The Pima County Board of Supervisors are set to discuss possible tax breaks for a Monsanto project near Marana next month and will begin public meetings to get feedback beginning this week. In preparation for these events, opponents of Monsanto scheduled two events of their own
On Friday night at Green Fields School they showed the film “The World According to Monsanto” and held a question and answer session with “Going Against GMO’s” author Melissa Diane Smith.
According to a flier advertising the event it was designed to “give an update on the movement against Monsanto and what’s coming in the new year.”
On Saturday afternoon they held a similar event, this time featuring a video about “Hawaii’s Experience with Monsanto” and another presentation by Smith, as well as a panel discussion to learn about the public meetings.
The events were organized by local citizens in cooperation with GMO Free Arizona, GMO Free Baja Arizona, March Against Monsanto Tucson and Organic, Sustainable Baja Arizona.
“The people that I have united with are not activists by nature, but we do care about where we live, and what happens to our neighbors and environment,” said Northwest resident Tom Snyder, who became concerned with the project after reading about lawsuits against Monsanto in California and Washington. When he tried to learn more about the exact nature of the proposed facility outside Marana, he said he ran into trouble requesting documents through the county.
Snyder fears that despite the appearance by the Board of Supervisors to create a commission to further study the project and hold public meetings that they have already essentially rubber stamped the project.
Several opponents of the project spoke out against it at the Jan. 3 Board of Supervisors meeting
In addition to the two public meetings people opposing Monsanto will speak at the Jan. 17 Marana Governing Board meeting asking them to reconsider a previous vote to accept $500,000 in lieu of lost tax payments if Monsanto is granted a reduced property tax rate through the creation of a Foreign Tax Zone.
Smith stressed that it was important to attend as many functions as possible, especially the public meetings.
“It’s very important to have a full house at each of the open public meetings, so we citizens have to spread the word to our fellow citizens,” Smith said.
She pointed out that over 60 people spoke out again the project at a Nov. 22 Board of Supervisors meeting.