Monsanto March being organized

A March Against Monsanto will take place in Williams Lake this May 23 to raise awareness about genetically modified foods (GMOs).

  • Feb. 4, 2015 12:00 p.m.

A March Against Monsanto will take place in Williams Lake this May 23 to raise awareness about genetically modified foods (GMOs) and to call on the federal government to label them.

Erin Hitchcock, organizer of the local march, says the event is held around the world and is expected to take place in 52 countries. In addition to informing the public, the march also calls into question health and environmental risks of GMO foods and demands the federal government label products with GMOs so consumers can make informed decisions. The march also aims to protect food supply and the environment, support local farms, and promote organic solutions.

“Though it’s a March Against Monsanto — the company owns about 86 per cent of GMO seeds sown around the world — there are other big companies that produce GMO seeds and their accompanying herbicides and insecticides. Many believe these products could be harming pollinators and humans,” Hitchcock said, adding while she would like to see a complete ban on GMOs, foods with GMOs should at least be labelled. She said more than 60 countries — but not Canada, the U.S., or Mexico, for example — require labeling. Many others have GMO bans, including Russia and countries in the European Union.

Most GMO seeds, she added, are engineered to tolerate heavy herbicide use. Many seeds, she said, are even engineered to produce their own insecticide. Companies have patents on these seeds, which can spread, contaminating organic farms with the genetically engineered seeds, Hitchcock added.

March Against Monsanto is a grassroots movement founded by Tami Canal from California, with the first march taking place in 2013.

The Williams Lake march will take place Saturday, May 23 at a time and location still to be confirmed. Costumes and placards (preferably made of recycled materials) are encouraged but not mandatory.

The march will begin at Cariboo Growers starting at noon.

For more information and updates visit https://facebook.com/MarchAgainstMonsantoWilliamsLake or e-mail wlmarchagainstmonsanto@gmail.com.