by Deanna C.
On Saturday May 25th I, along with hundreds of other Vancouverites, participated in the global ‘March Against Monsanto and GMO.’ What’s GMO? And who and what is Monsanto? And why do we care? These seemed to be recurring questions I was asked from a number of friends when I spoke of my upcoming participation in the march.
I’ll plead a bit of ignorance here – In all honesty I wasn’t well positioned to effectively answer these questions. As a health conscious person I knew that GMO (genetically modified organic) was “bad” for me and I also knew a little bit about Monsanto, but I really didn’t know enough about either of the above to be able to articulate well enough what the movement was about and why it was so important. So I did a bit of research and read up on the issues (see the suggested links and resources below to learn more about GMO and Monsanto), but the most valuable resource was the march itself. It gave me the opportunity to learn more, connect with others, ask questions and be around passionate people who all felt strongly about our basic rights and health. It was a great vibe and a positive environment. I met a number of people during the march who, like me, were relatively new to the movement but were equally concerned about GMO and the unethical practices of corporations like Monsanto, and who wanted to be a part of this powerful force of citizens mobilizing for a change worldwide. That people and families from all walks of life with various levels of awareness and different interests turned up to this event speaks not only to the organizers’ ability to rally people together and get their message out, but also to the fact that more and more concerned citizens want to take action. I am certain that at the very least this global march against Monsanto attracted more attention and gained more support and momentum for the movement.
So, why should we care about Monsanto and GMO? That’s for you as an individual to decide and I encourage you to read up on both and learn more (from all sides of the debate). But I’ll tell you why I care. I care because it matters to me what goes into my body. It also matters to me what impact any engineered process may have on the environment. While we don’t know for sure what impact GMOs have on our bodies, cells and DNA there is a growing body of research that connects GMO foods with health problems and environmental damage. I also expect (in fact demand) the right to know what is in my food, especially if it could potentially harm me. As for Monsanto, I don’t know about you but there seems to be something fundamentally wrong (and frightening) with giant corporations dominating and controlling our food chain (and engaging in unethical, intimidating, socially unjust practices, to say the very least). I am not okay with that. These reasons among many others are why I care and why I participated in the March against Monsanto. It was an empowering and inspiring experience for me to be a part of this global movement. I was reminded that the value of people mobilizing in solidarity like this should not be minimized, if only to create a level of awareness among others. I am a strong believer that knowledge is power and I believe the first step to any real change is raising awareness. People will not act on something if they don’t know about it (or enough about it) to make informed decisions. I was also left with the encouraging impression that the movement will continue on and grow even larger and stronger, and this reaffirms my belief that conscious and concerned citizens collectively coming together can absolutely make change happen.
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
(there are many other articles and sites about GMO and Monsanto a google search will provide you with a lot of reading material!)
Information about the March and movement –
A documentary about Monsanto
See more of Deanna’s work at www.to-live-inspired.com