Latin America

Latin Americans rally against US firm

364065_GMO-protestProtesters have taken to the streets in cities across Latin America to protest against US biotech giant, Monsanto, and its products known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The rallies were held in dozens of cities across the region as part of a global protest against the company and the genetically modified seeds it sells.

In Mexico, hundreds of protesters marched through the main streets in the capital and gathered at the Angel of Independence monument.

A similar protest was also staged in Chile’s capital, Santiago, where demonstrators carried banners against the American agricultural company, which produces pesticides and genetically engineered seeds used globally.

Genetically modified foods are plants or animals that have had genes copied from other plants or animals inserted into their DNA; the procedure is done to make them resistant to pests and herbicides.

However, critics and many consumers are concerned about the health and environmental consequences of GMOs. There has been no scientific proof that genetically modified organisms are completely safe and some studies have linked the chemicals in Monsanto’s pesticides to Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, autism and cancer. In addition, the side effects of GMOs are believed to include birth defects, organ damage, infant mortality and sterility.

This is not the first time Monsanto has been criticized over its products. The company manufactured the highly toxic defoliant, Agent Orange, for the US Department of Defense. The toxic, which was used by the US during the Vietnam War, killed and injured an estimated 400,000 people and caused birth defects in 500,000 children.

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