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Protesters march outside Gates Foundation

SEATTLE >> About 40 protesters marched in front of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Friday to urge the organization to sever its ties with chemical manufacturer Monsanto Co.

KPLU-FM reports the Seattle protest was led by Agra Watch, a local group opposed to the Gates Foundation’s grants supporting research into genetically modified crops.

Agra Watch believes the crops will harm poor farmers overseas and that supporting Monsanto’s research only works to advance American agri-business interests.

Monsanto is the world’s leading manufacturer of genetically modified seeds, bovine growth hormone and Round-Up.

The man who heads the foundation’s agriculture program says there are a lot of misconceptions about what the organization is trying to do to improve farming in poor countries.

Roy Steiner says the foundation has put only a small amount of its development grants into genetically modifying seeds.

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