Napa marchers protest Monsanto, GMO foods

2013-10-12T20:42:00Z 2013-10-14T14:51:06Z Napa marchers protest Monsanto, GMO foodsKERANA TODOROV Napa Valley Register
October 12, 2013 8:42 pm  • 

Chanting “We will stop Monsanto!,” about 100 people marched through downtown Napa on Saturday to protest the agribusiness giant and engineered foods.

The marchers, including parents pushing their toddlers in strollers, crossed the First Street Bridge and headed toward the Farmers Market outside the Oxbow Public Market before returning to downtown for a group photo in front of City Hall.

Napa’s “March Against Monsanto” took place in conjunction with hundreds of similar events nationwide and in more than 50 countries. The St. Louis-based company, organizers said, owns the patents of more than 85 percent of genetically engineered seeds sold in the U.S.

“Monsanto has a long history of putting out dangerous products that have been harmful to people’s health and to the environment,” said Erica Amy Martenson, coordinator for Label GMOs — Napa County, who was one of the speakers at Dwight Murray Plaza off First Street.

The speakers urged the public to eat organic agricultural products and avoid consuming genetically engineered foods — also known as genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Speaking in support of the march were Hector Olvera of Latinos Unidos del Valle de Napa; Napa County Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht; Vietnam veteran Steven Grant Stratford, a member of the Green Party of Napa County from American Canyon; and Carol Nagle of Napa, another member of Label GMOs — Napa County.

Nagle urged those gathered to boycott foods that are genetically engineered. Genetically engineered foods are resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, an active ingredient of Monsanto’s flagship product, Roundup, she explained. Farmers can spray the crops without killing them. Another trait of GMO plants is their resistance to insects, Nagle said. A consequence has been the development of “super weeds” and “super bugs.”

Organizers also invited the participants to sign a petition to urge the Napa County Board of Supervisors and the Napa City Council to approve a resolution in support of labeling genetically engineered foods. The resolutions have not come forward, although Wagenknecht expressed support for labeling GMO foods.

Among the participants Saturday was Julia Adkins of Napa. “The whole thing with Monsanto — they’re killing our food supply,” said Adkins, 63, a massage therapist.

Jennifer Silagy of American Canyon came with her two daughters, Erin, 11, and Lindsey, 17. They support labeling GMO foods.

“I think it’s wrong that we don’t know what we’re eating,” said Lindsey, a student at American Canyon High School.

Art teacher David Garden Jr. of St. Helena came to the march carrying a plastic skeleton decorated with signs that read “Corn-fed” and “Dia de los Monsantos,” a reference to the Day of the Dead, the Mexican holiday to remember family and friends who had died.

“This is a very important topic. It needs as much exposure as possible because a lot of people don’t know even who Monsanto is or Dow or any of those people. So they don’t know what they’re eating,” said Garden, 54. “I think (food) labeling is one step.”

Karly Pecorella of San Diego attended with her husband, Jaime, and their two children, Eva, 4, and Giovanni, 6. The family came to the march while visiting Jaime’s parents in Napa.

“It’s important to have foods to be labeled to make educated consumer choices,” said Karly Pecorella, 37,  as she carried Eva on her back during the march.

“We’d love to see GMOs banned, but we’ll start with at least getting them labeled,” she said. “It’s a start.”

Copyright 2015 Napa Valley Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(11) Comments

  1. shantz
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    shantz - October 12, 2013 11:33 pm
    Napa Register, this is a personal attack.

    You deleted similar comments in a previous article when they targeted people instead of issues.

  2. calbare
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    calbare - October 13, 2013 12:25 am
    It's time Monsanto stopped messing with the food supply. It was good enough to get us here from time zero, so it should be good enough to get us the rest of the way. Anyways, Whole Foods will have GMO labelling on all their foods by 2018, and that will be a big help in the fight against Monsanto.

    Don't give up the fight against Monsanto!

  3. 40oz_CALI
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    40oz_CALI - October 13, 2013 5:07 am
    GLENROY what's more pribable that 50countries are overreacting to GMOs and pesticides or that maybe u and the rest of the US is is being lied to. This is lime cigarwttes in their infancy. Gos ahead smoke up tabacvo is good for you only to find out they cause cancer. Educate yourselves people! Monsanto is the company that brought you DMT and Agent Orange and now they have a monopoly on the nation's food suply!!
  4. rpcv
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    rpcv - October 13, 2013 8:26 am
    Glenroy, care to elaborate? Is that the most cogent argument you have on this topic? Oh, sorry. It's not an argument at all. It's just name-calling.
  5. eam
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    eam - October 13, 2013 9:35 am
    Actually, Calbare, Whole Foods has said that all products must be labeled by 2015. Also, Ben and Jerry's announced they are taking all GMOs out of their ice cream. The tipping point is starting to show its effects, so it is important that we keep up the pressure now more than ever. When you go out to dinner, ask about GMOs. When you go to the farmers market, ask about GMOs. When you go to a wine tasting room, ask about GMOs, When you stop buying a product from Big Food, tell them you aren't buying it anymore until they take out the GMOs. They need to know that consumers care about this issue and that it is in THEIR interest to change.
  6. Crosscountrykid
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    Crosscountrykid - October 13, 2013 2:15 pm
    So the counter says there are five comments, but I see only three as of this writing. Am I missing something, NVR on-line editor? I'm clueless.
  7. pjgreason
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    pjgreason - October 13, 2013 5:34 pm
    In addition to the good news about Whole Foods and Ben and Jerry's, there is something that every anti-GMO activist reading this can very do to make a big difference Most of you probably already know about the initiative I-522 for labeling in Washington State that is on their ballot right now. The last figure I saw was that the pro-GMO side has donated over 17.1 million dollars to defeat I-522. This is way more spending per capita in Washington State than they spent in California defeating Prop 37 last year. If you care about this issue and want to make a difference, please go to Here you can make a donation or volunteer to phone bank or help in other ways. If enough Californians can call into Washington State and let voters know about the lies we were told that they are hearing now, we can make a difference!
  8. Flaneur
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    Flaneur - October 13, 2013 7:40 pm
    My thanks to everyone in Napa who was able to attend this rally. Great to see a county supervisor, Brad Wagenknecht, openly supportive. No one who supports the idea of free markets can honestly oppose labeling requirements. If a manufacturer can hide from consumers the fact that its foods include GMO products, we have no free market.
  9. Fuschia
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    Fuschia - October 13, 2013 8:17 pm
    It is increasingly important to know what you are eating and why. We live in a day & age when it is foolish to take things for granted. While a tomato used to be a tomato, now it could have molecules of other things altogether foreign. At first glance it may appear benign and not worth worrying about. But we have not fully tested or understand the consequences of changing the DNA of the food we eat. As a species, we have evolved over eons of time as have the food sources. Now we are trying to speed up the process without caution. I don't feel comfortable allowing one or two large corporations seize control over my food supply. When these companies tried to introduce GMO's in France, the people ripped the crops out of the ground and set them down in front of city hall. We shoul do the same. Shame on Monsanto for putting profits over people. Nature should not be patented!
  10. rpcv
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    rpcv - October 13, 2013 8:54 pm
    eam: right on. Seems like a small thing to just ask that our food be labelled, so we can buy products with some knowledge of what's in them. We're not asking to ban GMOs (though I'd prefer that), only that we be allowed to know what's in our food!
  11. Michael Haley
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    Michael Haley - October 13, 2013 9:29 pm
    glenroy made an insulting comment to someone personally and Alex Shantz complained about it so they pulled both of them. I happened to see them before they came down.
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