"March Against Monsanto" protesters rally in Knoxville

"March Against Monsanto" protesters rally in Knoxville

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"We've had a lot of people come up and talk to us that didn't know what this was or the dangers they are proposing not only to our children and to our families, but to the earth," said Jennifer Bullard, host of the Knoxville March Against Monsanto. "We've had a lot of people come up and talk to us that didn't know what this was or the dangers they are proposing not only to our children and to our families, but to the earth," said Jennifer Bullard, host of the Knoxville March Against Monsanto.
Protesters are calling for the banning of GMOs in the United States. Protesters are calling for the banning of GMOs in the United States.
The Market Square protest was part of a global movement called the March Against Monsanto, with protests held Saturday in more than 250 cities. The Market Square protest was part of a global movement called the March Against Monsanto, with protests held Saturday in more than 250 cities.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Knoxville Saturday, speaking out about the dangers of genetically modified foods.

The Market Square protest was part of a global movement called the March Against Monsanto, with protests held Saturday in more than 250 cities.

Monsanto Co. is a major producer of genetically modified seeds, which protestors say can lead to health problems and harm the environment.

The more than 300 people who turned out for Knoxville's March Against Monsanto say awareness about what genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are, and the serious health risks they believe they can cause, is vitally important.

"We've had a lot of people come up and talk to us that didn't know what this was or the dangers they are proposing not only to our children and to our families, but to the earth," said Jennifer Bullard, host of the Knoxville March Against Monsanto.

"What I've learned about it, it concerns me," said James Thompson of Knoxville.

Protesters are calling for the banning of GMOs in the United States.

The genetically modified plants that grow from Monsanto's seeds are engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides and improve crop yields.

Their scientists claim the technology is safe, but protesters disagree, rallying in Market Square and marching around downtown to spread their message.

"The people have spoken and in 41 countries today, we are all crying out for the banning or the labeling of GMO foods," said protester Dr. Anjana Dixon of Knoxville.

They're also calling for mandatory labeling of foods containing GMOs in all grocery stores.

"We have a right to know what is going in our bodies," said Dixon.

"At least tell people what's in their food. Let them know if there's genetically modified organisms in their food or not," said Bullard.

Protestors are also hoping to get the attention of elected officials, both state and federal.

They passed around a petition today that will soon be turned over to lawmakers, asking them to draft legislation forcing GMO labeling.

"Corporations in collusion with our government often times don't make the best decision for the long term health of our children," said Thompson.

Tennessee Senator Frank Niceley spoke at the march, echoing what the rest of the protesters were marching for; saying no to GMO.

"That's why we want to get the message across to people that they don't want to eat this stuff," said Dixon.

Monsanto issued a statement Saturday, saying that it respects people's rights to express their opinion, but believes its seeds help farmers produce more food, while conserving water and energy.

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