Asheville, NC— Asheville City Councilmember Cecil Bothwell is scheduled to speak about the impact of GMOs on honeybee farmers at Sunday's March Against Monsanto in Pack Square. The March is the second to be held in Asheville this year and will be one of over 400 held worldwide this weekend. Participants of Sunday's rally will gather in Pack Square to speak out against the mass manufacture of genetically-modified seeds by large corporations such as Monsanto, which are overwhelmingly unregulated and harmful to small organic farmers.
The March will begin at 1:30 p.m., followed by a rally featuring speakers, live music, and non-GMO food vendors. Bothwell will speak as a representative of Bee City USA, a program which advocates consideration for pollinators and honeybees when shaping municipal plannings, farm policy, and recommendations to city homeowners. As Council liaison to the Sustainability Committee on Energy and the Environment (SACEE), Bothwell brought to Council the effort to make Asheville the first Bee City, USA.
“The honeybee population is at serious risk from the growth of genetically-modified crops,” Bothwell said. “Meanwhile, Western North Carolina has one of the most diverse honey-crop environments in the world. Monsanto could jeopardize that environment, and I think that people from across the state will come to this rally to speak out against GMOs for that reason and for many other reasons as well.”
The use of GMO seeds in big farming have forced organic farmers out of the market at an alarming rate. Further, Monsanto and other big agriculture firms have successfully placed enough pressure on the government so that, to date, there is no national law requiring food producers to reveal the presence of GMOs in their products.
For more information on Sunday's March Against Monsanto, visit the event Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/382173501909090/.
Incumbent Cecil Bothwell is running for re-election for another four-year term on the Asheville City Council. Bothwell is an investigative reporter, builder, organic gardener and public servant. He also serves as Council liaison to the Sustainability Committee on Energy and the Environment (SACEE) and as chair of the Public Safety Committee.