Critics of Genetically Modified Crops Protest World Food Prize, Monsanto
Critics of genetically modified crops marched
Saturday in front of the World Food Prize building to protest the
controversial awarding of this year's prize to laureates who have
devised ways to put foreign genes into a plant's DNA.
The March Against Monsanto was the kick-off to a week of Occupy World
Food Prize events coinciding with the annual Iowa award, often called
the Nobel Prize of Agriculture, founded by Dr. Normal Borlaug.
One of this year's three laureates is the chief technology officer at
Monsanto, the world's largest seed company. Monsanto, which produces
genetically modified corn, soybean and other seeds, is at the center of
the controversy over genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
"We think that the World Food Prize should not be given to people who
basically invented GMOs," said Jess Mazour, the farming and environment
organizer for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, one of the
By awarding the prize to a Monsanto executive, "it says to the world that we value corporations over people," Mazour said.
The protest began across from Des Moines City Hall, where marchers held
signs that said, "GMO OMG WTF R we eating?"; "Stop factory farms"; and
"Label it"-a plea for food producers to indicate on product packaging
whether GMOs are among the ingredients.