March Against Monsanto: Social Democracy in Action

Candida McCollam Owner/Partner, Localspeak

Posted on June 4th 2013

March Against Monsanto: Social Democracy in Action

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.


Candida McCollam

Owner/Partner, Localspeak

Global social media analyst, research strategist and localization expert. Delivers global social media brand audits, analytics, brand innovation, media tracking. NetBase partner, leverages award-winning NLP platform Insight Composer to deliver global brand insights and analytics in 40 languages. Yogini, linguaphile, passionate about global cultural research, social brand innovation, competitive positioning, social analytics.

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Posted on June 3rd 2013 at 2:56PM

Excellent points !

The corporate media has managed to sidepass some serious real news: Europe and Japan have suspended corn purchases due to the disclosure that GMO corn has infected non GMO corn in Oregon.

The FDA has not investigated the implications of the long tem effects of GMO processes; Monsanto has managed to leverage lobbying efforts and money as well as placing former execs within the current administrationinto protection and profit.

Europe has banned GMO as well as refused to purchase GMO produced food; the latest item about the cross-infestation of corn will have serious implications for US producers.

Social media, used with responsibility,is a major force in changing the way Government works. The Monsanto "protection" bill is a corrupt act to protect a corporate entity from the damage it has done to agriculture, here and now possibly in Europe and Asia.


Posted on June 3rd 2013 at 5:02PM

Great overview of how social media can impact politics and our government. This is an example of how a provision of a bill, which could have nothing to do with the overall bill, can be impacted if the legislation is passed. Knowledge is power, so they say, and because this bill was passed in April, it has outraged people across the country. Social media has provided an outlet for many people to be heard and express their thoughts to their local politicians. This will likely not be the only time that social media is used in this way.