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April 17, 2014

Soup’s On for FDA Protest

Food activists opposed to genetically modified crops will take their fight to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration next week, sponsoring an old school eat-in at the agency’s College Park, Md., campus staged around a truly historic meal.

The anti-GMO protest is scheduled for 8 a.m.-6 p.m. April 8 outside the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (5100 Paint Branch Parkway) and will feature a full day of activities. It will include the preparation and consumption of a massive cauldron — “Don’t forget to bring your own bowl, spoon, mug, and vegetables!” the group advocates on its promotional materials — of all-inclusive “stone soup.”

Occupy Monsanto organizer Adam Eidinger told HOH that the event is geared toward one simple goal: a clear understanding of what we are all eating.

“We want transparency. This is a very reasonable thing to ask for,” he said, adding that protesters would, obviously, also have plenty to say about the controversial agri-industrial safeguards that hitched a ride to President Barack Obama’s desk via a recent spending bill.

“We’re going to be talking about the Plant Protection Act, the Monsanto Protection Act … same thing as far as we’re concerned,” Eidinger said. But since that’s already been inked into law — “It should be taken out when the next budget is approved,” Eidinger counseled — organizers are focusing their efforts at proactive rather than retroactive changes.

Part of that outreach will include urging demonstrators to take control of their personal eating habits. Attendees are invited to bring heirloom seeds to share/swap and are encouraged to bring whatever vegetables/herbs they care to contribute to the communal soup party.

Eidinger credited activists from The Real Cooperative (Asheville, N.C.) with dreaming up the bring-your-own-vegetable format. He said chef Jonny Motto, who plies his steamy trade at TAAN restaurant in Adams Morgan, had volunteered to tend to the giant 200-quart pot of communal brew.

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