'March Against Monsanto' protest comes to St. Paul

9:55 PM, May 26, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - Hundreds of people gathered in St. Paul Saturday to join a worldwide protest against genetically modified food.

Organizers of the local "March Against Monsanto" estimated that nearly 2,000 people joined in the march and rally at the Capitol. Similar protests occurred in more than 250 cities throughout the world.

The event targeted seed giant Monsanto, a producer of genetically modified plants that are grown from seeds engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides, add nutritional benefits and improve crop yields.

Local organizers say the science should have more supervision.

"We operate under the assumption that foods that have been introduced to the American population are thoroughly tested before introduction. Genetically modified organisms are not," said Abby Lacombe with Rightthefarmbill.com.

Lacombe said the FDA's requirement for companies to conduct their own "in-house" studies is insufficient. Protestors are calling for more research and better labels.

"Because we haven't tested it, we don't know what can happen. And I think most Americans like to be confident that the decisions that we are making are the best for our population and our environment," Lacombe said.

The federagl government and many scientists maintain the technology is safe. Monsanto Co., based in St. Louis, said Saturday that it respects people's rights to express their opinion, but believes its seeds help farmers produce more food while conserving water and energy.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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