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Exercise Democracy at The World Food Day Rally

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By Gabriela Worrel / Special to LAistThis Sunday, October 16, Angelenos can participate in democracy by attending the World Food Day Rally at the Westwood Federal Building. Regular folks will be gathering from 12pm to 4pm to show their support for food security locally and worldwide.

2011 marks the 31st celebration of World Food Day, which began in 1981 to recognize and bring awareness to the work of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which works to improve food security around the world. In fact, hunger and food security are real issues in L.A., given that the county has the highest rate of food insecurity in the nation. L.A. Times reported earlier this year that "more than 1.7 million Los Angeles County residents struggled with hunger in 2009, more than in any other county in America, according to new research published by Feeding America, the country’s largest network of food banks."

One aspect of food security is access to healthy food. Groups like LabelGMOs, the Organic Consumers Association’s Millions Against Monsanto campaign and the Institute for Responsible Technology are supporting the event. Said organizations plan to speak about the need to label Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in an effort to establish long-term access to healthy food. An effort is currently underway to approve a ballot initiative aimed at requiring GMOs to be labeled in California which will allow consumers to choose whether or not to eat food labeled ‘GMO’. The Organic Consumers Association, a national nonprofit organization that has been outspoken for the labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms, notes in a press release that “Consumer Activists…demand labeling of genetically modified foods and they’re urging activist around the country to ‘Rally for the Right to Know’ locally.” Such activists point out that there are significant health, environmental and economic concerns associated with the persistence of GMOs in the food system.

Local residents who would like to participate in the rally should bring their own signs specifying their support for food security and park behind the federal building. The event is also drawing some interest from Occupy L.A. protestors, in light of overlapping concerns over what they view as excessive corporate control of the food system.

Check out our previous Label GMO 2012 Campaign coverage:
http://laist.com/2011/09/24/is_california_poised_to_change_the_food_landscape.php
http://laist.com/2011/10/10/hidden_in_our_food_gmos_your_right_to_know.php