MONDAY, 10TH MARCH, 2014

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Occupy Monsanto: UK Campaigners
set to Target Genetically Modified
Food
Why Monsanto is Pilloried as Most
Evil Corporation in the World
By Ludovica Iaccino March 7, 2014 17:55 PM
US agriculture company Monsanto has been accused of contaminating around 90% of
the world's food production with chemicals and uncertified GMO (genetically modified
organisms) and has inspired a fresh batch of protests set to take place around the
world in May.
Dubbed the "most evil corporation in the world"
in 2011, Monsanto has inpsired protests staged
in more than 50 countries, all aimed at
boycotting Monsanto and raising awareness
regarding the company's practices and the
altered nature of its products.
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altered nature of its products.
According to March Against Monsanto's official
webpage, the anti-Monsanto demonstrators have
been calling for the permanent boycott of GMOs
and "other harmful agro-chemicals".
Who is Monsanto?
Founded as a chemical company in 1901, Monsanto mainly produced saccharine: a
synthetic compound used instead of sugar in food and drinks.
In 1920 Monsanto began manufacturing synthetic chemicals, including pesticides,
and also engaged in the production of "Agent Orange", or Herbicide Orange, a
chemical used by the US army during the Vietnam War.
The US army spread the chemical on crops in an
attempt to deforest the Vietnam jungle to help
reveal enemy targets.
Despite US government claims that the chemical was harmless, Agent Orange is
believed to have caused cancer in hundreds of people, while several babies were (and
still are) born with severe malformations.
Health problems related to the chemical are still evident on a large scale in Vietnam,
where the devastating consequences of Agent Orange are passed from a generation
to the other.
In 1984 Monsanto agreed to pay $180m (£107m) to US veterans whose health had
been permanently damaged.
In 1930s, Monsanto started producing Polychlorinated biphenyls chemicals (PBCs),
which were used in electrical equipment. These chemicals were banned in 1979,
labelled as dangerous as they caused severe health problems.
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Monsanto PBC remains were found in the soil of a town called Times Beach, in
Missouri, and the company was blamed for chemical waste mismanagement as a
result.
The whole town had to be relocated in 1983 and, at that point, environment
protection agencies listed Monsanto as one of the most dangerous company in the
US.
Monsanto denied being responsible for the disaster.
The company was re-launched in 2001 with a new focus: agriculture.
Accused of developing "Frankenstein foods" , the company withdrew eight of its nine
pending applications with the European Commission, which aimed at securing
approval for its products in Europe.
Monsanto's only remaining application sought the renewal of approval for its MON810
corn, which had previously been endorsed at EU level. The product was banned in
France in 2012, while Italy asked the EU to suspend its approval in April 2013.
March Against Monsanto website has organised new protests for May 2014.
The protests will be held in Africa, India, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Israel,
Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, 34 countries in Europe, 49 countries in the
US and seven in South America.
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