What I Said Before Tucson’s
March Against Monsanto

Photo courtesy of James F. Palka/PlanetaryImages.com (PlanetaryImages.com )I was honored and thrilled to give the rallying speech before the March Against Monsanto in Tucson on May 25, 2013. It was an unprecedented worldwide event with more than 2 million people protesting genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the GM seed company Monsanto in more than 400 cities throughout the United States and more than 50 other countries. Tucson was one of the cities that participated, and between 500 and 1,000 people marched in the Tucson march – a great turnout for a very hot day in Southern Arizona!

The crowd was wonderful and enthusiastic, and numerous people asked me to post what I said so they could remember it and absorb the information I covered at their leisure. Thanks to James F. Palka/PlanetaryImages.com (PlanetaryImages.com) for this photo of me at the event and to Sean Herman for  the photo at the end of this post. You can view other pictures of the Tucson March Against Monsanto here.

By popular request, here’s the speech I gave.

 

Hello Tucson! Are you excited? Are you ready to take back our food system?

Of course! That’s why we’re all here, right?

What a fabulous turnout on a hot day in Tucson! It’s so wonderful to see all of you, and to see all the creative signs you have! Thank you all for being here!

The GMO Free Project of Tucson and I also would like to give our sincere thanks to Danielle LaPointe who signed up very early on to be the organizer of the event in Tucson. That took a lot of guts, not to mention a lot of time and effort from her and from the rest of the volunteers who worked so tirelessly to make this event a reality, and we thank them for everything they did to make this happen. It’s such a tremendous service to our community.

So, why exactly are we in this March Against Monsanto today?

Because we don’t want to be guinea pigs in a feeding experiment set up by the world’s largest chemical companies, an experiment that we had no knowledge of or say in.

We don’t want to blindly sit on the sidelines while these chemical companies – Monsanto, yes, and there are others, too, such as Dow, DuPont, and Syngenta – take over more and more control of our food, buying up seeds and genetically modifying them to do nothing at all beneficial for us, just setting us up for countless risks, while they profit, selling more and more of their patented genetically modified seeds and the toxic herbicides that go with them and pollute our land, skies, and waterways.

We’re here because we want to protect our health. Animal studies show serious health conditions from eating genetically modified foods, including infertility, immune system problems, accelerated aging, multiple organ damage, and cancerous tumors. That’s plenty of evidence to say “No way, we opt out of this.”

But there’s more: The FDA’s own scientists warned of new allergens, new toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems from genetically modified foods, and those warnings appear to be coming true. We know of serious allergic reactions from eating genetically modified foods. As a nutrition counselor, I have had firsthand experience with a client who developed a very serious immune system condition from using one brand of a supplement in which genetically modified bacteria was used to speed up production of the supplement – and guess what? When I advised her to go off all of the genetically modified foods, her immune system condition that had been labeled “incurable” miraculously healed.

We now have growing numbers of knowledgeable doctors and nutritionists recommending Non-GMO diets, and when people remove genetically modified foods from their diet, they get better from countless conditions. It’s that simple. We don’t want to be lab rats. We want Non-GMO, organic, health-supporting, real food, like our grandparents and great grandparents had.

We’re here at this march because we no longer can tolerate the corporate takeover of our government and corporate favoritism above the will of the people. It’s outrageous when former executives from Monsanto and other chemical companies take on key positions in government agencies that are supposed to protect us, like the FDA, EPA, and USDA, and then pass positions and laws that favor the chemical companies and hurt the people and the environment we live in. It’s also outrageous when the Congress and the president collectively pass the “Monsanto Protection Act” that bans courts from halting the sale of genetically modified seeds. We can no longer sit idly by and let this happen.

We’re here to support farmers, the people who grow our food to keep us healthy. When Monsanto patents seeds and then sues farmers who accidentally get Monsanto’s patented Genetically Modified crops growing in (or should I say contaminating?) their fields because of wind drift and puts the farmers out of business and under unbearable pressure, it’s time to say Enough is enough and stand up and protect ethical, idealistic farmers who are trying to grow food the way it should be grown, in a way that keeps us healthy.

We’re here because we love this Earth and want to take good care of her. Anyone who learns the facts about this issue can figure out that allowing herbicide-resistant Genetically Modified crops to be grown and 527 million more pounds of herbicides being used on our land in the last 16 years because of using genetically modified crops – and the development of nutrient-depleted soil, nutrient-depleted crops, and super pests and super weeds, can see it is an unsustainable way of agriculture for all humans and for life as we know it on this planet.

What has allowed the gross atrocities surrounding GMOs to go on and genetically modified foods on the market without testing and without labeling is that all this information was kept from us here in the United States and deliberately hidden so we could be uninformed about what was going on with our food, our agricultural system, and our government, and not rise up and stand up against it.

That time has now passed! Enough people know about this now – just look at the turnout here on a hot day in Tucson and think about all the hundreds of thousands of people participating right now in more than 300 cities around the United States and world… We are the change we have been seeking. By working together, we collectively are going to take our food system back.

And the first step is literally putting one foot in front of another to participate in this march today and raise awareness about the serious problems with Genetically Modified Foods to an all-time high. Then enjoy the festival and meet others who feel exactly like you. Then talk to everyone you know about the dangers of genetically modified foods. Then use the fury you’re probably feeling about this issue to stick it to Monsanto. The only language they really understand is money, so hit them where it hurts – by not buying their genetically modified foods – our GMO Free Project of Tucson volunteers will give you information on exactly how to do that. And when enough of us shop and eat Non-GMO, Monsanto and all other biotech companies are going to pay in the way that hurts them the most. Let’s put them out of business! And let’s not only put them out of business, but let’s reclaim our food system by telling companies to sell food with only Non-GMO, organic, sustainable, and local ingredients, as food was meant to be.

The empowering news is We aren’t alone anymore and We can fix what has been done to our food. We have people power: Enough of us know the truth now, and we will not be stopped from reclaiming our food system. Let’s start the process right now by Marching Against Monsanto and For our right for real information and for real food.

…So, are you ready to march? (which was followed by a resounding yes from the audience!)

Copyright © 2013 Melissa Diane Smith

View of audience at speech

 

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