This morning we joined the march against Monsato. Why? Because I care about what happens to my food and what I eat. What Fysh eats. Call me a hippy, an activist, I don’t really care. If something bothers me I’m going to have a say about it and things like genetically modifying seeds bothers me. We thought it wouldn’t reach SA but it did. Another big factor in why I’m building a huge veggie garden in my yard. With NON modified seedlings.
Was really interesting to see people there I actually know and great to see the turn out, yeah there weren’t thousands but the thing is that today’s march happened to be happening in 400 cities today and THAT… that’s a pretty impressive turn out I think. Even Fysh came along, he wasn’t too sure about it in the beginning but he soon warmed up to it when people wanted to take photos of him and his little protest board he’d helped me make for him.
Just in case you aren’t sure what I’m rambling about:
GMO – A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food. The term GMO is very close to the technical legal term, ‘living modified organism’ defined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which regulates international trade in living GMOs (specifically, “any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology”).
Monsanto – Monsanto Company is a publicly traded American multinational chemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation headquartered in Creve Coeur, Missouri. It is a leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed and of the herbicide glyphosate, which it markets under the Roundup brand. Founded in 1901 by John Francis Queeny, by the 1940s Monsanto was a major producer of plastics, including polystyrene and synthetic fibers. Notable achievements by Monsanto and its scientists as a chemical company included breakthrough research on catalytic asymmetric hydrogenation and being the first company to mass-produce light emitting diodes (LEDs). The company also formerly manufactured controversial products such as the insecticide DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange, and recombinant bovine somatotropin (a.k.a. bovine growth hormone).
Monsanto was among the first to genetically modify a plant cell, along with three academic teams, which was announced in 1983, and was among the first to conduct field trials of genetically modified crops, which it did in 1987. It remained one of the top 10 U.S. chemical companies until it divested most of its chemical businesses between 1997 and 2002, through a process of mergers and spin-offs that focused the company on biotechnology. Monsanto was a pioneer in applying the biotechnology industry business model to agriculture, using techniques developed by Genentech and other biotech drug companies in the late 1970s in California. In this business model, companies invest heavily in research and development, and recoup the expenses through the use and enforcement of biological patents. Monsanto’s application of this model to agriculture, along with a growing movement to create a global, uniform system of plant breeders’ rights in the 1980s, came into direct conflict with customary practices of farmers to save, reuse, share and develop plant varieties. Its seed patenting model has also been criticized as biopiracy and a threat to biodiversity. Monsanto’s role in these changes in agriculture (which include its litigation and its seed commercialization practices), its current and former biotechnology products, its lobbying of government agencies, and its history as a chemical company have made Monsanto controversial.