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Penticton  

March against Monsanto

UPDATE: 12:40 P.M. MAY 23

Monsanto spokeswoman Charla Marie Lord sent a statement from the company in response to the protest:

"The 22,000 people of Monsanto are committed to having an open dialogue about food and agriculture – we’re proud of the work we do, and we’re eager for people to know more about us.

"We’re also proud of our collaboration with farmers and partnering organizations that help make a more balanced meal accessible for everyone. Our goal is to help farmers do this in a more sustainable way using fewer resources and having a smaller impact on the environment. 

"We know people have different points of view on these topics, and it’s important that they’re able to express and share them."


People of all ages participated in Penticton's fifth annual March against Monsanto, Saturday, at Gyro Park.

Children made signs, while adults listened to guest speakers and checked out displays set up at the park.

"It's not in our best interest to be growing these GMO products if other countries aren't accepting them anymore," said organizer Kevin Proteau, with Locals Supporting Locals. "And the sad part is with all these countries marching around the world, we shouldn't be here for the fifth time.

Why are we still talking about this?"

March Against Monsanto is a worldwide event that takes place in over 40 countries and 400 cities on the same day.

More than 38 countries have either banned GMOs including Russia or are restricting the importation of GMO goods or placing moratoriums until more research is conducted.

In Canada, the organic food sector has seen dramatic growth in recent years with consumption developing at a faster rate than production.

Saturday's event at the park included the march through the downtown, sign-making, displays and guest speakers.

Included in the  speakers at the event was Gabe Cipes from Summerhill Pyramid Winery and the vice-president of the Certified Organic Association of B.C.

Cipes was there to discuss alternatives to conventional agriculture and the threat of trans-genetically modified organisms.

"This is about re-connecting to the earth. It's good to recognize the disconnect and it's good to see that people are aware of how corporations are exploiting the earth and people for profit," he said. "We need more people to be involved in the food system and to be connected to their hearts and nature."

Penticton resident Julie Humphries said she was there to do some painting with the kids and make signs for the rally.

"I support the production of organic foods as well as Locals Supporting Locals, because I believe by having a strong community we have a strong voice," she said.

Emmalise Pickles, who was there making signs with her siblings, offered a young person's viewpoint on the issue.

"We are participating because we want healthy food for the rest of our lives," she said.



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