Last weekend the March Against Monsanto once again saw millions join in around the world to stand up for quality food supply. Monsanto, the world’s largest biotech company and producer of GMO foods, has been challenged by the public since GMOs first began hitting grocery stores. People are concerned about the safety of GMOs when it comes to their health and the environment, as our right and ability to produce natural foods in a natural way is being compromised without our permission.
One of the largest themes that came out of this year’s event was that activists are no longer against any one person or thing, instead they are with and for nature, for health, and for truth.
Toronto was among 428 other cities from 38 countries around the world that participated in this grassroots march, which took place on May 23rd. People chanting and holding signs marched in Toronto from Queens Park to Christy Pits, where the Farm 2 Fork festival then took place, showcasing all organic and vegetarian food as well as speakers and performances that engaged hundreds of people.
The Movement Demands Rights
This movement is demanding a basic right we should all have: to know what we are eating. Labelling food that contains GMOs is common practice in 64 countries, yet the US and Canada are not one of them. It’s troubling to see so many other developed nations recognizing the dangers while we turn a blind eye here in North America.
This topic is also shaping up to be a hot one in the upcoming election, as more and more people are paying much closer attention to the food they are putting into their bodies. Leading the charge on the political front within government is NDP MP Murray Rankin (Victoria). He put forward a motion in the House of Commons calling for the mandatory labelling of food products containing ingredients that have been genetically modified.
He has been working closely with teen activist Rachel Parent, who has been advocating for labelling for some time now. Perhaps this will be the year of change, as endorsements for the motion have been well received. Industry organizations, consumer advocacy groups, prominent environmentalists, and food retailers agree that people have a right to know if they are consuming GMOs.
If you’re passionate about the topic you can add your name to an online petition at http://petition.ndp.ca/the-food-you-eat.
Need a bit more information about GMOs? Check out this link as a starting point for better understanding http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/faqs/food/understanding-gmo/.
You can also check out our GMO archives.
Photo Credit: AP Photo / Kamil Zihnigolu
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