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March Against Monsanto: Social Democracy in Action
Posted on June 4th 2013
It’s time for food suppliers and producers to listen up. Social networks are buzzing and their stingers are aimed squarely at Monsanto—the infamous GMO and GEO [genetically engineered organism] behemoth—along with governments, food safety and environmental protection policy makers and oversight entities. An ironic twist? The sting may not come from a swarm of mutant attack bees, whose populations are also endangered by Monsanto, thanks to a genetically engineered patented pollen that contaminates crop fields and, via innocent breezes, moves airborne even to organically farmed fields.
Perhaps not since Ralph Nader hatched Nader’s Raiders, minions of socially conscious citizens who pushed to overhaul governmental food and environmental policy, have we seen the level of public outrage over food safety now stirring in social media and growing globally.
A new movement is being spawned by a kinship of people across the world, unified by a nonpartisan and unbiased social media ecosphere. Last weekend, hundreds of thousands of people concerned about Monsanto’s unbridled insinuation of dangerous or questionable substances into the food chain joined in 400 cities to March Against Monsanto. The global protest called for stricter governmental GMO and GE controls and full disclosure of risk.
As I blogged last month, the extent to which Monsanto will go to surreptitiously conceal its thirst for GMO hegemony in our food and environmental chain has no limits. And no brand is immune from public scrutiny, as our NetBase word cloud reveals.
It all started in April, when President Obama signed the budget bill H.R. 933. Secreted within the extended “must sign” agricultural funding bill was a sweetheart deal for agribusiness, a provision now dubbed the Monsanto Protection Act (actually Section 735), effectively giving the seed company immunity from future litigation, regardless of harmful effects discovered in their GMO or GE seeds.
But social media is a democratizing force, an ecosphere where netizens are attracted to like minds and social causes in the new kinship economy. Right away Food Democracy Now! and others got going with petitions, calling squads and other attention-getting methods. Soon The March Against Monsanto showed the power of social media to drive a movement for food democracy. There is nowhere to hide in our transparent new world order.
Even if some politicians haven’t found their listening ear (or can’t find their inner social conscience), their constituents know how to get their attention. As for brands, social listening is the new innovation in the kindred economy. It is where creative alternative sustainable solutions are being created and partnerships fostered.