Gateway Green Alliance/Green Party of St. Louis

Digital version of article from Sept 2000 Compost Dispatch

Over 100 protest against genetic engineering

More than 100 environmental activists from several states converged on St. Louis, August 18, to join in the Missouri Resistance Against Genetic Engineering (MORAGE) Day of Action.

Participants took part in an early morning teach-in at the Gateway Green Center, hearing from Tammy Shea of the Gateway Greens Alliance, Bryce Oates of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Bill Christianson of the National Family Farm Coalition and Green Party gubernatorial candidate Zaki Baruti. Green Party congressional candidates Tom Sager of Rolla and Devin Scherubel of Columbia and legislative candidates Mary Auer and Patricia Turek also took part.

Family farmers related their concerns about the higher cost and lower yield of genetically altered seeds and their higher consumption of chemicals in the growing season.

Protesters then took to the streets, staging a colorful protest at the Monsanto world headquarters in Creve Coeur, illustrating their concerns with 14-foot-tall puppets of "killer corn" and "corporate giants." MORAGE demanded the dissolution of Monsanto, forfeiture of its corporate charter and redistribution of its assets because of its production of harmful genetically modified organisms and other harmful products like Agent Orange, toxic herbicides and pesticides, PCBs, and terminator seed technology, all of which threaten family farmers and the environment. One participant was arrested when attempting to unfurl a banner on a utility pole.

Protesters then moved on to Clayton outside the office of Sen. Christopher S. Bond (R-MO), demanding to meet with the senator. Protesters met briefly with a Bond aide but were not allowed to meet with the senator. MORAGE protested Bond's campaign to create a "silicon valley" of genetic engineering in Missouri. Three more protesters were arrested for walking in the street, for what Clayton Police called "failing to follow the reasonable instructions of a police officer."

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