Two hundred people showed up at Simms Millennium Park on Oct. 12 to join in the International March Against Monsanto that was held in more than 400 cities in 68 countries around the world.
The marchers are raising awareness of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in our food supply and our right to know they are there.
Many people don’t understand what GMOs are or why there is concern that they are in our food supply.
In Canada, most of the genetically engineered (GE) crops are modified by altering the DNA of the seed so that it won’t be killed when sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate.
The most common brand of glyphosate is Roundup, so the term Roundup Ready is given to the GE seeds.
The fields are sprayed with Roundup to kill all the plants before planting so the farmer does not need to plow the field. After the seeds are planted and the plants start to grow, the field is again sprayed with Roundup to kill all the plants except the GE Roundup Ready plants.
This process saves the farmer a lot of work, however it means that our food supply is contaminated with glyphosate and we don’t know all the health problems that may be caused by eating these Roundup Ready crops.
No long-term studies have been done to determine health effects in humans, but there is evidence that it can cause problems in animals.
The reason the march is so important is because many people do not know what GMOs are because large companies like Monsanto and others spend a lot of money to prevent these GE crops from being labelled.
As a consumer, I have no way of knowing which foods are genetically engineered and which aren’t. These large companies pay a lot of money to make sure people do not know if they are eating Roundup Ready food or not.
Monsanto and others produce the GE seeds and also produce the weed killer Roundup.
The fear is that if GE foods were labelled so people knew that the DNA of their food was being modified to be Roundup Ready, people would choose non-GE foods, thus reducing the market for GE seeds and also reducing the market for glyphosate, which would cut into company profits in a big way.
Monsanto and other large chemical companies don’t want us to know, while the millions of people who marched Oct. 12 feel that you have the right to know if your food is genetically engineered to be sprayed with Roundup or not.
The Comox Valley marchers and millions of others from around the world are marching to: protect our food supply, support local farms, protect our environment, promote organic solutions, expose the cronyism between big business and the government, bring accountability to those responsible for the corruption.