The Community Pushes Pima County to Delay a Vote on Monsanto Tax Incentives; What’s Coming Next?
by Melissa Diane Smith, author of Going Against GMOs
Headline and photo from the November 23 online version of the Arizona Daily Star
The people of Pima County emphatically told the Pima County Board of Supervisors at its board meeting on November 22 that they do not want multinational chemical corporation Monsanto in the Tucson area. A few hundred people attended the meeting, and many held yellow signs that read “Say NO to Monsanto.” There were more than three hours of statements from more than 50 speakers, and virtually everyone who spoke opposed Monsanto’s plans to build a facility in Avra Valley. The eclectic tidal wave of opposition persuaded the board to delay its vote on a tax incentive for Monsanto.
For more coverage of this story, see the Arizona Daily Star article, “Pima County Delays vote on Monsanto Tax Incentives,” and the KGUN 9 news segment, “Outcry Leads Pima Supervisors to Delay Monsanto Decision.”
At the meeting, a few children spoke out against the corporation. One woman described Monsanto as a Trojan horse, trying to give gifts now so Pima County would bring in the corporation and then Monsanto would destroy our community from within. Ida Drucilla “Dru” Heaton wore a lei in honor of her Hawaiian heritage and what the Hawaiian people have experienced at the hands of Monsanto.
The collective arguments against Monsanto melded beautifully together and pushed the board away from greenlighting a tax break for Monsanto. Instead, the board unanimously agreed to delay the vote until its meeting on February 21, 2017. The board also agreed that five open public meetings—one in each district—will take place about Monsanto and its proposed plans before that date.