By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,429)
Under dreary skies and with cold winds whipping around them an enthusiastic crowd of several hundred people from all over Maine, packed Monument Square this afternoon to “Say No to Monsanto.” The organizer of the local event was Whitely Neuman, a Portland activist. The rally was being duplicated in 41 countries around the world and 338 cities as well.
The protestors are opposed to Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods because they can lead to serious health-conditions such as cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects. Genetically modified food can withstand large amounts of Monsanto’s chemicals. Monsanto is known as a leading producer of genetically engineered seed and the producer of the herbicide - Roundup. The FDA does not require that genetically modified foods be so labeled, to the frustration of many. It was announed at the rally that US Senator Susan Collilns, (R), ME. voted against letting states decide whether genetically modified food should be labeled as such. The bill was dramatically defeated in the Senate earlier this week.
One of the several rally speakers was Dee Reyes, co-founder of the Agent Orange Legacy. Reyes is the disabled child of a deceased Vietnam Veteran. At the age of 33 years, she has been diagnosed with 31 different illnesses since her childhood which she’s convinced stem from her father’s exposue to Agent Orange in Vietman.
They include debilitating muscle spasms and learning disabilities and more. “This is a sign of the times. It’s scary. We need to stop Monsanto,” she said. You may write her at: Agent Orange Legacy, 3 Park Street, Cherryfield, ME. 04622
Monsanto Co. was the maker of Agent Orange that was used during the Vietnam War to destroy the jungle canopy in an effort to expose the enemy.
The event ended with a March Against Monsanto in Portland’s downtown escorted by the Portland Police Department.
The public is invited to a Right To Know GMO: Citizen Lobby Day at the Capitol on “Thursday; May 30th from 8 am to 4 pm. (Meet in the Cross Cafe in the ground floor of the Cross Office Building behind the Capitol at 8 am.) For more information, please call Jessie Dowling, Grassroots Organizer for Mofga’s Right to Know: GMO Labeling Campaign at 207 465-5255.