More than 100 protesters gathered outside Monsanto in Davis Monday morning, marking the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Movement.
“We’re here to bring awareness of the business practices of Monsanto and the risks of using genetically modified food and what it’s doing to our food supply,” Occupy Davis protestor Robin Kozloff said.
Protestors waved signs and walked up and down the sidewalk in front of Monsanto, while passing cars honked in support.
Monsanto Director of Corporate Affairs Tom Helscher said in an email statement that the company’s 21,000 employees are proud of its efforts to improve farm productivity and food quality.
“Agriculture and its uses are important to California, the United States and the world,” the statement said. “Among the challenges facing agriculture are producing food for our growing population and reducing agriculture’s footprint on the environment.
“We respect each individual’s rights to express their point of view on these topics.”
A security guard would not say whether Monsanto had closed for the day. Last March, however, an Occupy Davis protest shut the facility down.
Monday’s protest in Davis is part of a series of anti-Monsanto demonstrations taking place at all over the world, Occupy Sacramento’s Andy Conn said.
A broad coalition of groups participated in Monday’s protest, including Occupy Woodland, Occupy Sacramento, Occupy Oakland as well as representatives fighting for the rights of farm workers and indigenous people, Kozloff said.
“They’re all concerned about the business practices that affect our food supply. They want to protect our resources and our planet and bring awareness of the major corporate influence companies like Monsanto have on our national policies on food and agriculture production,” Kozloff said.
She added that giant corporations also wield financial influence on the country’s election process.
Proponents of Proposition 37, which would require labeling all raw or processed food that is made from genetically engineered plants or animals, were also among the anti-Monsanto protestors in Davis.
“We have the right to know what’s in our food,” Davis resident Stephanie Abundo said. “There are a number of environmental and health concerns with genetically engineered food. Our food should be labeled so people can make their own decisions about whether to eat them or not.”
The Davis protest began around 6 a.m. By 9 a.m. the crowd had reached 100 and was growing, according to an Occupy Davis Twitter post.
Occupy Davis is part of an international movement against corporate greed, social and economic inequality.