March Against Monsanto has announced that marches are being planned on six continents, in 27 countries, totaling events in over 200 cities on Saturday. Chattanoogans planning to take part will meet at Renaissance Park.
Sign making and face painting will begin at 1 p.m. and there will be a brief gathering at 2 p.m. with Patricia Bazemore speaking about "who Monsanto is and why to be concerned about them."
Those up to the task will march through downtown Chattanooga, giving away seedlings and information about Monsanto. Participants are asked to bring signs, music makers, extra seedlings and a wagon or wheelbarrow. Participants should plan to take extra seedlings home with them.
Upon returning to Renaissance Park, Suzanne Goodemote with GMOgone will be telling her story of how GMOs have affected her life and how she has fought back.
Donations and sponsorships will be provided by Mountain Song Farms, Down to Earth Farms, Brown Dirt Farm, GMOgone, and Nutrition World.
The event will be kid-friendly with chalk art, seed bomb making, face-painting, and sliding down the grassy hill.
For more information visit the Facebook page, Chattanoogans Against Monsanto.
Drew Miller, lead organizer of the Chattanooga March Against Monsanto, said, "People still don't know they are eating genetically modified foods. Over 70 percent of the food in our grocery stores contains GMOs and they are not labeled. The school lunches our children get are filled with GMOs, produced by chemical companies, like Monsanto, and many parents have no idea. Over 90 percent of Americans want genetically modified foods labeled. Most GMO's are either modified so that if a bug bites the plant it dies or they are modified so that mass amounts of pesticides and herbicides can be sprayed on them without killing them. I want to know if these plants, and all these chemicals, are in my food. I don't think a chemical company known for producing Agent Orange should produce and control the majority of our seeds. It is time we demand transparency and accountability.”
Suzanne Goodemote, CEO of GMOGONE, said, “My push to go GMO free began with a heart attack. It is no coincidence that removing GMOs from my diet on June 1, 2013 has changed my life. My swollen gut has disappeared, along with 30 pounds and a drop of almost 100 points in bad cholesterol. Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds and use of neurotoxic chemicals in Roundup has accelerated the rates of allergies, gut disease and cancer. The U.S. needs to join 64 countries in the world that have either banned GMOs or require them to be labeled.”
Tami Monroe Canal, founder of March Against Monsanto, said she was inspired to start the movement to protect her two daughters. “Monsanto’s predatory business and corporate agricultural practices threatens their generation’s health, fertility and longevity. MAM supports a sustainable food production system. We must act now to stop GMOs and harmful pesticides.”
A Monsanto official said, "The 22,000 people of Monsanto are committed to having an open dialogue about food and agriculture – we’re proud of the work we do, and we’re eager for people to know more about us. We’re also proud of our collaboration with farmers and partnering organizations that help make a more balanced meal accessible for everyone. Our goal is to help farmers do this using fewer resources and having a smaller impact on the environment. We know people have different points of view on these topics, and it’s important that they’re able to express and share them."