Genetically modified foods (GMO) from Monsanto Corporation are touted as the key to wiping out starvation in our time. Others call Monsanto’s patented seeds as producing “Franken-Food” with unknown long term medical side-effects along with concerns for the natural environment.
An estimated two million protesters worldwide, 3,000 of them here in Oregon, including Yachats, took to the streets to complain that the U.S. Congress has given Monsanto a blank check to continue it’s food alteration program which many fear will have dire consequences for human health and for the integrity of the world’s biosphere.
In Portland, the Oregonian reported between two and three thousand protesters took part in what was called “March Against Monsanto,” with similar rallies in Eugene, Medford, Grants Pass, Bend, Baker City, Prineville, Redmond, Coos Bay and Yachats.
Those critical of GMO’s contend the foods have not been proven safe over the long haul, are not labeled as such on GMO foods, have not proven to be more efficient at growing crops that natural seeded crop and don’t require less pesticides and herbicides as regular crops produced by natural seed. Monsanto’s seeds are also patented which means growers must buy new seed every season and that the company has sued farmers whose crops have acquired fugitive genes in them through no fault of their own through natural pollination from nearby farms using Monsanto seeded plants. Critics also contend that while GMO foods have not been proven a health threat to humans, the jury is still out. They say a test of pregnant rats fed GMO foods produced young that were deformed and sterile.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ruled the GMO products are not a health hazard to the public. However GMO foods have been banned or partially banned in over fifty countries around the world due to the uncertainty of what the long term effects are on those who consume them and/or their effects on the environment. Some of those countries include the United Kingdom, Italy, Austria, France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, Norway, Australia and New Zealand.