On Saturday, May 25, an estimated two million protesters turned out in 436 cities in 52 countries to protest genetically-modified (GM) foods and their primary developer, Monsanto Company, Inc. This far exceeded anything Tami Canal could have imagined when she created a Facebook page entitled “The March against Monsanto” back in February.
When Proposition 37 failed in California in November, Canal decided to do something about it. Prop 37 would have required labeling of GM food products so that (according to the bill) “the people of California [would be] fully informed about whether the food they purchase and eat is genetically engineered and not misbranded as natural so that they can choose for themselves whether to purchase and eat such foods.”
“If I had gotten 3,000 people to join me, I would have considered that a success,” Canal said Saturday. “It was empowering and inspiring to see so many people, from different walks of life, put aside their differences and come together today.”
She added: “We will continue until Monsanto complies with consumer demand. They are poisoning our children, poisoning our planet.”
One of the reasons that likely motivated Canal to focus on Monsanto was the discovery that opponents to Proposition 37 outspent supporters by five-to-one, with the biggest contributor to the “No Prop. 37” campaign being Monsanto with its $8 million gift, nearly as much as all the supporters garnered put together. The measure barely lost, 51 percent to 49 percent.
Others opposing Prop. 37 included GM food giants DuPont, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Bayer, Dow AgroSciences, BASF Plant Science, and Coca-Cola North America.
Monsanto has been increasingly perceived as a big bully, and the history of litigation on its Wikipedia entry goes on for pages.
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