On Memorial Day weekend, 2 million people marched in protests against seed giant Monsanto for the purpose of bringing awareness to hazards from genetically modified food, which it and other companies manufacture. Organizer Tami Canal said protests were held in 436 cities in 52 countries.
Genetically modified plants are grown from genetically modified, or engineered, seeds, which are created to resist insecticides and herbicides so that crops can be grown to withstand a weed-killing pesticide or integrate a bacterial toxin that can ward off pests.
The Chicago Tribune reported that because genetically modified organisms are not listed on food or ingredient labels, few Americans realize they're eating GMO foods every day. Genetically modified crops constitute 93 percent of soy, 86 percent of corn and 93 percent of canola seeds planted in the U.S., and are used in about 70 percent of American processed food.
The Tribune reported that the Food and Drug Administration has permitted the sale and planting of genetically modified foods for 15 years and that the Obama administration has approved an "unprecedented number of genetically modified crops," such as ethanol corn, alfalfa and sugar beets. The Alliance for Natural Health USA added that the U.S. Department of Agriculture now wants to eliminate any regulatory controls from genetically altered corn and cotton.
And Monsanto, the world's largest seed-maker and a publicly traded American multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation, is leading the pro-GMO march and moving full steam ahead in being the No. 1 U.S. and global farm supplier.
CEO Hugh Grant said this past week, "We're in a growth mode, and with the combination of momentum in our core businesses and new layers of growth coming online from an increasingly global portfolio, we have the strategic drivers in place to continue our growth trajectory next year and beyond."
However, Europe's resistance against GMOs paid off, as Reuters reported last Friday that Monsanto is "not pushing for expansion of genetically modified crops in most of Europe, as opposition to its biotech seeds in many countries remains high."
And The Washington Post also reported the same day that South Korea recently joined Japan in suspending imports of U.S. wheat after an experimental and unapproved strain of GM wheat, designed to resist the deadly effects of Monsanto's most popular herbicide and weed killer, Roundup, was discovered growing on an Oregon farm. (Just this last Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found the rogue Monsanto wheat sprouts in the Beaver State, when a farmer who was attempting to wipe out a field by spraying Roundup couldn't kill the wheat crops.)