The March Against Monsanto happened this weekend. It’s been happening for a few years now, but this year was a little different. There were a few souls that chose to stand up to these bullies by staging a counter protest. MAMyths, or March Against Myths About Modification, is the brainchild of Karl Haro von Mogel, Kavin Senapathy, and David Sutherland. They put out the call for everyone to stand up for science, and my family, along with others, answered.
Washington, D.C., the site of one of the protests on March 23rd, is a bit of a distance from Maui; four thousand seven hundred and sixty-five miles to be exact. I’d love to tell you we flew to D.C. just for this event, but it was by pure luck that we found ourselves on vacation in the Nation’s Capital at the same time as these protests. We took a full day out of our schedule to attend, however, and I’m left wondering if it was a good idea. Here’s why:
1) While I’m sure my kids have heard the word “f**k” before, I’m quite certain it’s never been yelled in their faces.
2) It’s never fun to have ‘Caution Monsanto BioHazard’ tape wrapped around you and 10 of your new best friends by people shouting rude things with a bullhorn.
Lesson #1: In the end, I’m still glad we attended because it became very obvious on which side of this GMO caution tape we should be standing. I’d much rather be on the side with 10 people of integrity than feel the safety of numbers with 200 individuals yelling obscenities.
Lesson #2: If your side needs to wear a mask in order to say what you want to say, there is something very wrong. History is full of examples of men hiding behind masks, and they’re usually cowardly little people without their coverings.
Lesson #3: Likewise, if you need to repeatedly drop the f-bomb to get your point across, you may have a message delivery problem. The term “angry elf” comes to mind. Here’s an example of one discussion I had today with a “brave” individual:
(If you’re offended by strong language, don’t watch)
Yes Mr. Masked Man, you have freedom of speech. It’s Memorial Day weekend and there is a large cemetery exactly 2.7 miles away that holds the bodies of the men and women that died for your right to stand there and swear at me. You apparently also have freedom from civility, but that only shows the character of you and your cause.
My children desperately wanted to attend this event, even after we warned them that it was likely to be rather unpleasant. I know they didn’t enjoy being yelled at, or asked how much Monsanto payed them (really?!), or told they were going to die from eating GMOs. Yet, afterwards, they said they were glad to have been there, despite the lovely couple in the video above, because it gave them a better sense of why our family is so involved in this issue.
There are close to a million children going blind or dying from Vitamin A deficiency every year.
Biotech has an answer for that.
There are people unable to grow high yielding crops in the arid parts of Africa.
Biotech has an answer for that.
Farmers were burning up fuel, time, and money applying considerable amounts of pesticides.
Biotech developed an answer for that.
Papayas were about to be wiped out in Hawaii.
Biotech found an answer for that.
Everything, from cheese to insulin to the cotton shirt on your back, has benefited from biotechnology, and our lives are much better for these advancements. This weekend we saw a group of people hell bent on taking this tool away from farmers, doctors, and the general public. Here’s hoping that next year, my kids get their wish – that a few more people stand beside us as we say:
Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Stop your myths on GMO!