January 28 was a cold day in St. Louis. Just outside the city at the Monsanto’s Creve Coeur headquarters, protesters bundled up and braved the elements to voice opposition against the seed giant and the destruction of agriculture that they represent. By the end of the day, however, protesters would be jailed and Monsanto would operate business as usual.
Forty protesters were present, there to demonstrate against the seed giant and support shareholder resolutions that would have changed Monsanto practices from the inside. The move is somewhat similar to others such as the March Against Monsanto and Monsanto Video Revolt, both of which have heavy support from NaturalSociety’s Anthony Gucciardi and many others.
Both resolutions failed, but the fact that they got any support from Monsanto shareholders is a positive sign.
The activists held signs, sang songs, and waved at passing traffic while the meeting was going on.
One of the resolutions, offered by shareholder Adam Eidinger, sought to compel the seed giant to work with the FDA in labeling all food containing genetically modified ingredients. Eidinger knew it wouldn’t pass, but he was hoping for at least 7% support from other shareholders. It received 4%.
The other resolution was offered by shareholder John Harrington and dealt with the contamination of organic farms with Monsanto seeds. It received slightly more support, with 6.5% of shareholders approving it.
Still the company recommended both resolutions be opposed and they were quickly squashed.
Local police spent about an hour clearing the road and arresting those responsible.
“Nobody was hurt, and no property was damaged,” said Creve Coeur Police Chief Glenn Eidmann.
Police arrested eleven, all of whom faced misdemeanor charges.
For their part, Monsanto criticized the protesters’ approach.
“While we respect each individual’s right to express their point of view on these topics, we do not believe unlawful actions are an appropriate way to further any cause,” said Monsanto spokesman Tom Helscher. “We hope that St. Louisans know Monsanto people for their role in the community and know Monsanto Co. for its commitment to St. Louis.”