News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Hennes Paynter Communications

Knight Foundation

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us

Akron's push for food-labeling part of a national movement
Weekend "March Against Monsanto" was one of dozens of international events calling for more awareness of foods produced from genetically engineered seeds

Kabir Bhatia
Carolyn Rames, a beekeeper from Richfield, shows bees that she says were killed by pesticides on plants... pesiticides from which genetically engineered plants can be immune
Courtesy of K. Bhatia
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
Millions of protestors worldwide rallied to increase awareness of food produced from genetically modified seed over the weekend, several hundred of them protested in Northeast Ohio. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.
Akron March Against Monsanto

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:41)

About 500 people set out from downtown Akron toward Highland Square, with signs reading “GMOs Cause Cancer” and “March Against Monsanto.” 

GMOs are “genetically modified organisms,” the common name for seeds that have been genetically engineered by companies like Monsanto to be more robust or nutritious. But protestors like Jessica Venditti, a mom of two, says she’s seen health problems as the more likely outcome from eating foods produced by these seeds.

“When you control with a diet that takes out additives, artificial food coloring, GMOs, herbicides, pesticides, all of these illnesses -- ADHD, autism, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia -- do better.”

Just want transparency
But many of the participants I spoke with say banning GMOs is not the goal. Caitlin Murray is a sophomore biochem major at Malone University, and says she just wants foods labeled that contain the technology.

“They should be transparent with what they’re giving us," she says. "That way we can make a choice whether we want to buy GMOs. Obviously, not everyone is not going to make the choice not to buy it.”

The Senate voted against that idea last week by squashing a measure 71-27 that would have let states decide if they want to require labeling. Opponents say the measure would have proven confusing for consumers.

Following an international lead
Julie Costell, chef-owner of Ms. Julie’s Kitchen in Akron, points out that SHE labels all of her food.

“I don’t think it’s all that much to ask. They’re labeling in other countries," she says. "If you’re so proud of it, stick a label on it. A step further is to get people to buy locally grown or grow their own. Then you know for sure. You can use your own seeds and grow your own food year-after-year. Nobody’s in control of your food supply, and then nobody’s in control of your health.”

Growing organically
Growing organically is something Dean McIlvaine has been doing for over a quarter-century on his farm in West Salem. He gets along well with his neighbors, many of whom use GMOs, and he understands that it’s a matter of economic survival.

“All they have to do is plant and spray and harvest their grains. They don’t have to do the tillage we have to for soil preparation. And they don’t do the cultivation for weed control; they let the chemicals do the work.” 

The FDA has said GMO technology is safe, and it’s used in growing most U.S. corn and soybean. Monsanto has argued that genetic engineering improves crop yields. The worldwide protest against GMO’s was organized by a 31-year-old California mother of two, Tami Canal, through a Facebook campaign.

(Click image for larger view.)

Listener Comments:

I couldn't believe my ears, so I looked up the text. Sure enough, you really did say the following: "GMOs are ... seeds that have been genetically engineered by companies like Monsanto to be more robust or nutritious." More robust and nutritious?! This is irresponsible sugarcoating at best.

Posted by: Elizabeth Ramsey (Ohio) on June 7, 2013 5:06AM
Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Ohio Sen. Tom Patton proposes bill for firefighter cancer benefits
Thank you Senator Patton. On behalf of all of those who love our firefighters; we appreciate that someone is standing up for them and their continued health. ??...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University