Science in Society Archive

Marching against Monsanto

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

Marching against Monsanto

It is wonderful to be here with all of you. I have been marching against Monsanto for close to 20 years now since GM crops were commercialized and I first warned of the dangers of GMOs and Roundup herbicides.

Unfortunately, all my predictions and more have come true. Over the years, farm workers and their families across the world have been seeing sharp rises in birth defects, cancers, allergies, lethal kidney disease and so on. Their livestock die, get diarrhoea, become sterile, cannot conceive, or give birth to dead and deformed animals.

Scientists had to get through tremendous hurdles and obstructions to do the research, not just from Monsanto, but also from corrupt and/or misguided governments, including the UK. For years, practically the only research on safety of GMOs was carried out by the companies themselves, and their raw data are kept from the public as commercially sensitive information.

But whenever and wherever independent scientists carried out feeding trials, they find what farmers have found, regardless of the GM crop or animal species, with, or without glyphosate/Roundup herbicides, or with Roundup herbicides alone; and this includes Monsanto’s data obtained through the courts: kidney and liver problems, gut inflammation, immune problems, premature deaths, sterility, birth defects, still births, and recently, excess of large grotesque tumours.

Monsanto and other biotech companies have been poisoning us with GMOs and herbicides for the past 20 years; and they’ve also done their best to suppress the information by vilifying the scientists, and the farmers who dare to fight them. But we won’t tolerate that! 

Arpad Puztai and his colleagues Susan Bardocz and Stanley Ewen here in Britain were the first to lose their research grants and jobs in the University of Aberdeen, because they found that rats fed GM potato with snowdrop lectin had gut inflammation and damage to practically every organ system.  

Andres Carasco from Argentina sadly died a couple of weeks ago. He was a developmental biologist and government advisor, forced to give up his job because he showed that glyphosate caused the same kind of birth defects in frogs that the farm worker families were seeing in their new born.

The latest, molecular biologist and toxicologist Gile-Eric Séralini and his team at University of Caen in France showed that rats fed over their lifetime with Roundup tolerant GM maize and/or Roundup herbicide had all the health problems previously identified compared with controls and in addition, tumours so large that the rats had to be put down.

They are just a few in a long and growing list of distinguished scientists who will be honoured and remembered when we have wiped GMOs and Roundup herbicides from the globe, and we will!

The days of GMOs are numbered. If you look at the real evidence behind the hype and the lies, you will see that GM crops have remained a minority sector in food production, now shrinking fast from consumer and farmer rejection worldwide.

US farmers are abandoning GM crops and turning back to non-GM and organic, mainly because it is more profitable due to increased demand for non-GMO and GM-free produce by people everywhere including in the USA, the world’s top GM producer.

In twenty years, GM crops are still confined to 27 countries out of a total of 196 in the world. They are now explicitly banned in at least 29 countries, and GMO-free regions and partial bans exist in most other countries including the USA. Yes, do ban GM food from your home, your schools, your local communities; you don’t need to wait for governments to do that for you.

GM crops now occupy 175.2 m ha or 11 % of cultivated land globally compared with the 89 % occupied by non-GM crops.

GM crops are restricted to two main traits – herbicide tolerance and insect resistance – in three major crops: maize, soybean and cotton. Non-GMO crops consist of thousands of domesticated species with millions of local varieties created by peasant farmers.

GM crops are grown by less than 1 % of the 2.6 billion farmers in the world, 99 % growing non-GM crops are peasant farmers with small farms producing 70 % of the world’s food.

Three quarters of those peasant farmers farm ecologically with no chemical input on 600 m ha globally, producing well over half of the world’s food consumed. It is by far the largest food sector in the world.

These farms are 2 to 10 times as productive as monoculture industrial farms, they are environmentally and climate friendly as well as sustainable and resilient to climate extremes. That is the way ahead for people and planet, and we won’t let Monsanto get in our way. Tell Monsanto, and tell your governments.

Thank you all.

Article first published 26/05/14

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There are 13 comments on this article so far. Add your comment above.

Deb Liguori Comment left 27th May 2014 23:11:16
Thanks for sharing the photos and comments. Reminding people of the dangers and corruptions caused by the biothech companies and or governments will hopefully keep waking up more and more people. I love the work you do and the info you share. Kudos to your group.

Aquifer Comment left 27th May 2014 23:11:08

Michael Bartlett Comment left 27th May 2014 23:11:00
Hi. Has this type of letter/report been circulated to policy makers in UK. It would be essential to do this as government and others are pushing the boundaries under pressure from US. Michael PS. A cat usually has 4 legs unless it has eaten Roundup. This is the question I must answer to prove I'm human.

mae-wan ho Comment left 27th May 2014 23:11:44
Hi Michael, Yes, we circulate our reports to politicians and others, but it would be even more effective if you and others were to forward it to them! By the way, everything I said is supported by detailed articles and references on the ISIS site.

Susie Greaves Comment left 28th May 2014 00:12:43
Dear Maewan and everyone else, Have just read Seralini's book "Tous cobayes" (all guinea pigs) and it is clear. His study shows that in females rats eating the GM maize, or drinking Roundup in amounts that are found in tap water, or in drains around fields almost all developed mammary tumours and on autopsy, were found to have liver damage as well. The males eating GM all had liver and kidney damage. The control group had almost no deaths and little illness and they mostly had a normal life span. I have already written to Maewan and to Peter Saunders to thank them for their work in general but also for their support of Seralini who has been of course, attacked and his work denigrated. Think of all the women developing breast cancer. We MUST have independent science, of which Isis is sadly a very rare example. Yours Susie Greaves

Brian Sandle Comment left 28th May 2014 01:01:14
Thanks. Inspiring to see Seralini team challenging so well the straw man set up against them.

Rory Short Comment left 28th May 2014 02:02:40
In our cash based societies money seems to be all powerful but it can't trump the truth. Thanks for your work Mae and Peter. It is much appreciated by myself and my friends.

mae-wan ho Comment left 28th May 2014 05:05:18
Susie, Please translate Seralini's book into English and let the whole world know. You've already done so much to expose the French nuclear power industry for what it is, a horribly inefficient, highly subsidized, and unsafe operation. Do the same for GMOs maewan

Ken Lys Comment left 28th May 2014 05:05:59
My daughter and myself just participated in our first "March Against Monsanto" in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I try to stay abreast of current issues, yet I first learned about GMO's only 2 months ago. I was alarmed, then became incensed with the fact that Monsanto and our governments have been hiding this 'crime' from us and fighting against GMO Labelling. We in North America have been the last to know because our general media is not publicly reporting the dangers and lies of the GMO industry. We have to stand united against the big-agra big-money interests that put our health behind their profits. I am now unabashedly sharing what I know with my family and friends. EDUCATION & BOYCOTT is our best hope to quickly ending this crime against nature and humanity. As we marched, I told my daughter that we were part of a world wide movement against the insanity of GMO foods. It was empowering to march knowing there were like-minded people throughout the world doing the very same thing that day!

susan Comment left 28th May 2014 15:03:49
What do you call owning through intellectual property ancestral rights of grains cultivated through thousands of years of back breaking labor? Well just consider for a moment that throughout history many MEN, owned, tortured, and degraded other humans for their own greed through oppression making this world an ugly disgusting horror for many. STOP the lie. You see HUMANS are in fact animals and Human genes preferably e-coli human genes have been used in dairy products, vaccines, and agricultural plants for over forty years. Take into account strong evidence that transgenic contamination is unavoidable. Such is the case of US long grain rice contaminated with pharmaceutical rice. The government fast tracked approval in order not to lose market on a product not safe for human consumption. It is imperative that crops such as food crops modified to produce pharmaceutical proteins or crops destined for energy production be evaluated by criteria that are different from those of food crops in recognition that transgenes pose unique dangers to health. These crops should not be fast tracked exposing the failures of this industry by giving them a free pass at farmers and export market expense including the unsuspecting consumers health. We are all losers when an industry such as biotech purports ideology outside the realm of their own execution and puts at risk the population at large for profit margins of very few.

Ken Conrad Comment left 28th May 2014 23:11:48
The use of novel GMO technologies with little consideration for their predictable or unpredictable unintended effect is indeed unsettling, and although the public, thankfully, is becoming increasingly aware of there use in various crops, they are nonetheless woefully ignorant and have virtually no way of knowing the extent to which these technologies have insidiously creped into numerous other areas of food production/processing, and medicine, etc. The use of genetically engineered bacterial seed inoculants, cheese starter cultures (lactic acid bacteria), enzymes (rennet), vaccines (influenza, hepatitis B, rotavirus and HPV) are examples of genetically engineered products that have been introduced with little to no public input or knowledge. The tanshumanistic belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations via science and technology alone has, coupled with avarice, greed and self righteousness, led to the current predicament we find ourselves in today, whereby honesty and the suppression of freedom of expression are sacrificed for the sake of the above vices. Ken

Todd Millions Comment left 29th May 2014 13:01:58
Well said and Bon chance.Please remember-Monsanto is merely the 'first spear' in this army manevolent.This is needful because as well as all the other links and entanglements-The germ and posion warfare firms have melded with the pharmasutical and ag tox producers.So no cures will ever be offered for the illness caused-just patented expensine controls for the symtoms.And privatized mucsle too enforce the claims.

Brett Wilcox Comment left 9th June 2014 02:02:55
Thank you, Mae, for your continued work! Thanks to your efforts, the world is awakening!