues to work to defeat proposed legislation and market-based alternatives to label GMOs with their powerful lobby and through political corruption. It should come as no surprise that people from all political backgrounds are joining together on Saturday to protest the worst offender in the contamination of our food supply, Monsanto. There are hundreds of other protests worldwide scheduled for the same day.
Jared Grifoni, Co-host and Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Collier County is one of the speakers and is expected to encourage boycotts and free market solutions. Ellen Hemrick, Co-host and organizer of Naples Progressives/Occupy Naples will urging government regulations, mandatory labeling, banning of GMO’s. Valerie A G Ouillette, from the Children of Vietnam Veteran’s Health Alliance will speak about the legacy of Agent Orange. Ken Alaimo, of Wild Heritage Farm is expected to talk about organic farming is sustainable and in-demand Clean Water Initiative of Florida which is working to eliminate pesticide contamination from local waters.
Monsanto, the makers of Agent Orange, Round-up and GMO food have been infiltrating the legislature and the FDA for many years. The Supreme Court, the White House staff, the Senate, the House and most of the FDA have strong ties to Monsanto. Monsanto literally writes the laws to benefit their worldwide monopoly of food and pesticides, while actively working to shut down small organic farmers, and utilizes their political cronies to pass them. The corporation, with the assistance of political insider collusion, has become so powerful that it bypasses the checks and balances Americans expect from their system of government resulting in a continued merger of corporate and state power.
Monsanto now produces the majority of corn, soy, and staple crops, holding patents on the seeds that have been made resistant to their pesticides through genetic modification. This has been linked to a 250% increase in food allergies, massive bee die-offs, and many health hazards. More than 90% of the corn in the US is thought to be GMO at this time.
Local residents call for boycotts, demand labeling of GMOs, an end to the political cronyism, and transparency on the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations happening right now in Washington and Asia. The negotiations, conducted by the Obama administration, are for a global trade agreement that would effectively elevate corporations above the laws of individual nations and exempt them from any oversight, regulation, and prosecution at all. The details of the trade negotiations are being kept from Congress and the American people.
There is also an event planned in West Palm Beach, Florida, however we have not heard if any Palm Beach County Libertarians are participating. Hundreds are expected at the Naples event which will begin at 4 p.m. at Cambier Park and the march will begin at 5 p.m. Refreshments will be donated by Food & Thought and Oakes Farms grocery stores. Genesis Non-GMO Vitamins & More, Trader Joe’s, and Pizza Fusion Naples have donated items to be raffled to support the march.
The long-awaited decision by the US Federal Election Commission (FEC) to allow political candidates to solicit campaign contributions in bitcoin was issued earlier this May, effectively giving campaigns the green-light to accept up to $100 per donor.
The decision, an advisory opinion, treats bitcoin as cash when establishing limits on donations, though they must be reported as in-kind contributions.
As a result of this announcement, a number of federal candidates have rushed to begin accepting the digital currency, joining an already strong number of local and state politicians.
However, the FEC’s decision is by no means expansive. Wisconsin Alderman Mark Clear, for example, was forced to return the $100 in bitcoin that was donated to his campaign on 5th May.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has a comprehensive new ranking of 30 cities in the world that offer the widest opportunities for businesses and the people who live there. PwC's sixth edition of its "Cities of Opportunity" report examined intellectual capital and innovation; technology readiness; how accessible a city is to the rest of the world; transportation and infrastructure; health, safety, and security; sustainability and the natural environment; demographics and livability; economic clout; ease of doing business; and cost. We took a closer look at the top 11 cities on the list, what got them there, and where they have room to improve.