For immediate release – May 16th , 2013
March Against Monsanto press contact & lead organizer
On Saturday, May 25th, activists around the world will unite to ‘March Against Monsanto.’
Portlanders will begin the event at 11am in Holladay Park and
march peacefully through the Lloyd District Neighborhood.
Area community members are coming together to join in the effort, exercise their First Amendment rights and bring awareness to the growing controversy over ethical concerns surrounding the political influence of the multinational biotech corporation Monsanto and the safety of the genetically modified foods it produces. We will hear from a variety of speakers on different aspects of Monsanto and the GMO issue.
Organizers are working with Portland city officials to ensure a safe and successful event and encourage Portlanders to attend with their families and learn more.
Global public outcry against the biotech giant has grown steadily over the last two decades in communities, nationally and internationally, since the first genetically modified seeds, or GMOs were made available for public consumption in the 1980s.
As of today, Portland Oregon is the second largest gathering in the world in the March Against Monsanto, with more than 3000 people committed to participating.
Link to event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/395696743860924/
The GMO issue is tied, at its very core, to the health of our environment and the dream of an authentic democracy. Monsanto has put corporate profit before the welfare of families and the environment by failing to honestly represent the facts about GMOs and the science behind them.
Like the tobacco industry, the agricultural biotech industry is caught in an all too familiar
financial quandary, face the facts and lose millions in profits, or fight like mad to hide the facts and use millions of corporate dollars to fund biased research, pay lobbyists, and spin the argument in their favor. The difference is, we’re not talking about cigarettes, this is our food!
Why do we march? Official ‘March Against Monsanto’ mission statement
• Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to
serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth
• In the United States, the FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the
population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, and we feel that’s a questionable
conflict of interests and explains the lack of government-lead research on the long-term
effects of GMO products.
• Recently, the U.S. Congress and president collectively passed the nicknamed “Monsanto Protection Act” that, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s genetically-modified seeds.
• For too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political
favoritism. Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to forge its monopoly over the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup.
• Monsanto’s GMO seeds are harmful to the environment; for example, scientists have
indicated they have caused colony collapse among the world’s bee population.
What are solutions we advocate?
• Voting with your dollar by buying organic and boycotting Monsanto-owned companies
that use GMOs in their products.
• Labeling of GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier.
• Repealing relevant provisions of the US’s “Monsanto Protection Act.”
• Calling for further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs.
• Holding Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism, social media, etc.
• Continuing to inform the public about Monsanto’s secrets.
• Taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won’t take these injustices quietly.
Schedule for March Against Monsanto
Saturday, May 25, 2013 @ Holladay Park (Lloyd Center)
11:00 am – Portland Raging Grannies Perform http://portlandraginggrannies.com/
11:15 am – Welcome, Tiffany Ayers, PDX MAM lead organizer
11: 20 am – Paul Cienfuegos, Community Rights Activist will discuss Benton and Lane
County (Oregon) food bill of rights, locally enforceable law making banning GMOs
assuming a win at the ballot box. http://paulcienfuegos.com/
11:35 am – Scott Bates, Director GMO Free Oregon, will discuss action citizens can
take regarding current Oregon State legislation:
HB 3192 – Having already passed through the Senate, HB 3192 makes legislative
ﬁnding and declaration that regulation of agricultural seed, ﬂower seed, nursery seed
and vegetable seed and products of agricultural seed, ﬂower seed, nursery seed and
vegetable seed be reserved to state. Citizens can contact their representatives to
demand that they vote against this bill and take a stand for county rights to ban GMOs.
11:45 am – Julia Degraw, Northwest Organizer of Food and Water Watch, will discuss
the Monsanto’s detrimental impact on the environment. Julia DeGraw is the Northwest
Organizer for Food & Water Watch. Julia is an Oregon native passionate about
protecting the Northwestʼs essential food and water resources. Prior to joining Food &
Water Watch, Julia worked with the Gifford Pinchot Task Force where she launched a
campaign to protect rivers in Southwest Washington state. She also completed Green
Corpsʼ one-year program to train the next generation of organizers. While with Green
Corps, Julia took part in many campaigns including an international campaign against
Coca Colaʼs illegal water bottling practices in India. She holds a B.S. in Environmental
Studies and Sociology from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. http://
12 pm – Love Bomb Go-Go will lead the March! (insert map?)
1pm – Bloco Alegria band will welcome demonstrators back to the Holladay Park.
1:20pm – Andy Westlund, Board Member of Organically Grown Co.
Logistics and Supply Chain Consulting, Organic Farming and Compost Products, will
offer his perspective on Monsanto and their business practices as an active member
of the agricultural community and founding farmer of Harmony Jack Farms.
1:30pm – Andrew Still – Seed Producer and Farmer will discuss seed diversity and
Monsanto’s growing monopoly on the world’s seed supply. http://
1:45pm – Elizabeth Swagger, Director of the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign will discuss
Monsanto’s role in the controversial Trans-Paciﬁc Partnership https://www.eff.org/
issues/tpp. Oregon Fair Trade Campaign: http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/oregon/.
1:50pm – Rebecca Lerner – Author/Urban Forager, will discuss the toxicity of
Monsanto’s Round Up, the use of class warfare to promote its use by homeowners
(homeowners use 10x as much as farmers do!) and government agencies (METRO
uses Round Up on and in their facilities on the city’s budget supported by our tax
1:55 – Mary Nichols – Director, GMO Free Portland will discuss the ways in which
individuals can act against Monsanto through their person choices. Mary Nichols is a
Biology (Botany) graduate of Portland State University, and cofounder of GMO-Free
Portland, a website and community of non-GMO eaters and food providers. She and
her husband Ernie have lived GMO-Free for four years, and volunteer to help
individuals do the same. http://www.gmofreeportland.com/index.html
2pm – Tiffany Ayers, PDXMAM Lead Organizer – Conclusion and Thanks
Portland’s March Against Monsanto will be streaming live! (provided the gear works)
Check the twitter feed (@mampdx) for a link to the live stream on the day of the event
Saturday, May 25th.