gospel according to Monsanto is that their patented GM seeds and their bovine
growth hormone (BGH) will increase worldwide production of agricultural, dairy
and meat products and Bt cotton to the extent that worldwide hunger and poverty
will be eradicated.
The actual truth is rather the opposite. GMOs are creating serious damage all over the world and artificial rBGH injection in cows cause numerous health problems, and even death.
is not held back by any considerations of ethics and it hides the reality of
its sordid machinations behind a wall of secrecy. Everything Monsanto does is
exclusively with the intent of increasing its own profit -- everything else be
damned. If left to its own devices it will most certainly destroy the
livelihood of millions of farmers -- a process begun a decade ago in India and
certainly in many other countries as well.
The planet's ecosystems will be seriously threatened by
unnatural ways of changing agricultural patterns. The dangers of GMO
cultivation to the environment come in many forms:
- Switching from age-old biodiverse crops that can tolerate low-level amounts of water to industrial monocultures of crops such as GM soya, cotton, sugarcane, etc. that require large amounts of irrigation.
- Inundating cultivated lands with toxic herbicides, in particular the dangerous Monsanto product Roundup, to which the GMO seeds have been made biotechnically resistant. Any other growth should succumb to Roundup, were it not for the fact that weeds to a very large extent become Roundup resistant.
- Putting an end to biological farming and poisoning non GM cultures through pollenization from GM crops and accidental exposure to Roundup herbicide.
- Deforestation to make more land available for the culture of the GM seeds Monsanto sells at high prices to poor farmers.
On top of all these dangers to biodiversity and biological farming comes the fact that Monsanto has patented its products and farmers are legally bound not to save seeds for replanting for the following year. They must buy new seeds from Monsanto every year and the company has a sizeable staff that just deals with prosecuting farmers suspected of illegally using one year's seeds for the planting of the next year's crop.
farming is adapted to existing ecosystems. But age-old biological farming has
had to give room to industrial monocultures that enrich the few and cause
poverty and despair for millions of small farmers. Now there is soil erosion,
destruction of biodiversity and social/economic disasters in tow. Contrary to
Monsanto promises that GM seeds and Roundup would reduce production cost,
farmers now have to pay skyrocketing prices for herbicides, pesticides and
The destructive effects of genetically engineered crops are worldwide, but the extensive damage done in India has been widely documented by Dr Vandana Shiva. She is a physicist and environmentalist as well as a tireless activist and author of many books concerning the nefarious consequences of GM farming as opposed to the wisdom of traditional family and biological farming. She is currently based in New Delhi.
Quote from Dr. Vandana Shiva:
"I am writing this statement from beautiful Doon Valley in the Himalaya where the monsoons have arrived, and our Navdanya (Nine Seeds--Our National Movement on Conservation of Biodiversity) team is busy with transplanting of over 300 rice varieties which we are conserving along with the rich diversity of other agricultural crops. Our farm does not use any chemicals or external inputs. It is a self-regenerative system which preserves biodiversity while meeting human needs and needs of farm animals. Our 2 bullocks are the alternative to chemical fertilisers which pollute soil and water as well as to tractors and fossil fuels which pollute the atmosphere and destabilise the climate."
globalization has become a war against nature and the poor" says Dr. Vandana
"Recently I was visiting Bhatinda in Punjab because of an epidemic of farmers' suicides. Punjab used to be the most prosperous agricultural region in India. Today every farmer is in debt and despair. Vast stretches of land have become waterlogged desert. And, as an old farmer pointed out, even the trees have stopped bearing fruit because heavy use of pesticides has killed the pollinators -- the bees and butterflies.
"And Punjab is not
alone in experiencing this ecological and social disaster. Last year I was in Warangal, Andhra Pradesh,
where farmers have also been committing suicide. Farmers who traditionally grew
pulses and millets and paddy have been lured by seed companies to buy hybrid
cotton seeds referred to as "white gold", which were supposed to make them
millionaires. Instead they became paupers."