From the French Revolution in the eighteenth century, the March On Washington in the twentieth century to the current Dakota Access Pipeline protests in the twenty first century, the power of individuals standing up for what they believe in has been around for hundreds of years. The ability for groups of people to openly protest and defy convention in order to produce and influence change is nothing short of amazing. This kind of unique demonstration is seen across the globe, just recently in Argentina. Citizens all over Argentina have been protesting the construction of a new GMO Seed Plant owned by the Monsanto Corporation in the town of Malvinas. According to an article published on Nature News, the negative public reaction halted construction in 2014 and thanks to peaceful protests, petitions and open dialogues with the Argentina government, as of 2016 plans for the GMO Seed Plant have officially been cancelled.
The Monsanto Corporation is notorious for being an intensely controversial agricultural company. The corporation mainly comes under public scrutiny due to its continued use of genetically modified organisms for the harvesting of fruits and vegetables. When asked to comment on the corporation’s decision to cancel construction of the plant in Malvinas, Argentina, an unknown spokesman stated: “The plant was designed to treat 3.5 million hectares of maize (corn), however last year only 2.5 million hectares were sown. An investment of almost 1500 million makes no sense.” Despite the financial considerations, the spokesman also claimed that the protests and general public stigma also contributed greatly to the decision.
Although Argentina has won the fight over this particular GMO plant, the Monsanto Corporation still is impacting other sources in the country. According to Nature News, the corporation is still manufacturing toxic chemicals, GM-produced soy and GM grain-fed beef. Other plants are also potentially being built in other parts of Argentina, meaning that anti-GMO activists will still have to continue to protest and boycott. The GMO Seed Plant is now in the process of being dismantled in Malvinas. Once the site is completely gone, the hope is for an organic and sustainable environment to take its place. This is a huge step in freeing Argentina from GMO plants owned by the Monsanto Corporation and a clear demonstration of the power of the people. Change can happen when we gain strength in numbers.