Until a few months ago, I didn’t know who Vandana Shiva was. Now I think of her as India’s Sitting Bull — a well-educated freedom fighter who is outspoken against the use of GMOs.
In Shiva’s home country of India, thousands of farmers are taking their lives. In the mainstream news media, reports of the mass suicides are blamed on failed crops. Shiva tells a different story. She blames failed GMO crops.
Monsanto comes to India promising illiterate farmers radical yield increases (empty promises), and in turn the farmer (usually for the first time in his life) takes on debt to buy Monsanto’s seeds. He then has to take on additional debt to pay for the accompanying herbicides, pesticides, irrigation, and machinery needed to make these GMO crops grow. If they don’t have the credit to buy the whole package — say they couldn’t afford to irrigate their fields and instead relied on rain which never came (or came at the wrong time in the sensitive lifespan of the GE plant) — then they experience a loss: no increased yields, and now mountains of unpayable debt.
The result? They take their lives.
You can understand why Dr. Shiva is so passionate.
Recently, she sat down for a three part interview with the folks at Cooking Up A Story. In this first part (shown below), Vandana Shiva begins to outline some of the environmental, economic, and health dangers associated wtih GMO crops.
It’s a must see.
Some highlights from this segment:
- Monarch butterflies fed pollen from BT corn (a Monsanto GMO corn) die. If it affects the butterflies like this, what is it doing to us?
- How the use of GMOs adversely affect the food sovereignty of developing countries & the ability of nations to feed their own people.
- The right of a people to have access to their own seeds, and to choose the traits they wish to propagate.
This blog post is part of the No-GMO Challenge blog carnival taking place each Monday. Please visit the No GMO Challenge blog for more stories about GMOs and other people who are doing the No GMO Challenge and their experiences of avoiding GM foods.
(photo by samirluther)