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Memorial Day: Statewide March Against Genetically Modified Seeds

Photo: March Against Monsanto taking place on Saturday, May 25th. Courtesy: March Against Monsanto
Photo: March Against Monsanto taking place on Saturday, May 25th. Courtesy: March Against Monsanto
May 24, 2013

LANSING, Mich. – On Saturday, thousands of Michiganders will start their Memorial Day weekend by speaking up against an international company.

The March Against Monsanto is taking place in 12 cities in the Wolverine state and 243 other cities around the world.

Monsanto makes genetically modified seeds, and protesters feel the company is using unfair business practices while it tries to grow the use of genetically modified foods.

Tia Lebherz with the advocacy group Food and Water Watch is one of the organizers in Detroit. She says Monsanto is hurting small farmers.

"When we have these big companies that are controlling all of these different sectors,” she says, “it's squeezing out all of our small farmers, making it harder for them to compete and making them really caught on a chemical treadmill where they're constantly having to increase their technology and spend more money in order to produce our food."

Monsanto inserts genes into common farm seeds, such as corn or soybeans, and then patents those seeds. The Supreme Court recently upheld the practice.

Lebherz says protesters also want to send a message to U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee.

They point out that smaller growers in the state also need a voice in Washington.

"And we want her to really stand up and protect our small farmers,” Lebherz says, “and our family farmers, which are the backbone of our state and our country."


Rob South, Public News Service - MI