Reporter: Samantha Daniels
A co-organizer of the March Against Monsanto Rally Oshawa spoke to an audience of one at the Durham College Green Team monthly meeting on Oct. 10.
Although the audience was less than ideal, Snow spoke about the negative effects genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have on the public.
Monsanto is a multinational agriculture corporation anda leading producer of genetically engineered corn, soybean, cotton, wheat, alfalfa, sugar beet and canola seeds to be resistant to herbicides, which they also sell.
This allows farmers to spray the crops with the herbicide to kill surrounding weeds without worrying about killing the plant itself. According to the company, this produces more nutritious, durable,
Long-term studies have not been completed on the effects of GMOs.
“Nothing should be released for pubic consumption unless they are one hundred per cent certain it will not harm people, even three generations down the line,” she said. “A lot of European countries have
already banned it.”
A March Against Monsanto Rally press release states GMOs are not adequately monitored to ensure public safety, with scientifically established health risks, including organ damage, sterility, birth defects, auto-immune conditions, allergies, increased risks of cancer.
According to an Institute of Science in Society statement, “scientists are extremely concerned about the hazards of GMOs to biodiversity, food safety, human and animal health.”
Dr. David Suzuki and Harvard geneticist Prof. Ruth Hubbard, along with 826 scientists across the world, signed the statement to say,“ are opposed to genetically modified crops that will intensify corporate monopoly, exacerbate inequality and prevent the essential shift to sustainable agriculture that can provide food security and health around the world.”
This is what March Against Monsanto is hoping to raise awareness about.
The annual MAM Rally is an international event “calling for the permanent boycott of genetically modified organisms and other harmful agro-chemicals,” according to the March Against Monsanto press release.
The second annual Oshawa rally started at city hall on Oct. 12, but Snow specified that she was not asking the city council to do anything about it. “It’s a much bigger issue than what a small city can do,” said Snow.
According to Snow, 85 community members showed up for the rally.
“The highlight of the event was, I think, the memorial that we had for the farmers who have suffered and to the ones that have died due to
Monsanto,” said Snow.
“Everyone was handed flowers and candles, and they got to pay their respects by placing it in front of the memorial.”
“Monsanto’s predatory business and corporate agricultural practices threaten [the next] generation’s health, fertility and longevity,” said March Against Monsanto founder Tami Monroe Canal in the press release. “March Against Monsanto supports a sustainable food production system. We must act now to stop GMOs and harmful pesticides.”
The next march is May 24. “My hope for the next event is having over 200 attendees, have the band “Nonsanto” play again, and possibly have local non-GMO farm vendors so people can buy fresh vegetables,” said Snow.