Global march challenges Monsanto's dominance: LIVE UPDATES

The March Against Monsanto will see hundreds of thousands in 40 countries unite to challenge biotechnology corporations and protest against genetically modified foods, which despite bans in some countries due to health hazards remain legal in many others.

Read RT’s
breakdown of the March Against Monsanto here:

22:37 GMT: In order to take full control of the global
food chain the world’s largest owner of patents on seeds Monsanto
is lobbying, bribing, suing small farmers out of business and
altering scientific research, geopolitical analyst F. William Engdahl told
RT
.

22:02 GMT: Hundreds flooded the streets of Florida
calling on the US government to stop lobbying for biotechnology
giants.

The March Against Monsanto, Miami. (Image from twitter user@sbstarchaser)

21:37 GMT: Over 500 people marched through downtown
Anchorage, Alaska, bearing signs with slogans like “I’m not a
scientific experiment” and “Demand GMO Labels.”

The March Against Monsanto, Anchorage, Alaska. (Image from facebook.com / photo by Betty Nuggs)

21:12 GMT: Chile has joined the protest against the
agricultural giant with marches and other events taking place in in
Santiago and several other cities.

Local organizer of the “March Against Monsanto”, Tami Monroe Canal,
told The Santiago Times that she started the movement to protect
her two little daughters.

“As a parent I just can’t stand by and not do anything to
protect my children as well as their friends and the generation
they are a part of,”
she said. “I just really worry about my
kids’ future. Their health, their longevity, their
fertility.”

Monsanto first began its operations in Chile in 2005 by purchasing
Seminis Vegetable Seeds, a company that sold some 3,500 seed
varieties to more than 150 countries. Currently Monsanto owns seed
production and packaging plants in Melipilla, Viluco and Paine and
experimental plants in Arica, Santa Julia, Rancagua and Temuco.

Demonstrators hold banners during a rally against U.S.-based Monsanto Co. and genetically modified organisms (GMO), in Valparaiso city May 25, 2013. (Reuters / Eliseo Fernandez)

20:39 GMT: Thousands protested near the Sacramento State
Capitol in California. The event featured magnificent traditional
Aztec dances.

20:27 GMT: Dozens have gathered in front of Monsanto
office in Buenos Aires, Argentina, dancing and protesting GMO
crops. Monsanto’s largest factory in Latin America is located in
Argentina, and the company invests millions into new “experimental
facilities.”

The March Against Monsanto, Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Image from twitter user@Ignacio_RT)

20:11 GMT: Over a hundred of activists gathered in Dallas
chanting “No more lies! No more greed! We don’t want your toxic
seed!”

The March Against Monsanto, Dallas. (Image from twitter user@reneefranks)

20:05 GMT: The Vancouver March Against Monsanto is part
of an international movement that aims to raise awareness about the
impacts of genetically modified organisms in food.

Marchers gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery beginning at 11 a.m.
local time before making their way through the city.

Fearing the massive effect genetic engineering has both on the
environment and health, marchers have demanded that companies be
forced to label foods containing GMOs.

“There’s a growing body of evidence indicating that genetically
modified crops are not benign; they affect both our health and the
environment,”
Global BC cites Greenpeace Vancouver Local Group
member, Zac Hambrook, as saying in a statement.

19:58 GMT: “What do we want? Labels! When do we want em’?
Now!” The March Against Monsanto making its way through downtown
Cincinnati Ohio. 

19:50 GMT: From the East Bay to California’s largest city
San Diego, anti-Monsanto protests have swept through the Golden
State.

The March Against Monsanto, San Diego. (Image from facebook.com)

19:40 GMT: Hundreds gather in San Francisco’s Union
Square to take part in the nationwide as well as global march
against Monsanto. 

19:30 GMT: Activists in Olympia, Washington organized a
march to the state capitol and onward to help take back control of
their food supply. Alliance for Global Justice, an organizer behind
the march, said 888 people had initially signed up to attend the
poor weather conditions might have dissuaded many from turning
out.


19:00 GMT: RT’s Anastasia Churkina is following the
protests from New York.

18:55 GMT: Environmental groups across America have
blamed companies like Monsanto for the drastic decline in the honey
bee population over recent years, saying the pesticides they
produce have killed off millions of the vital insect in recent
years. Monsanto plans to host a “Bee Summit” in June to
discuss solutions to the bee’s North American demise. “Everybody
is concerned by it,”
Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robert
Fraley told Reuters.


18:45 GMT: Several thousand protesters marched through
the streets of Vienna, Austria to rally against the US seed giant
and GMO products. 

18:18 GMT: Several hundred protesters have amassed
outside the White House to demand the Obama administration
change its policy towards Monsanto. In March, President Obama
signed the so-called Monsanto Protection Act, which “effectively bars
federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO
or GE crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from the
consumption of these products may come to light in the future.”

17:58 GMT: Protesters in Los Angeles have evoked the
sweeping horrors of the French Revolution to show their disapproval
for Monsanto’s practices. 


17:50 GMT:  Farmers form the Consortium for the
Defense of Sicilian Agriculture have pulled out all of the
stops…and a tractor to protest the destructive impact of Monsanto
on their livelihood and the world’s food supply.

Video:
/files/news/1f/32/00/00/original_506345_monsanto_italy.mxf

17:40 GMT: #MarchAgainstMonsanto is surging on Twitter
despite the virtual mainstream media blackout on the global day of
action.

17:37 GMT: Several dozens protesters have come out in
Wichita, Kansas to take part in the worldwide call to “take back
our food.”


17:28GMT: Protesters are starting to fill up Chicago’s
Federal Plaza, which is home to a regular farmers market, to take
part in one of many anti-Monsanto protests being held throughout
the United States.


17:10 GMT: Dozens of demonstrators have gathered in Novi
Sad, Serbia’s second largest city, to take part in the global
action against Monsanto.

17:00 GMT: A small
group of protesters have gathered outside of the Central Academic
Theatre of the Russian Army on Suvorov Square to demand a “Russia
without GMO!”


16:00 GMT: Several hundred people gathered in Paris for a
peaceful protest against the US agrochemical giant Monsanto. A sit
in demonstration was held on the Place du Trocadéro square, across
the Seine from the Eifel Tower. Protesters could be seen waving
signs claiming “”Monsanto plunders and kills the farmers and the
planet.”

Anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) activists gather on the Trocadero square near the Eiffel tower during a demonstration against GMOs and US chemical giant Monsanto on May 25, 2013 in Paris (AFP Photo / Fred Dufour)

Anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) activists gather on the Trocadero square near the Eiffel tower during a demonstration against GMOs and US chemical giant Monsanto on May 25, 2013 in Paris (AFP Photo / Fred Dufour)

15:40 GMT: Japanese protesters earlier gathered outside
Monsanto’s headquarters in Tokyo to chant down the company’s
influence on the world’s food supply. 


Anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) activists gather on the Trocadero square near the Eiffel tower during a demonstration against GMOs and US chemical giant Monsanto on May 25, 2013 in Paris (AFP Photo / Fred Dufour)

Anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) activists gather on the Trocadero square near the Eiffel tower during a demonstration against GMOs and US chemical giant Monsanto on May 25, 2013 in Paris (AFP Photo / Fred Dufour)


15:39 GMT: The March Against Monsanto attracted a sizable
crowd on Amsterdam’s central Dam Square.

14:40 GMT: Demonstrators gathered at Eastern Market in
Detroit, Michigan to “Demand GMO Labeling” and join the worldwide
protest against Monsanto. The “March Against Monstanto” is being
held in a dozen cities across Michigan, including
Detroit, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Traverse City and Sault St.
Marie. Tia Lebherz, a local organizer for Food and Water Watch,
said companies like Monsanto are “squeezing out our small
farmers.”

14:10 GMT: “’At Monsanto, we are committed to
sustainable agriculture and to continuously improve ways in which
we contribute. We are pleased that this honor recognizes that
commitment,’
said Jerry Steiner, executive vice president,
sustainability and corporate affairs at Monsanto. ‘This recognition
reflects the thousands of Monsanto employees who are working
together with farmers and partners around the world to improve
agriculture and improve lives.'” 

“First published in 1999, the ‘100 Best Corporate Citizens’ list
ranks large-cap Russell 1000 companies based on publicly available
information in seven key categories: climate change, employee
relations, environmental, financial, governance, human rights and
philanthropy.”



13:50 GMT: Around 300 people have come out for the London
March Against Monsanto, calling for better food labeling of
products that use ingredients grown with Monsanto seeds. London
Organizer Courtney Smith says the issue at heart is that Monsanto
is spending millions of dollars to lobby against GMO labeling on
foods.The protesters met in Victoria Park at 2:00 p.m. local time
and can be seen taking up positions around Parliament.

13:45 GMT: The March Against Monsanto attracted a
sizeable crowd on Amsterdam’s central Dam Square. 

13:40 GMT: People take to the streets of Amsterdam by
bike and by foot to protest against Monsanto.

13:30
GMT:
Demonstrators marching through the streets of Munich,
Germany to call for the ban of genetically Engineered and
Genetically Modified Organisms. Similar protests are being held in
a half a dozen cities throughout the country.

image by Christian Chapman


13:10 GMT: Protesters marching through the streets of
Cape Town, South Africa demanding that Monsanto get out of
Africa.


13:00 GMT: Members of Occupy Food Australia are currently
blocking roads in Melbourne, Australia to make their presence
against Monsanto felt.

12:50 GMT: Activists in Hawaii have “made a #MAM light
brigade”, adorning a wall with a popular March Against Monsanto
hashtag fashioned from a string of lights.

11:17 GMT: The Japanese are participating in the
anti-Monsanto rallies across the country, locals report on
Twitter.

image by @mkimpo_kid

image by @mkimpo_kid

11:10 GMT: Across South Africa, hundreds have taken to
the streets to protest against Monsanto’s policies.

image from Revolution News's Photos facebook page

image from Revolution News's Photos facebook page

10:36 GMT: Hundreds of New Zealanders gathered around the
country today to protest against genetically modified food.

image from Revolution News's Photos facebook page


10:03 GMT:


9:00 GMT: Anti-Monsanto activists are claiming a
mainstream media blackout on coverage of the protest
marches.

8:20 GMT: Anti-Monsanto campaigners across the UK will
march as part of a global day of protest against the GMO giant.
Rallies are set to take place in London, Bristol, Glasgow,
Manchester, Douglas, Torquay and Nottingham.

6:50 GMT: Sarah Saunders, an organizer of the event, said
she was leading the march to “help protect the future health and
food supply for my children. The long term health effects of GMOs
are up for debate and I would rather my children not be science
experiments.”

image from Revolution News's Photos facebook page


6:20 GMT: Hundreds gathered in Brisbane, Australia, to
join the global protest against Monsanto.

5:40 GMT: Pictures from Melbourne, Australia, show crowds
continuing their protest against Monsanto’s practices.

Over a thousand people take to streets in Melbourne for the March Against Monsanto (image from Revolution News's Photos facebook page)

image by @nrcars

4:21 GMT: Over 1,000 protesters gathered in
Melbourne.

3:37 GMT: Activists gearing up for a protest in Albany,
Australia.


3:00 GMT: Watch RT’s Anastasia Churkina report on the
upcoming global protest.

Video:
/files/news/1f/32/00/00/original_monsanto-guest-churkina.asf

2:44 GMT: Activists begin gathering for Sydney protest
hours before the scheduled time.

2:14 GMT: Nick Bernabe, a social media director for March
Against Monsanto, told RT that in some parts of the world,
Monsanto’s tactics are leading farmers to suicide.

“If you look at what happened in India… I mean there was an
epidemic of suicides of the farmers,” Bernabe said. “Monsanto sold
them a kind of seed that they promised would do a certain thing and
then those seeds didn’t perform how they were supposed to. And it
drove a lot of those Indian farmers into sheer poverty – and they
ended up committing suicide by the hundreds and thousands
even.”

Meanwhile in the United States, Monsanto is known for litigating
small farmers out of business, Bernabe added.

“There are a lot of small farmers they are putting out business
because they have a genetic migration into crops that were not
supposed to be GMO, but they are getting cross-pollinated,”
he
explained. “And then Monsanto comes in, they use their
government cronies to go in and shut down small farmers because the
genetics from the seeds they’ve patented have slowly crept into the
genetics of non-GMO seeds.”

Bernabe says that activists “want to spread awareness and we
want to start from the ground up.”

“The easiest thing you can do to know what’s in your food is
to grow your own food,” he said. “We start there. At the very top
we want labeling and a ban, but I think we should work from the
ground up to have the best results.”

2:20 GMT: Hundreds of people gathered for an event in
Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia.


1:51 GMT: 

1:48 GMT:

1:36 GMT: On the eve of the global protest against GMO,
the US Senate overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would allow states to decide if
genetically modified food products should be labeled.

Since the FDA has not made scientific conclusions, the opponents
of the measure argued, GMOs should not be labeled.

“I believe we must rely on the FDA’s science-based
examination before we make conclusions about food ingredients
derived from genetically modified foods,”
said Sen. Debbie
Stabenow (D-Mich.), who chairs the Agriculture Committee.

1:00 GMT: We are beginning our extensive coverage of the
global protest organized by the ‘March Against
Monsanto’ movement. An estimated 200,000 activists are expected
participate in the massive campaign spanning six continents, 40
nations, and at least 48 US states.

Video:
/files/news/1f/32/00/00/original_monst250513_503025_1.mp4

This article originally appeared on: RT