Latin America people hold protests against US firm

People in Latin America protest against US biotech giant, Monsanto, on May 24, 2014.
People in Latin America protest against US biotech giant, Monsanto, on May 24, 2014.
Protesters have taken to the streets in cities across Latin America to protest against US biotech giant, Monsanto, and its products known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The rallies were held in dozens of cities across the region as part of a global protest against the company and the genetically modified seeds it sells.

In Mexico, hundreds of protesters marched through the main streets in the capital and gathered at the Angel of Independence monument.

A similar protest was also staged in Chile’s capital, Santiago, where demonstrators carried banners against the American agricultural company, which produces pesticides and genetically engineered seeds used globally.

Also protests against the Monsanto Company in Melbourne and Cocoa Beach were just two of over 400 protests in 50 countries in six continents against a corporation they believe has prioritized financial gain over the general public health by not only producing food with genetically modified organisms but also leading the fight to prevent food that has been genetically modified from being labeled as such.

Genetically modified foods are plants or animals that have had genes copied from other plants or animals inserted into their DNA; the procedure is done to make them resistant to pests and herbicides.

However, critics and many consumers are concerned about the health and environmental consequences of GMOs. There has been no scientific proof that genetically modified organisms are completely safe and some studies have linked the chemicals in Monsanto’s pesticides to Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, autism and cancer. In addition, the side effects of GMOs are believed to include birth defects, organ damage, infant mortality and sterility.

This is not the first time Monsanto has been criticized over its products. The company manufactured the highly toxic defoliant, Agent Orange, for the US Department of Defense. The toxic, which was used by the US during the Vietnam War, killed and injured an estimated 400,000 people and caused birth defects in 500,000 children.


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