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May 22, 2014

March Against Monsanto comes to Bricktown

NORMAN — Concerned Oklahomans will march Saturday through the streets of Bricktown to protest Monsanto, a leading manufacturer of herbicides and genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Monsanto is the creator of Roundup and the holder of key GMO seed patents used in industrial agriculture.

Several Norman residents plan to participate in the march, which is being coordinated with the national movement and will start at 5 p.m. at the Harkins Theatre, 150 E. Reno Ave. in Oklahoma City. Speakers will include Oklahoma Food Co-op President Bob Waldrop and Dr. Mary Schrick.

Norman resident Christy Privett said she is involved because of concerns about how genetically modified foods could affect the environment and her health.

“I care about our sustainable food supply,” Privett said, “and the lack of studies done in the United States on long-term effects of eating genetically modified foods.”

In 2012, Privett became aware of GMOs and started researching the topic. She heard about last year’s March Against Monsanto and got involved in organizing the event.

“This is actually a global event,” she said.

Privett said people connect primarily through Facebook and come from across the state. A march in Norman is planned for October.

Privett thinks students will become involved and that the Norman march will draw a large turnout.

What are GMOs? GMOs are plants or animals created through gene splicing biotechnology or genetic engineering, according to the Non-GMO project.

High-risk crops include canola, corn, papaya, soy, sugar beets, zucchini and yellow summer squash. Other crops are at high risk due to contamination from cross-pollination.

Most of Monsanto’s patented products are designed to be herbicide resistant and/or to repel pests through genetic modification. Monsanto’s corn patents include Roundup Ready Corn 2, YieldGard Corn Borer Corn, YieldGard rootworm corn and YieldGard Rootworm with Roundup Ready Corn 2, to name a few.

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