Nearly a dozen protesters gathered today in front of the White House to protest what they say is President Barack Obama’s lax stance on genetically modified food, which they believe poses serious health risks to consumers.
The protesters held banners, unfurled security tape reading “Monsanto Genetic Biohazard” and symbolically threw packets of Doritos on the ground.
The protest was organized by Food Democracy Now! and assisted by Green America Now, a national grassroots organization that says it is “dedicated to building a sustainable food system that protects our natural environment, sustains farmers and nourishes families.”
Speaking to tourists and members of the press, Food Democracy Now! co-founders Lisa Stokke and Dave Murphy said they feel bitterly betrayed by President Obama. Both worked as precinct captains for Obama in 2007 and 2008.
“We worked our ass off to put this president in the White House,” Murphy said. “Monsanto didn’t do anything to put him in the White House, but they bought and paid for him the minute that he won the election.”
The organization was protesting President Obama’s signature of what it derisively calls the “Monsanto Protection Act,” a rider attached to HR933 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013, the continuing resolution to keep funding the federal government.
Food Democracy Now! claims that the rider will provide “a blank check” to biotech seed companies such as Monsanto, DuPont and Dow Chemical by limiting consumers’ ability to take them to court.
“We deserve to know,” Stokke said. “Sixty-two other countries in the world have a right to know if they are eating genetically modified foods. Why don’t Americans?”
Photography by Grae Stafford
Videography by Spencer Amaral