Unfortunately, spring means it is once again time for the annual March Against Monsanto protests to take place. The good news is that this year we’re going to do something to fight back.
What Is March Against Monsanto?
March Against Monsanto (MAM) is an annual protest of the biotech company Monsanto and biotechnology generally. Around the world, people will gather at pre-determined locations to cause a spectacle that’s worthy of media attention. The goal each year is to raise awareness about the allegedly corrupt practices of Monsanto and the so-called dangers of GMOs.
I’ve written about these protests before, indicating that it’s really just a group of people dead set on spreading misinformation and, quite frankly, lies about genetically engineered crops. The tactics and claims made by protesters are usually far-fetched and dramatic. Of course, they aren’t interested in spreading the truth, only interested in garnering media attention.
This year, the annual protest will be taking place on May 23, 2015.
What Is March Against Myths About Modification?
March Against Myths About Modification (MAMyths) is a grassroots organization set up to counter the MAM protests. Sick and tired of having these anti-science types make fools of themselves at MAM protests, a group of people decided to organize a counter to MAM. Hence, March Against Myths (About Modification) was born. The goal is to do the opposite of MAM – flood social media and traditional media with a different narrative. MAMyths wants to tell people the scientific information about the safety of genetically engineered crops. It’s also a larger movement to tell the story of genetically engineered crops and the potential they hold for solutions to some of present-day problems.
2015 marks the very first year that MAMyths will occur. Some physical counter-protests have been organized and scheduled, but most people can participate via the Internet in the week leading up to MAM and on the day of the actual protests.
What’s the Truth About Genetically Engineered Food?
First, it is important to point out that there has never been a legitimate scientific study showing that GMOs cause harm or are detrimental to humans or the environment. Period. You can find many of those studies at GENERA.
That being said, there are a lot of “studies” out there that suggest GMOs may cause different types of harm, but those “studies” all have some type of flaw that makes it unreliable or unscientific. I have previously written about these here, here, and here. There was also this one.
Perhaps the most extensive, long-term “study” on genetically engineered crops comes from the animal ag industry. Since the commercial introduction of GMOs, U.S. farmers have largely been giving their animals GMO feed. In fact, there have been over 1 trillion GMO meals consumed by livestock. Yet, over several generations and thousands of animals, we have no evidence of ill effects on the animals. They aren’t sick, they aren’t losing fur, and they’re still able to reproduce without any trouble.
If you are interested in learning more about GMOs, I suggest throwing the word “GMO” into the search engine at the top of my page and hitting enter. That will bring up all of my posts on GMOs and allow you to read about a variety of topics.
How can you get involved?
Our goal next week will literally be to flood social media channels with truthful and scientific information about genetic engineering and biotechnology. The easiest way for you to engage in the counter-protest is to follow my social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) and Like/Comment/Share or Retweet your support to any of my MAMyths content. Of course, you can always throw the search term “GMO” into the search bar at the top of my page to access all of my content on the topic. Otherwise, feel free to create your own custom content that you will share on your own social media channels.
Another great way is to get involved with Team Ag! Our goal all year is to promote pro-agriculture issues, including support for biotechnology.
Otherwise, MAMyths suggests the following:
- Call and write food companies and organizations that have kept GMO ingredients in their products to thank them for standing with science.
- Call and write companies that may be debating whether to go GMO free to to encourage them to keep GM ingredients.
- Food without fear! Aim for a diet high in fruits, vegetables and other wholesome components without worrying about GMOs (unless they add vitamins.)
- Educate friends and family about the science and benefits of GMOs in a non confrontational way.
- Encourage people to get involved, learn and be a part of the conversation about GMOs and food.
- Support businesses, NGOs, and educational organizations that take an evidence-based stance on GMOs.
- Offer your expertise. If you’re a scientist, farmer, teacher, or industry expert, donate your valuable time to speak at schools and conferences about the real role of biotechnology in agriculture.
I’m very excited to take part in the resistance to MAM and I hope you’ll join us!