An enthusiastic crowd estimated at over 1000 gathered at the fountain in Balboa Park on May 25 as part of the international “March Against Monsanto.” The event took place simultaneously in 45 countries and 400 cities, according to local organizer Nick Bernabe.
The event's website lists reasons why this and similar protests took place: “Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions,” it states. “The FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives.”
Eleanora Robbins, PhD., spoke for Women Occupy San Diego: “We stand together, all living members of our species. One half thinks about others; the other half thinks about themselves. Those who care about others, many of us are on the streets all over the world today.”
Jackie, a co-organizer of the event, said a provision of the "Monsanto Protection Act" “allows Monsanto immunity from federal prosecution, even though their crops are thought or suspected to be dangerous to the public.” MoveOn Civic Action has reported that the act “was written anonymously [and] passed in secret.”
“We believe that a corporation should not take over the food supply,” said event participant Elsa, an ESL teacher. “We deserve the right to know what's in our food. We want labels. We want the government to take action and protect the people.”
Hugh Moore, with the Green Party, said “The government is allowing it to happen and is not doing anything to stop it. The government is the lobbying firm for Monsanto.”
Josephine, who organized with Bernabe, added: “I am against Monsanto using insecticide to kill the bees. It causes the bees to be become disoriented and they can't find their way to the beehive. We have bee colony collapse.”
Mayor Bob Filner was unable to attend but his statement of solidarity was read at the event.