Hundreds of demonstrators protested outside Monsanto’s corporate headquarters in Creve Coeur Saturday.
They called for the agriculture biotech company to end practices they say are harmful to the environment and abusive of the rights of farmers. That includes Monsanto’s development and control of genetically modified, or GMO, crops.
“I believe that labeling [food with GMO ingredients] is extremely important, because people should be able to decide if they want to eat GMOs or not,” said Aubrey Yarbrough, an organic grower in High Ridge and member of GMO Free Midwest. “GMOs are in 80% of our processed food that’s not organic, and it’s too new to know what the effects on human health will be.”
The protest was part of an international “March Against Monsanto” event, with marches scheduled in 47 states and 52 countries.
“Increasingly I see corporations like Monsanto having an unhealthy amount of control over the global food system, leading to a lack of community self-determination and community control over food,” said Shona Clarkson, with the St. Louis Interfaith Committee on Latin America.
Clarkson said some farmers are now having difficulty saving heirloom seed that is not contaminated by pollen from genetically modified crops, which narrows their options for the future.
In a statement, Monsanto said it aims to help farmers make balanced meals accessible for everyone, using fewer resources and having a smaller impact on the environment.