Read RT’s breakdown of the March Against Monsanto here: The March Against Monsanto has seen millions in 436 cities in 52 countries challenging biotech corporations and protesting against genetically modified foods, which despite bans in some states due to potential health hazards remain legal in many others.
23:01 GMT: Marches against the biotechnology giant Monsanto have taken place in 436 cities across 52 countries with an estimated total number of participants standing at over two million, the organizers of the global event said.
“If I had gotten 3,000 people to join me, I would have considered that a success,” founder and organizer Tami Canal said. Instead, she said two million responded to her message.
22:41 GMT: Over 2,500 people have marched against Monsanto in Las Vegas.
22:37 GMT: In order to take full control of the global food chain the world’s largest owner of patents on seeds Monsanto is lobbying, bribing, suing small farmers out of business and altering scientific research, geopolitical analyst F. William Engdahl told RT.
22:17 GMT: Thousands swarmed near the Monsanto lobbying headquarters in Washington DC. Some of the protesters had dressed as bees and pretended to have died at the office’s doors.
(Image from twitter user@johnzangas)
22:02 GMT: Hundreds flooded the streets of Florida calling on the US government to stop lobbying for biotechnology giants.
21:49 GMT: Dozens have marched through Columbus, Ohio.
21:37 GMT: Over 500 people marched through downtown Anchorage, Alaska, bearing signs with slogans like “I’m not a scientific experiment” and “Demand GMO Labels.”
(Image from facebook.com / photo by Betty Nuggs)
21:12 GMT: Chile has joined the protest against the agricultural giant with marches and other events taking place in in Santiago and several other cities.
Local organizer of the “March Against Monsanto”, Tami Monroe Canal, told The Santiago Times that she started the movement to protect her two little daughters.
“As a parent I just can’t stand by and not do anything to protect my children as well as their friends and the generation they are a part of,” she said. “I just really worry about my kids’ future. Their health, their longevity, their fertility.”
Monsanto first began its operations in Chile in 2005 by purchasing Seminis Vegetable Seeds, a company that sold some 3,500 seed varieties to more than 150 countries. Currently Monsanto owns seed production and packaging plants in Melipilla, Viluco and Paine and experimental plants in Arica, Santa Julia, Rancagua and Temuco.
Co. and genetically modified organisms (GMO), in Valparaiso city
May 25, 2013. (Reuters / Eliseo Fernandez)
20:53 GMT: Hundreds of people gathered in Savannah in the US state of Georgia to join the global protest against Monsanto.
20:39 GMT: Thousands protested near the Sacramento State Capitol in California. The event featured magnificent traditional Aztec dances.
20:27 GMT: Dozens have gathered in front of Monsanto office in Buenos Aires, Argentina, dancing and protesting GMO crops. Monsanto’s largest factory in Latin America is located in Argentina, and the company invests millions into new “experimental facilities.”
(Image from twitter user@Ignacio_RT)
20:19 GMT: Over 6,000 people have marched in Portland expressing their frustration with the biotech giant Monsanto.
20:11 GMT: Over 500 activists gathered in Dallas chanting “No more lies! No more greed! We don’t want your toxic seed!”
20:05 GMT: The Vancouver March Against Monsanto is part of an international movement that aims to raise awareness about the impacts of genetically modified organisms in food.
Marchers gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery beginning at 11 a.m. local time before making their way through the city.
Fearing the massive effect genetic engineering has both on the environment and health, marchers have demanded that companies be forced to label foods containing GMOs.
“There’s a growing body of evidence indicating that genetically modified crops are not benign; they affect both our health and the environment,” Global BC cites Greenpeace Vancouver Local Group member, Zac Hambrook, as saying in a statement.
19:58 GMT: “What do we want? Labels! When do we want em’? Now!” The March Against Monsanto making its way through downtown Cincinnati Ohio.
19:50 GMT: From the East Bay to California’s largest city San Diego, anti-Monsanto protests have swept through the Golden State.
19:40 GMT: Hundreds gather in San Francisco’s Union Square to take part in the nationwide as well as global march against Monsanto.
19:30 GMT: Activists in Olympia, Washington organized a march to the state capitol and onward to help take back control of their food supply. Alliance for Global Justice, an organizer behind the march, said 888 people had initially signed up to attend the poor weather conditions might have dissuaded many from turning out.
19:00 GMT: RT’s Anastasia Churkina is following the protests from New York.
18:55 GMT: Environmental groups across America have blamed companies like Monsanto for the drastic decline in the honey bee population over recent years, saying the pesticides they produce have killed off millions of the vital insect in recent years. Monsanto plans to host a “Bee Summit” in June to discuss solutions to the bee’s North American demise. “Everybody is concerned by it,” Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robert Fraley told Reuters.
18:45 GMT: Several thousand protesters marched through the streets of Vienna, Austria to rally against the US seed giant and GMO products.
18:18 GMT: Several hundred protesters have amassed outside the White House to demand the Obama administration change its policy towards Monsanto. In March, President Obama signed the so-called Monsanto Protection Act, which “effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO or GE crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from the consumption of these products may come to light in the future.”
17:58 GMT: Protesters in Los Angeles have evoked the sweeping horrors of the French Revolution to show their disapproval for Monsanto’s practices.
17:40 GMT: #MarchAgainstMonsanto is surging on Twitter despite the virtual mainstream media blackout on the global day of action.
17:37 GMT: Several dozens protesters have come out in Wichita, Kansas to take part in the worldwide call to “take back our food.”
17:28GMT: Protesters are starting to fill up Chicago’s Federal Plaza, which is home to a regular farmers market, to take part in one of many anti-Monsanto protests being held throughout the United States.
17:10 GMT: Dozens of demonstrators have gathered in Novi Sad, Serbia’s second largest city, to take part in the global action against Monsanto.
17:00 GMT: A small group of protesters have gathered outside of the Central Academic Theatre of the Russian Army on Suvorov Square to demand a “Russia without GMO!”
16:00 GMT: Several hundred people gathered in Paris for a peaceful protest against the US agrochemical giant Monsanto. A sit in demonstration was held on the Place du Trocadéro square, across the Seine from the Eifel Tower. Protesters could be seen waving signs claiming “”Monsanto plunders and kills the farmers and the planet.”
15:40 GMT: Japanese protesters earlier gathered outside Monsanto’s headquarters in Tokyo to chant down the company’s influence on the world’s food supply.
14:40 GMT: Demonstrators gathered at Eastern Market in Detroit, Michigan to “Demand GMO Labeling” and join the worldwide protest against Monsanto. The “March Against Monstanto” is being held in a dozen cities across Michigan, including Detroit, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Traverse City and Sault St. Marie. Tia Lebherz, a local organizer for Food and Water Watch, said companies like Monsanto are “squeezing out our small farmers.”
14:10 GMT: “’At Monsanto, we are committed to sustainable agriculture and to continuously improve ways in which we contribute. We are pleased that this honor recognizes that commitment,’ said Jerry Steiner, executive vice president, sustainability and corporate affairs at Monsanto. ‘This recognition reflects the thousands of Monsanto employees who are working together with farmers and partners around the world to improve agriculture and improve lives.'”
“First published in 1999, the ‘100 Best Corporate Citizens’ list ranks large-cap Russell 1000 companies based on publicly available information in seven key categories: climate change, employee relations, environmental, financial, governance, human rights and philanthropy.”
13:50 GMT: Around 300 people have come out for the London March Against Monsanto, calling for better food labeling of products that use ingredients grown with Monsanto seeds. London Organizer Courtney Smith says the issue at heart is that Monsanto is spending millions of dollars to lobby against GMO labeling on foods.The protesters met in Victoria Park at 2:00 p.m. local time and can be seen taking up positions around Parliament.
13:45 GMT: The March Against Monsanto attracted a sizeable crowd on Amsterdam’s central Dam Square.
13:40 GMT: People take to the streets of Amsterdam by bike and by foot to protest against Monsanto.
13:30 GMT: Demonstrators marching through the streets of Munich, Germany to call for the ban of genetically Engineered and Genetically Modified Organisms. Similar protests are being held in a half a dozen cities throughout the country.
13:10 GMT: Protesters marching through the streets of Cape Town, South Africa demanding that Monsanto get out of Africa.
13:00 GMT: Members of Occupy Food Australia are currently blocking roads in Melbourne, Australia to make their presence against Monsanto felt.
12:50 GMT: Activists in Hawaii have “made a #MAM light brigade”, adorning a wall with a popular March Against Monsanto hashtag fashioned from a string of lights.
11:17 GMT: The Japanese are participating in the anti-Monsanto rallies across the country, locals report on Twitter.
11:10 GMT: Across South Africa, hundreds have taken to the streets to protest against Monsanto’s policies.
9:00 GMT: Anti-Monsanto activists are claiming a mainstream media blackout on coverage of the protest marches.
8:20 GMT: Anti-Monsanto campaigners across the UK will march as part of a global day of protest against the GMO giant. Rallies are set to take place in London, Bristol, Glasgow, Manchester, Douglas, Torquay and Nottingham.
6:50 GMT: Sarah Saunders, an organizer of the event, said she was leading the march to “help protect the future health and food supply for my children. The long term health effects of GMOs are up for debate and I would rather my children not be science experiments.”
6:20 GMT: Hundreds gathered in Brisbane, Australia, to join the global protest against Monsanto.
5:40 GMT: Pictures from Melbourne, Australia, show crowds continuing their protest against Monsanto’s practices.
4:21 GMT: Over 1,000 protesters gathered in Melbourne.
3:37 GMT: Activists gearing up for a protest in Albany, Australia.
3:00 GMT: Watch RT’s Anastasia Churkina report on the upcoming global protest.
2:44 GMT: Activists begin gathering for Sydney protest hours before the scheduled time.
2:14 GMT: Nick Bernabe, a social media director for March Against Monsanto, told RT that in some parts of the world, Monsanto’s tactics are leading farmers to suicide.
“If you look at what happened in India… I mean there was an epidemic of suicides of the farmers,” Bernabe said. “Monsanto sold them a kind of seed that they promised would do a certain thing and then those seeds didn’t perform how they were supposed to. And it drove a lot of those Indian farmers into sheer poverty – and they ended up committing suicide by the hundreds and thousands even.”
Meanwhile in the United States, Monsanto is known for litigating small farmers out of business, Bernabe added.
“There are a lot of small farmers they are putting out business because they have a genetic migration into crops that were not supposed to be GMO, but they are getting cross-pollinated,” he explained. “And then Monsanto comes in, they use their government cronies to go in and shut down small farmers because the genetics from the seeds they’ve patented have slowly crept into the genetics of non-GMO seeds.”
Bernabe says that activists “want to spread awareness and we want to start from the ground up.”
“The easiest thing you can do to know what’s in your food is to grow your own food,” he said. “We start there. At the very top we want labeling and a ban, but I think we should work from the ground up to have the best results.”
2:20 GMT: Hundreds of people gathered for an event in Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia.
1:36 GMT: On the eve of the global protest against GMO, the US Senate overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would allow states to decide if genetically modified food products should be labeled.
Since the FDA has not made scientific conclusions, the opponents of the measure argued, GMOs should not be labeled.
“I believe we must rely on the FDA’s science-based examination before we make conclusions about food ingredients derived from genetically modified foods,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who chairs the Agriculture Committee.
1:00 GMT: We are beginning our extensive coverage of the global protest organized by the ‘March Against Monsanto’ movement. An estimated 200,000 activists are expected participate in the massive campaign spanning six continents, 40 nations, and at least 48 US states.