Las Vegas March Against Monsanto
In recent news, 52 countries and 436 cities have rallied to protest Monsanto, an agricultural biotechnology company that is the leading producer of genetically engineered seeds. Dubbed the “March Against Monsanto”, protesters worldwide held up signs and marched down streets, Las Vegas Boulevard being one of them.
Last Saturday, donning red and meaning business, hundreds of locals gathered at Town Square and marched down to the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign carrying picket signs, shouting their disdain for Monsanto and most importantly, sparking an awareness about the unknown dangers of GMO’s in our food. The Las Vegas March Against Monsanto was heard by the valley loud and clear.
Paul Graham of Eating Vegan in Vegas, not only attended the march, he also spoke to the crowd sporting his “Don’t Feed the Monster” shirt. Graham stood in front of the approximately 1200 participants of the rally and let his opinions be known regarding Monsanto (he also wrote similar words in the Las Vegas Informer):
For decades we have been concerned about perceived threats from outside our borders, when all along one of the greatest real threats was within those borders. There is a monster amongst us and it is not hiding under the bed, but has been actively infiltrating our food supply for the past two decades and beyond, benefiting from corporate subsidies and political favoritism. That monster is Monsanto. – Paul Graham
What is a GMO?
A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Because this involves the transfer of genes, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms. – Institute for Responsible Technology
What is the GMO – Monsanto connection?
Monsanto produces several kinds of agricultural seeds such as corn, wheat and soybeans. These seeds have been altered to resist herbicides which prevents weeds making planting of crops more efficient and productive for farmers. Despite a French study validating that GMO’s are unsafe and unhealthy, not everyone is convinced including Capitol Hill where the Senate has been unable to pass GMO Labeling Laws. This has sparked outrage amongst food activists, organic food proponents and consumers in general.
While some have joined in rallies and protests against GMO’s and Monsanto, others have resorted to other methods for getting their message across. Despite genetically altered seeds being banned in Hungary, all of Monsanto’s cornfields have been destroyed in that country after it was suspected their tainted seeds were being used to grow maize. Freelance programmer, Ivan Pardo, launched Buycott, a phone app that allows you to “organize your consumer spending to help causes that you care for, and to oppose those that you don’t.” You can also find several petitions on Change.org, such as Girls Scouts: Please Make Cookies Without GMO’s and No to Monsanto and GMO.
In a recent paper published in the journal Entropy, Dr. Stephanie Seneff and Anthony Samsel argue that the key ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, contributes to most of the diseases associated with a Western diet — everything from gastrointestinal disorders to mood swings, heart disease to diabetes.
Monsanto has long argued that glyphosate is perfectly safe for humans. That’s because glyphosate works by disrupting the shikimate pathway in a plant’s metabolism. Human metabolism does not have the shikamate pathway, so we are safe. – Food Renegade
As concerns, awareness and resistance to GMO’s continue to grow, Las Vegas has officially joined the cause and whether you believe genetically modified seeds and foods are harmful or not, the issue will not be silenced nor will it go away.
If you’re looking to read more about Monsanto, GMO farming, and Clean eating; Recess has a few resources you may want to check out:
What do you think? Do you believe GMO’s are harmful? Do you believe laws should be passed requiring GMO Labeling? Tell us your thoughts.