Gateway Green Alliance/Green Party of St. Louis
Digital version of article from July-August 2000 Compost Dispatch
MORAGE "Day of Action" August 18 targets Monsanto & Kit Bond
Missouri Resistance Against Genetic Engineering (MORAGE) has announced a "Day of Action" on Friday, August 18, 2000, targeting Monsanto Company (now a subsidiary of Pharmacia Corporation) and Sen. Christopher S. "Kit" Bond (R-MO).
The day-long series of events is billed as a day of protest against and education about Monsanto, and an opportunity for camaraderie with activist organizations from across the Midwest. Its purpose is described as "mobilization for safe foods and family farms" to stop the corporate takeover of our lives.
The Day of Action features a 9:00 a.m. teach-in at the Gateway Green Center, 6101 Delmar Blvd. in St. Louis, followed by rallies at the Monsanto world headquarters in Creve Coeur at noon and at the office of Sen. Bond, Bonhomme Ave. at Hanley Road in Clayton, at 2:30 p.m. A benefit concert at 8:00 p.m. rounds out the day's activities.
Featured speakers include Bill Christianson of the National Family Farm Coalition, Charles Margulis of Greenpeace, Rhonda Perry of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, and Tammy Shea of the Gateway Green Alliance.
- Revocation of Monsanto's corporate charter for its long history of flagrant illegal activity.
- Ending Missouri government's uncritical support of Monsanto and the hazardous technology of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
- Enforcement of anti-trust laws to halt corporate seed monopoly.
- Halting Sen. Bond's campaign to create the "silicon valley" of genetic engineering in Missouri.
- Shifting Sen. Bond's proposed $25 million tax break and tobacco settlement money away from genetic engineering and toward Missouri's family farmers and sustainable, organic agriculture.
- An immediate ban on the private ownership of life forms, and a moratorium on marketing, development and private testing of GMOs.
MORAGE charges that Monsanto has a long history of violating the public interest, turning a blind eye to the public good in favor of private greed and squelching our democracy with blatant corporate crime. Monsanto has produced Agent Orange, toxic herbicides and pesticides, PCBs and terminator seed technology, all of which threaten family farmers and the environment. The company has also produced "food" products which MORAGE claims is harmful to humans, including genetically engineered organisms, saccharin, bovine growth hormone, and the fat substitute Simplesse. The company is involved in numerous superfund sites and occupational hazards around the country, including the PCBs at Times Beach, Missouri. MORAGE demands that, upon dissolution, Monsanto's assets be redirected toward making Missouri a leader in creating a safe and secure food system instead of genetic engineering.
MORAGE also charges that the University of Missouri and the Missouri Departments of Agriculture and Economic Development fully support Monsanto's "Frankenstein technology," ignoring citizens' concerns about the negative impact of genetically modified foods and Monsanto's long history of corporate crime.
Critical attention is also expected to be paid to Missouri Gov. (and U. S. Senate wanabee) Mel Carnahan's recent announcement that he would join twelve other governors in the active promotion of genetically engineered products.
In a nationwide Harris poll in June, 2000, 56% of respondents believed that genetically engineered crops will "upset the balance of nature and hurt the environment," and 45% believed that "food based on these new crops will be poisonous or cause diseases in people who eat them."
MORAGE supports a safe and democratic food system grounded in the health of Missouri's farmers and consumers. It urges the University of Missouri to return to its commitment of serving the public interest, research and education. MORAGE favors grassroots democratic control of our food system.
In addition to MORAGE, sponsors of the Day of Action include Missouri Heartwood, Citizens for a Better America, Missouri Rural Crisis Center, The Gateway Greens Alliance, Three River Confluence, Organic Consumers Association, Jobs for Justice, International Workers of the World (IWW) and Missouri Public Interest Research Group (MOPIRG).
Further information is available on the web at www.missouri.edu/~ldd0aa/
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