For Immediate Release
Organic Consumers Assoc., Moms Across America Deliver Message to Monsanto Execs: ‘You’re Making Us Sick’
St. Louis, Mo. - The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and Moms across America (MAA) confronted Monsanto (NYSE: MON ) executives today at the St. Louis-based corporation’s annual shareholders meeting.
Zen Honeycutt, founder of MAA, acting as shareholder proxy for Harrington Investments, attended the shareholder meeting. On behalf of Harrington, Honeycutt presented a proposal intended to pave the way for more accountability on the part of Monsanto’s Board of Directors.
Honeycutt also presented scientific evidence linking Roundup’s key active ingredient, glyphosate, to a host of human health issues, and deliver a stack of personal testimonials, collected by OCA and MAA, from people whose health has suffered because of exposure to glyphosate.
Outside the meeting, two medical doctors—Jeff Ritterman, M.D. and Norm Shealy, M.D.—spoke to protestors on the health hazards of GMO foods and glyphosate at an OCA-led rally. Protestors, dressed in black, carried “Monsanto Is Making Us Sick” banners, and posters featuring the images and words of people who have been injured by Roundup. The groups ended the protest by creating a memorial to the victims of Monsanto’s products, constructed in front of the corporate sign.
The day’s events were endorsed by Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
“It is heart-wrenching to see the damage Monsanto’s Roundup is causing,” said Alexis Baden-Mayer, OCA political director. “The science is on our side, the evidence is clear. Roundup causes digestive disorders, birth defects, cancer, kidney failure and neurological diseases. Sadly that’s what we’re seeing around the world in farm workers, in people who live near fields of Roundup Ready crops, and in Americans who eat foods that have been genetically engineered to absorb this toxic herbicide.”
“Corporate board membership is self-selecting, self-serving, self-perpetuating, and without meaningful accountability,” said John Harrington, CEO of Harrington Investments, Inc. “There is not a farmer in that [Monsanto] board room, and certainly not a medical doctor with an understanding of the impact of chemicals on children’s health.”
"It is time for Monsanto to be responsible for the direction and impact of their products, said Zen Honeycutt, founder, Moms Across America. “Numerous scientific studies show, and Moms see, that GMOs and related chemicals are connected to our children's skyrocketing health issues. Taking the first step in being responsible and having a pediatrician on their board makes sense for Monsanto Shareholders and for our children and the future of our country."
Monsanto sold $1.25 billion worth of Roundup in 2014. The most widely used herbicide in the world, Roundup is used on Roundup-Ready crops genetically modified to withstand massive doses of the toxin.
OCA and MAA were not the only groups protesting today. Numerous other groups, including SumofUs, Veterans for Peace, Occupy Monsanto and St. Louis-area activists also held protests in conjunction with Monsanto’s annual shareholder meeting.
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics. We are the only organization in the US focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation's estimated 50 million organic and socially responsible consumers.