(Florida Today) MELBOURNE -- Protests against the Monsanto Company in Melbourne and Cocoa Beach were just two of over 400 protests in 50 countries in six contents against a corporation they believe has prioritized financial gain over the general's public health by not only producing food with genetically modified organisms but also leading the fight to prevent food that has been genetically modified from being labeled as such.
"We're essentially fighting corporate greed," said John Fino of Melbourne Beach. "When you have a company like Monsanto who wants to put patents on our food, obviously the American people should be against this and I certainly am against it and they're using genetically-modified organisms in our food and ultimately I think that's a horrendous thing for our health."
Around 100 people marched in the Downtown Melbourne area, beginning at City Hall around noon. Some held signs following the march on Strawbridge Ave. in Melbourne following the demonstration, including Maria Gnam of Melbourne Beach.
"It's terribly corrupting our food supply. Since they continue to lobby so that their food is unlabeled, it's taken our alternatives of being able to choose other products that don't have these things out," said Gnam. "So we want to make sure that the politicians understand that we want these GMOs label so we can choose these foods that doesn't include them."
Though the labeling of genetically modified organisms is required in many other countries, it isn't in the United States. Demonstrators hope to change that fact.
"I think people have the right to make an informed decision as to what type of food they want to eat and one way of doing this is to label the food," added Fino.
It's not the first time protests have been held against the company and marches worldwide were held in May and October last year.
"I think it's picking up steam. More and more countries seem to be a part of this, added Fino. "Hopefully one day, we'll at least get our food labeled indicating that there are certain foods that are genetically modified and there are those that are not genetically modified."
Representatives from Monsanto have claimed in the past that the foods including genetically modified organisms were safe. A representative from the company reached out to FLORIDA TODAY and offered the following response:
"The 22,000 people of Monsanto are committed to having an open dialogue about food and agriculture – we're proud of the work we do, and we're eager for people to know more about us," said Charla Lord of Monsanto Company in an e-mail. "We're also proud of our collaboration with farmers and partnering organizations that help make a more balanced meal accessible for everyone. Our goal is to help farmers do this using fewer resources and having a smaller impact on the environment. We know people have different points of view on these topics, and it's important that they're able to express and share them."
Those opinions were clearly not shared by those in attendance at rallies throughout the world, including in Melbourne.
"No matter how you slice it, Monsanto is doing whatever they have to do to make a profit," added Fino.