DENVER (CBS4) – Rallies were held Saturday around the world and in Denver to protest the seed company, Monsanto.
In Denver, several hundred people took part in a march from the Capitol to the 16th Street Mall. Organizers are taking aim at big companies that produce genetically modified food and want legislation to require labels on GMO foods. They claim Monsanto is also controlling patents and squeezing out small farmers who grow organic food.
“Their motto is that they’re feeding the world, but really what they’re doing … they’re driven by greed and they’re driven by, ‘How can we make more money and make lots of money?’ a protester said. “So what’s wrong with that is whenever you have someone trying to make money, they’re pushing other people out of the way.”
“Among the challenges facing agriculture are producing food for our growing population and reducing agriculture’s footprint on the environment,” Monsanto said in a statement. “We are making a contribution to improving agriculture by helping farmers produce more from their land while conserving natural resources such as water and energy.”
“Monsanto is putting natural family farmers out of business by controlling the seed population and by buying out the farms and by preventing the natural family farms from being able to grow their crops,” Weld County farmer Ethan Abbott said.
Author and filmmaker Jeffrey Smith says much of what people eat, like corn, has been genetically modified and is bad for one’s health. He says when doctors tell their patients with stomach disorders to eat organically grown food, they say their health improves.
“The failure to thrive, high levels of allergies, possibly autism, some of the mental disorders, and certainly the gastro-intestinal problems,” Smith said.
“Monsanto assesses each new product for safety according to rigorous procedures established by international expert bodies charged with assuring the safety of food and feed derived from crops modified using agricultural biotechnology,” Monsanto said in a statement.
Smith says Monsanto’s seeds that are modified to kill bugs that kill crops ares showing up where they shouldn’t.
“So now we have a toxin that pokes holes in human cells in the unborn fetuses’ blood where it might get into the brain because there’s no blood brain barrier at that point, poking holes in human cells,” Smith said.
There’s a push on to get states to require labeling telling consumers which foods have been genetically modified. That same effort will to come to Colorado in 2014.