Rochester, NY - Over 30 cities across the country stood up this weekend against an herbicide producer that once had a hand in the production of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Monsanto produced DDT which is one of the active ingredients in the defoliant. The herbicide is a leading cause of cancer and other health problems amongst veterans of the Vietnam War.
Today they are the producer of Round-Up up as well as genetically altered plants and organisms. The plants include commodity crops such as corn, wheat and soy.
In a statement to WHAM 1180 Tom Helscher, The Director of Corporate Affairs at Monsanto, says “these crops undergo detailed scientific review by at least two, and often three separate federal agencies, including the FDA, EPA the USDA. Hundreds of studies in the peer-reviewed scientific literature support the safety of genetically modified crops and there has not been a single substantiated instance of illness or harm associated with their use.”
For protest organizer Danielle Pinkerton she says they are concerned about more than just the health benefits of the crops. “They are genetically modifying plants to be ‘Round-Up ready.’ However Round-Up is still highly toxic to plants, animals and humans.” She says the concern is that people may be ingesting more chemicals than they realize.
The US Senate tossed out a bill this week that would have labeled crops as being genetically altered. “Many food organizations use Monsanto products in their processed foods,” Pinkerton says. “A lot of people don’t realize because it may be labeled organic, but it’s not quite organic.”
The group of nearly 300 met at the Liberty Pole and marched to Manhattan Square Park.