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DULUTH - Chanting, signs and costumes was the scene in Downtown Duluth Saturday, as local activists joined hundreds of cities around the world in a protest against seed giant, Monsanto Company.
“Has a corrupting effect on regulators and regulating agencies that is supposed to oversee them. The FDA, the EPA, the USDA, almost do nothing to look out for the public interest when it comes to genetically-engineered food,” Allen Richardson, a local protest organizer, said.
Protestors were taking a stand against genetically engineered food, also known as genetically modified organisms.
“There’s a variety of unintended consequences, from health impacts, to weeds, super weeds, to moral and ethical concerns of how companies can sort of play God with our food,” Jamie Harvie, of the Institute for Sustainable Future, said.
“There’s a growing amount of evidence that that technology, is not safe, has not been proven safe,” Richardson said.
Organizers said at the very least, G.M.O foods should require a label.
“It’s about the forced-engineering of genetically-engineered, food. If it’s so great, they should put a label on it, that’s it,” Richardson said.
The Monsanto Company has responded to Saturday’s worldwide protests and said they “Respect people’s rights to express their opinion, but believes its seeds help farmers produce more food, while conserving water and energy.”
However, those that took the streets of Duluth said G.M.O’s don’t have any benefits.
“There was an experiment in Australia some years ago where they took a protein out of a bean and put it into a pea, and it didn’t cause allergies in its, naked, raw, un-engineered form, as soon as it was engineered into this pea it caused allergies in laboratory animals,” Richardson said.