If you follow food politics you probably haven't heard very many nice things about Monsanto. Their agriculture products and policies have gained a surprising amount of control of the modern agrarian economy and changed a lot of the ways farmers work and do business.
Monsanto's Roundup Ready soybeans are now grown on 90 percent of all soybeans farms in the United States -- a fact that has been increasingly drawing the attention of biodiversity specialists, health advocates and others with an interest in food and farming. Meanwhile, aggressive policies and lawsuits have put some farmers, seed cleaners and other farm supporting laborers out of business.
Jessica Winters is one of the local hosts heading up a campaign against the seed and chemical giant. She's leading the Dallas contingent of a international protest more than 300 cities strong. According to Winters, about 1000 people have signed up to participate and she's optimistic more will join on in the coming days. She's hosting a march that will start at Dallas City Hall, proceed to the Dallas Farmers Market and then return back to City Hall.
Challenging Monsanto has been a difficult (if impossible) historically. The company has logged numerous Supreme Court victories, including one yesterday that protects their rights to control seeds grown by farmers that contain their patented DNA. Still, Winters is positive. "All we can do is expose it," she says of Monsanto's policies with regard to the soybeans and other products referred to as genetically modified organisms (GMOs.) Winters claims that many citizens are still not aware of the issue.
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The march will take place at 1 p.m. on May 25, and more information is available on a Facebook page set up for the event.