On May 25th, the global March Against Monsanto took place on six continents, 36 countries, and 250 cities. It is being promoted by a range of organizations and networks, including Occupy Monsanto.
Many critics confront the biotech giant Monsanto on ecological and economic fronts, including the fact that genetic modification techniques and organisms are subject to intellectual property law. Therefore, farmers are forced to buy seed from Monsanto indefinitely once they have begun to use the company’s ‘property’. Based on a recent report, the Indian government has warned that cotton-producing states have seen cotton crop yields decline after the first five years of production. According to one news account, this has lead to a staggering number of suicides amongst Indian farmers.
Ken Butigan is director of Pace e Bene, a nonprofit organization fostering nonviolent change through education, community and action. He also teaches peace studies at DePaul University and Loyola University in Chicago.