'GMO Free Arizona' rallies against Monsanto

'GMO Free Arizona' rallies against Monsanto

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - As Monsanto gets ready to build a 7-acre greenhouse facility in Pima County, many are trying to keep the company out.

GMO Free Arizona is held a rally Tuesday, Feb. 21 to show their opposition to Monsanto.

The rally at the Pima County Administration Building was to be followed by a press conference.

The group said its first goal was to get prevent Monsanto from getting a tax break.

They said since they achieved that, they are hoping to keep Monsanto out.

Last week, Pima County received a letter from the company stating it was withdrawing from the foreign trade zone tax deal.

Read more: Monsanto to go ahead with greenhouse in Pima County without tax help

Now, half a million in tax breaks are not going to Monsanto's planned greenhouse in Marana.

However, the final vote against these tax breaks will happen Tuesday at 9 a.m. during the Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting.

"It is unconscionable that Monsanto would be allowed in. If the mission of the county board of supervisors is to keep the community safe, letting Monsanto in is an exact fail," said Rachel Linden with GMO Free Arizona.

While GMO Free Arizona members are happy Monsanto won't get tax breaks, they have concerns about GMO food and its effect on the community.

They say Monsanto does not have a good track record in other communities and do not want to see the same thing happen in Tucson.

"Our fight has just begun. Our opposition is going to continue, stronger than ever because Monsanto represents a threat to the local food culture that we hold dear in the community," said Melissa Diane Smith, who opposes Monsanto.

Monsanto sent Tucson News Now the following statement in regards to the rally happening Tuesday.

Listening and engaging in constructive dialogue is important to us and over the past few months we've had the opportunity to provide additional information to the community about agriculture, who we are, our greenhouse in Marana, as well as meet and hear from others in the community who support all types farming. We are committed to being a good neighbor and are committed to continuing to engage in constructive dialogue, invest and partner with the community.
 
We hope that as you follow our actions, you note that we have engaged openly and are acting consistently with our mission to provide farmers with tools so they can have better harvests while using natural resources more efficiently. This greenhouse is part of doing just that and we're excited this important work will take place in Marana.
 
We look forward to continuing the conversations with the community as we begin construction and begin partnering and investing in the community. We're working hard, every day, to continue to earn people's trust and show how determined we are to be a good partner in helping to solve some of the world's toughest agricultural challenges.

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