Protesters across the Suncoast and the globe rally against Monsanto

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Organizers say protesters rallied in dozens of cities Saturday as part of a global protest against seed giant Monsanto and the genetically modified food it produces.

The say "March Against Monsanto" protests were held in 52 countries and 436 cities, including Los Angeles where demonstrators waved signs that read "Real Food 4 Real People" and "Label GMOs, It's Our Right to Know."

Along the Suncoast, rallies were also held in Sarasota and Venice on Saturday.

Genetically modified plants are grown from seeds that are engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides, add nutritional benefits or otherwise improve crop yields and increase the global food supply.

Most corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in the United States today have been genetically modified. But critics say genetically modified organisms can lead to serious health conditions and harm the environment.

"We just really don't want food that hasn’t been tested thoroughly -- they say that it has been -- to go into our food supplies and not be labeled as such, so that people know what they’re consuming," said Paul Tuttle of Occupy Sarasota.

Monsanto, based in St. Louis, says it respects people's rights to express their opinion on the topic, but maintains that its seeds improve agriculture by helping farmers produce more from their land while conserving resources such as water and energy.