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Protesters to march vs Monsanto in 250 cities

Protesters to 'March Against Monsanto' across US, around globe in collective anti-GMO rally

  • People-chant-and-carry-signs-during-a-protest-against-Monsanto

    People chant and carry signs during a protest against Monsanto in front of the capitol building in Montpelier, Vt.

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • People-carry-signs-during-a-protest-against-Monsanto

    People carry signs during a protest against Monsanto in Montpelier, Vt. Marches and rallies against seed giant Monsanto were held across the U.S. and in dozens of other countries Saturday.

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Argentina-Marching-Against-Monsanto

    Demonstrators hold signs reading in Spanish "Glyphosate = illness, disability, death," left, "Genocide concealed by agrochemicals in Argentina," second from left, and "Get out Monsanto from Argentina" near the offices of the U.S.-based company Monsanto in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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  • Argentina-Marching-Against-Monsanto-1

    A man with a cat on his shoulder wears a mask covered by the words in Spanish "Transgenic, cancer/death" as he protests the use of genetically modified food near the offices of U.S.-based seed giant Monsanto, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Saturday, May 25, 2013. Activists are taking part in a global protest "March Against Monsanto," demanding a stop to the use of agrochemicals and the production of genetically modified food, which according to them has harmful health effects, causing cancer, infertility and other diseases. Marches and rallies against seed giant Monsanto were held across the U.S. and in dozens of other countries Saturday. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

People-carry-signs-during-a-protest-against-Monsanto

People carry signs during a protest against Monsanto in Montpelier, Vt. Marches and rallies against seed giant Monsanto were held across the U.S. and in dozens of other countries Saturday.

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LOS ANGELES  — Marches and rallies against seed giant Monsanto were held across the U.S. and in dozens of other countries Saturday.

Argentina-Marching-Against-Monsanto

Demonstrators hold signs reading in Spanish "Glyphosate = illness, disability, death," left, "Genocide concealed by agrochemicals in Argentina," second from left, and "Get out Monsanto from Argentina" near the offices of the U.S.-based company Monsanto in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

“March Against Monsanto” protesters say they want to call attention to the dangers posed by genetically modified food and the food giants that produce it. Marches are planned for more than 250 cities around the globe, according to organizers.

A march in Maumee was one of the roughly 250 planned across the country.

People-chant-and-carry-signs-during-a-protest-against-Monsanto

People chant and carry signs during a protest against Monsanto in front of the capitol building in Montpelier, Vt.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

Genetically modified plants are grown from seeds that are engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides, add nutritional benefits or otherwise improve crop yields and increase the global food supply. Most corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in the United States today have been genetically modified. But some say genetically modified organisms can lead to serious health conditions and harm the environment.

Monsanto Co., based in St. Louis, said Saturday that it respects people’s rights to express their opinion on the topic, but maintains that its seeds improve agriculture by helping farmers produce more from their land while conserving resources such as water and energy.

The use of GMOs has been a growing issue of contention in recent years, with health advocates pushing for mandatory labeling of genetically modified products even though the federal government and many scientists say the technology is safe.

The Food and Drug Administration does not require the labeling, but organic food companies and some consumer groups have intensified their push for labels, arguing that the modified seeds are floating from field to field and contaminating traditional crops. The groups have been bolstered by a growing network of consumers who are wary of processed and modified foods.

The Senate this week overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would allow states to require labeling of genetically modified foods.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization, a lobbying group that represents Monsanto, DuPont & Co. and other makers of genetically modified seeds, has said that it supports voluntary labeling for people who seek out such products. But it says that mandatory labeling would only mislead or confuse consumers into thinking the products aren’t safe, even though the FDA has said there’s no difference between GMO and organic, non-GMO foods.

However, state legislatures in Vermont and Connecticut moved ahead this month with votes to make food companies declare genetically modified ingredients on their packages. And supermarket retailer Whole Foods Markets Inc. has said that all products in its North American stores that contain genetically modified ingredients will be labeled as such by 2018.

Whole Foods says there is growing demand for products that don’t use GMOs, with sales of products with a “Non-GMO” verification label spiking between 15 percent and 30 percent.

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