Monsanto Rallies Attract Thousands Across Australia
May 29, 2013
By Sarah Schwager
Melburnians March Against Monsanto
Protestors showed up in their droves on Saturday across 12 Australian cities to march against agri-giant Monsanto and its role in introducing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into food across the world.

Protests happened simultaneously across the world in 52 countries and 436 cities. Australians took to the streets in Adelaide, Albany WA, Bellingen NSW, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Redcliffe Qld and Townsville.

Protesters demonstrated their anger at Monsanto's practices with signs including "Say No to GMO", "GMO? Hell No", "Monsanto Gives You Cancer", "GMO = Get Monsanto Out", "Mon-Satan" and "Roundup Monsanto for Crimes Against Humanity".

The mainstream media was decidedly absent. Despite more than 3000 people blocking city streets in Melbourne, 1300 in Brisbane, 1100 in Adelaide, 2000 in Perth and 2000 in Sydney, very little coverage was given of the event. Similar reports of a lack of mainstream media occurred at events across the world.

March Against Monsanto grows from small grassroots movement to worldwide protest

The 'March Against Monsanto' movement began in February when organiser Tami Canal created a Facebook page calling for a rally against Monsanto's practices. What was initially intended to be a grassroots event turned into a worldwide demonstration involving more than 2 million people. Tami told media the group plans to harness the success of the event by continuing its cause against GMOs.

"It was empowering and inspiring to see so many people, from different walks of life, put aside their differences and come together today," she told Associated Press on Saturday.

"We will continue until Monsanto complies with consumer demand. They are poisoning our children, poisoning our planet. If we don't act, who's going to?"

Tami later expressed her surprise at the lack of media coverage of the event given that what had started as a small grassroots movement on the internet ballooned into a worldwide event involving 2 million protestors in 52 countries across the world.

Health advocates call for Monsanto ban in Australia

There has been a consistent call across the world from health advocates for mandatory labelling of genetically modified products, however many of these calls have gone unheard or have been overruled in parliament. Many governments and scientists continue to say that GM technology is safe.

Monsanto argues that genetically modified plants are resistant to insecticides and herbicides making them more beneficial in terms of nutrients, that they improve crop yields and that GMOs increase the global food supply.

Critics have been less than impressed with Monsanto's techniques, which include charging farmers royalties for renewal seed harvests, and suing farmers for cross pollination after their seeds blow over to surrounding crops, claiming patent infringement. Monsanto has also been condemned and taken to court for "knowingly poisoning" workers and causing birth defects.

Monsanto has already been banned in the following countries: Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Madeira, New Zealand, Peru, Russia and Switzerland, as well as in South Australia.

Protestors demand to know why the rest of Australia has yet to follow suit.

To find out more about Monsanto's influence on Australian crops and the spread of GMOs in food in Australia, have a read of this article: How do Monsanto and GMOs affect Australia?
"Despite more than 3000 people blocking city streets in Melbourne and 2000 in Sydney, the mainstream media was decidedly absent."
Thousands gather outside the State Library in Melbourne to March Against Monsanto