On Friday the 16th of March supporters of organic crops met together in order to protest the Monsanto Corporation. Members of Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Food, Occupy Moorpark and Occupy 805 collaborated together in order to promote the event, which garnished attention from residents of the town as they drove by. Shining a light of exposure on the greedy corporate giant Monsanto, these protesters stood out in their community and braved the chilly weather, standing vigil to proliferate knowledge.
The protest, which took place at 2700 Camino Del Sol, Oxnard, CA, lasted long into the night. Activists waved signs reading “TOXIC SEEDS” - “NO GMO” - “MONSANTO: MY CHILD IS NOT AN EXPERIMENT” and “HONK TO PROTECT OUR FOOD!” As day faded into night the activists showcased an educational film about the dangers of GMOs. The film was projected onto a screen set up adjacent to the building in the parking lot of the sympathetic Nutiva company, who allowed for Occupy Moorpark to establish an awning tent as a base-camp. Activists were able to park their vehicles for the protest in the same lot. Toilet facilities were also provided, thanks to Occupy Moorpark’s efforts.
Activists have long been targeting Monsanto because of their aberrant business practices and operative policies. Founded in 1901 by John Francis Queeny and named after his wife Olga Mendez Monsanto, the Monsanto Corporation has since become a massive entity and a symbol for corruption, greed, and scandal. Monsanto was a dynamic contributor to The Manhattan Project, helping to develop the first nuclear bomb through a facility in Dayton, Ohio. Monsanto also operated The Mound Project, a nuclear facility in Miamisburg Ohio, for the US Federal Government up until it was decommissioned in the 1980s.
Monsanto’s chemical production facilities were the main supplier of resources and raw materials supporting the manufacture of Agent Orange, a potent and dangerous chemical agent which was spread during the Vietnam War and used against indigenous populations. Agent Orange has severe health affects which have been linked to:
Chloracne and other Skin Disorders
Soft Tissue Sarcoma
Cutanea Tarda and other Liver Disorders
Neurological Effects and Autoimmune Diseases
Monsanto has been linked to unscrupulous business practices which includes the disenfranchising of small farmers in order to force conformity with their corporate profit model. The current Monsanto business archetype can not function if crops can be allowed to naturally propagate. To combat this issue Genetically Modified (commonly referred to as GMOS) crops have been utilized in order to kill off natural species and prevent nature from supplementing their otherwise decisive monopoly on the food supply. Monsanto has even lobbied to allow the use of their pesticide in National Parks, such as Yosemite.
Monsanto’s leading pesticide Roundup is sold on a massive scale to soybean farmers across the nation. Their genetically modified soybean product which they sell to the same farmers who utilize their pesticide has been specifically specialized to resist the toxins in Roundup. This “Roundup Ready” seed is a product which allows for the use of stronger pesticides, reducing the biodiversity of soybean crop while creating a higher probability of toxic runoff from chemically saturated topsoil.
It represents a clear risk to society to allow the Monsanto Corporation to continue its current business practices. Because profit often offsets the necessity to cultivate beneficial environments for human beings, mega-corporate entities like Monsanto often contribute to the detriment of others by generating unfavorable economic conditions to the masses who are subjugated into poor working conditions while being forced to consume poor quality food products. The ensuing health issues as well as the financial depravity created in this paradigm generally lowers the quality of life for large percentages of the population while less than .01 percent benefits.
We can fight back against this corporate entity. We can lobby together as communities to get GMO foods properly labeled. We can make a choice not to support the distribution chains and networks who do business with Monsanto. We can affiliate ourselves with the farmers markets and supplement our vegetable intake through organic crops and support small farms. Together as a society we must on a whole scale reject the negative entity that is Monsanto by boycotting all their products. Furthermore we must call upon the Federal Government to cease their dealings with a company known for its unscrupulous business dealings.