Activists rally against GMOs at annual March Against Monsanto

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Activists against genetically modified crops rallied at the Utah State Capitol Saturday afternoon for the annual March Against Monsanto.

Activists marched in the Salt Lake City rain, some in gas masks, holding signs, or dressed in costumes all in protest of the global giant seed producer Monsanto and genetically modified organisms.

“As a subcontractor, they actually provide the defoliants--which are basically chemicals and pesticides that are sprayed all over the Columbian countryside, so it’s not just that they are modifying foods or producing GMOs: they’re active participants in murdering the people of the world,” said Gregory Lucero, who is a Salt Lake City student activist.

Monsanto is the lead producer of GMOs--its scientists create seeds that are engineered to resist insecticide and herbicides and improve crop yields. The use of GMOs has been a growing issue of debate, with health advocates pushing for mandatory labeling of genetically modified products.

Genevieve Thomas was diagnosed with a severe form of crohns disease at 16. She spent years taking doctors’ orders, trying every prescription prescribed.

“I had run the whole gamut of, I mean I can't tell you how many medications I was on...morphine, steroids, all kinds of stuff,” Thomas said.

But nothing was working, nothing helped, until she changed the food she was eating and went organic.

“It started getting better, to a point where I was able to come off of everything,” Thomas said. “I’ve been off all of the drugs for probably about two and a half, three years now.”

Like many with chronic illness, Thomas blames GMOs for her health problems, but the Missouri-based company denies the allegations. A news release on the company's web site says GMOs are safe and that biotechnology has helped farmers grow more food while reducing the environmental impact of farming. Most importantly, genetically modified foods have a thoroughly tested, proven safety record.


  • Sadie Ledbetter

    My name is Sadie Ledbetter, I am 18 years old and a local beekeeper. My Family and I marched on the capital this afternoon against Monsanto as well as last May, and just as last year I am disappointed by the news story. We marched as an educated public concerned about the future of American agriculture, health and of course the bees. The problem isn’t that Monsanto wants to “produce leading in-the-seed trait technologies for farmers, which are aimed at protecting their yield, supporting their on-farm efficiency and reducing their on-farm costs”, it is how they do it.

    People have been modifying plants for hundreds of years to accomplish the same goals as Monsanto, however, unlike Monsanto they mix pollen not genes. The idea is simple, just as one might breed two dogs to produce a specific trait a person would germinate a plant with the pollen of another to produce a specific trait. In addition Monsanto is mixing DNA of completely different organism. This leads to a moral dilemma whereas a vegan or another individual that chooses not to eat animal can’t even eat a salad without question whether or not it contains animal DNA.

    Monsanto isn’t only trying to produce a plant better suited to withstand potentially harmful weather and conditions but also to withstand herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides which are harmful to humans. These toxins, since their creation, have been suspected to be the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder in bees and in light of recent studies has become the number one suspect. This is a major issue because if the bees, our only source of reliable pollination, die off then our crops will die and in turn we will die. That is if these toxins in our food don’t kill us first.

    Finally there is a controversy over weather or not GMO’s are safe. Plenty of studies have been and are being conducted, however most of them are being discredited. Studies conducted that have concluded GMO’s are not safe have been discredited for bias. The studies that haven’t been discredited, however, are the studies that have concluded GMO’s are safe. These studies were conducted by Monsanto and despite this obvious bias these studies aren’t being discredited. The argument for this is that it is the duty of the company to test their product to ensure it is safe for the public. I do not trust these study however, because it was Monsanto that produced agent orange and claimed it was safe. Therefore, being a firm believer in being safe rather than sorry, I would not conclude GMO’s are or aren’t safe until a reliable neutral party conducts a conclusive study.

    I am writing you in hopes that you will read this and as the news, which is supposed to be a reliable source of information, will do your own research and represent both sides of this international argument.

    • Cartman

      “Mixing pollen” is “mixing genes.” Take a biology course.

      As for your irrelevant “Agent Orange” rhetoric: That’s exactly the kind of shrill hyperbole that makes intelligent people not take you seriously.

    • Cartman

      GMOs should be outlawed because they might bother a vegan? Nobody cares, except other vegans. Let the vegans grow their own food.

      Modern agricultural technology, including GMOs, keeps millions of humans from starving to death. Not every person on the planet has the means to shop at Whole Foods while wearing a Grateful Dead tee shirt.

  • Cartman

    I’ve read some of the “studies”, and indeed there is NO scientifically valid evidence to support the idea that GMOs are harmful. None. Zip.

  • Cartman

    Nobody has a clue what causes Colony Collapse Disorder, but it happens in places where pesticides are not used. Explain that.

    • Veganarchy

      Actually, there are a number of peer reviewed studies showing, stomach lesions, infertility, decreased rate of mortality, the formation of cancer cells, and that’s just to name a few. So “cartman” stop with your lies.

  • candygurl2013

    I think the reason Monsato prevails in the first place is simply because idiots like Cartman exists as well.

    Splicing DNA is the same as mixing pollen? Really?

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