12/1 KILLER SEEDS: The Devastating Impacts of Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Seeds in India

KILLER SEEDS: The Devastating Impacts of Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Seeds in India

by Iqbal Ahmed

Jan 12th 2012

Monsanto’s operation in India illustrates monopolization and manipulation of the market economy, tradition, technology, and misgovernance. The world’s largest producer of genetically engineered seeds has been selling genetically modified (GM) in India for the last decade to benefit the Indian farmers – or so the company claims.

In a country of more than 550 million farmers who are largely poor and uneducated and the agriculture market rife with inefficient business practices, the Indian government sought to reform the market by eliminating subsidies and loans to the farmers.

The government reform did not help the farmers. With pressure from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Indian government has “forced market liberalization on India which means the elimination of government subsidies and government-backed loans to farmers.”

Enter Monsanto with its “magic” GM seeds to transform the lives of the poor Indian farmers.

The U.S. agri-business giant took full advantage of its entry into the Indian market. It entered into an agreement with state governments including Rajasthan and Andhara Pradesh to introduce a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that dictated the terms of disseminating the GM technology in Indian market.

For Monsanto, it is one thing to convince farmers to use artificial seeds for the purposes of enriching their lives, it is quite another to manipulate nature and technology to profit from them.

Killer Seeds

The irony is GM seeds have not been effective in India and the consequences are not as rosy as what Monsanto had promised to deliver. Scathing reports of mass suicides of the Indian farmers broke out as recently as three years ago when scores of farmers took their own lives in order to escape the burden of high price and failure of Monsanto’s GM seeds.

Monsanto offered its GM seeds to the farmers of India with hopes of reaping plentiful crops. Plain and mostly uneducated farmers thought Monsanto has come to provide a “magic” formula that would transform their lives. They had no idea what was coming.

Monsanto’s seeds in India did not produce what the company had promised and farmers hoped. The expensive seeds piled up debts and destroyed farming fields. In many instances, the crops simply failed to materialize. The farmers were not aware that the GM seeds required more water than the traditional seeds. And lack of rain in many parts of India exacerbated the crop failure.

With no harvest, the farmers could not pay back the lenders. Burdened with debts and humiliation, the farmers simply took their own lives, some by swallowing poisonous pesticides in front of their families. To date, an estimated 200,000 farmers have committed suicide all over India.

To add to the misery, wives inherited the debts along with the fear of losing their homes and lands. With no money coming in, they also had to pull their kids from the schools. The mass suicide among the Indian farmers is known as the “GM genocide.”

In its company website Monsanto declares that its pledge is “our commitment to how we do business.” And then there are the business philosophies with virtuous words like “integrity” and “transparency.”

Monsanto’s business practices in India quite remarkably live up to the company’s motto. It purposefully leverages its power and influence in government to penetrate farming markets with motive but without morale.

Market Power

Using its colossal market power, Monsanto craftily penetrated into the Indian markets.

Monsanto convinced the Indian government that its GM seeds would produce better crops. According to a report by Farm Wars, one former Managing Director of Monsanto claimed that Monsanto manipulated research data “to get commercial approvals for its products in India.”

Indian regulatory agencies, instead of verifying the data, simply remained compliant with the findings of what Monsanto presented. “They did not even have a test tube to validate the data and, at times, the data itself was faked,” the Farm Wars report says.

Government regulations worked in favor of Monsanto to monopolize the Indian seed market. For example, “Prime Minsiter’s Office” in India pressured various state governments to sign MOUs with Monsanto to privatize the seed market.

Through these “vested interests” with the Indian government, Monsanto eventually has monopolized the GM seed market for more than a decade.

Unable to purchase traditional seeds, the farmers had to pay a hefty price for the expensive GM seeds. Many farmers had to borrow money from the local lenders to buy Monsanto’s seeds. To cite an example of how expensive the GM seeds are, 100 grams of GM cost $15 to the farmers compared with $15 for 1000 grams of traditional seeds.

Vandana Shiva, a renowned scientist and activist in India, wrote that Monsanto had also planned to control water in India. Its aim was to control water supply through privatization. In other words, Monsanto sought to profit from water, a lifeline of Indian livelihood. By seeking control of water, Monsanto also seized the opportunity to benefit from the scarce water supply that plagues communities throughout India.

Manipulation and Misinformation

The failure of Monsanto’s GM seeds was palpable. The farmers held onto their hopes for better crops after they had planted the “magic” seeds. Their crops never came. Throughout the villages in India the harvest from the GM seeds failed. The parasites destroyed the so-called “pest-proof” GM seeds.

Monsanto uses methods of manipulation and misinformation to reap their own benefits and profits at the cost of the farmers who rely on organic methods to grow their crops and animals, a tradition that existed in India for centuries.

By a contractual clause, the farmers could not save Monsanto’s GM seeds for reuse after the first season.

Whether or not the farmers understood this legal binding would merit an examination to underscore the extent of Monsanto’s market power and conniving business practices. Misleading and forcing farmers to buy the GM seeds through government policy and market monopoly must be purged as part of reforming the Indian agricultural market.

Action Against GM seeds

Prince Charles does not like what Monsanto is doing or causing to the lives of the farmers in India. He has expressed his contempt for the “bio-tech leaders” and “politicians” who have caused suicides among the Indian farmers. His charity organization promotes “long-term benefits of sustainable agriculture” that would provide “decent returns” to the farmers.

Facing pressure from the anti-GM seed activists, NGOs, and local communities, the Indian government gave in. In 2010, Indian Environment Minister issued a temporary “moratorium” on Monsanto to introduce genetically engineered egg plant seeds in India. Only time will tell how long this policy effects will last.

In a country where money, politics, and business often go hand in hand, the farmers are at the mercy of their own fate.

Iqbal Ahmed is a public policy graduate student at George Mason University, Arlington, VA. He completed a study abroad program at Oxford University, UK in summer 2011 on European Union (EU) policies. He has written for Foreign Policy Journal, Journal of Foreign Relations, Foreign Policy in Focus, Global Politician, Eurasia Review, and NPR’s “This I believe.”

Global Research Articles by Iqbal Ahmed

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28629

Monsanto’s Evil

Those people are evil pure and simple. Monsanto equates to 666 in base 6 English numerology. Simply call A 6 and B 12 and so on. Blow the whistle on these bastards before it’s too late.

TheBondageBreaker 2 months ago

GIVING FULL CONTROL- THINK ABOUT THAT!

MONEY- FOOD – ETC ETC ETC ETC!

One response to “12/1 KILLER SEEDS: The Devastating Impacts of Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Seeds in India

  1. http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28629

    NewDaysOldWays1 on 24 Aug 2010

    FIGHT SENATE BILL S510…..WHY? We are told genetic foods are safe but in this documentary we are told something very different, and what we are told in this vids is that genetic foods are safe but in this documentary we are told something very different, and what we are told in this documentary is backed up by shocking facts. The connections between Monsanto and the FDA are very alarming, many highly influential politicians have worked for and or have tie with Monsanto. We are told that the FDA can be trusted but when you look at the facts they prove they can’t when it comes to Monsanto. Look at this: Clarence Thomas Prior to being the Supreme Court Judge who put George W. Bush in office, Clarence Thomas was Monsanto’s lawyer, Anne Veneman, Former US Secretary of Agriculture Anne Veneman was on the Board of Directors of Monsanto’s Calgene Corporation, Donald Rumsfeld Secretary of Defense was on the Board of Directors of Monsanto’s Searle pharmaceuticals, Tommy Thompson Former US Secretary of Health received $50,000 in donations from Monsanto during his winning campaign for Wisconsin’s governor and the two congressmen receiving the most donations from Monsanto during the 2000 election were Larry Combest (Former Chairman of the House Agricultural Committee) and Missouri senate candidate John Ashcroft is Attorney General. (Source: Dairy Education Board

    In order for the FDA to determine if Monsanto’s growth hormones were safe or not, Monsanto was required to submit a scientific report on that topic. Margaret Miller, one of Monsanto’s researchers put the report together. Shortly before the report submission, Miller left Monsanto and was hired by the FDA. Her first job for the FDA was to determine whether or not to approve the report she wrote for Monsanto. In short, Monsanto approved its own report. Assisting Miller was another former Monsanto researcher, Susan Sechen. Deciding whether or not rBGH-derived milk should be labeled fell under the jurisdiction of another FDA official, Michael Taylor, who previously worked as a lawyer for Monsanto.

    There are also major deals and connections between not only Bush’s administration but to Bush himself and his whole family of swine. If your interested then do an internet search for “Bush” and “Monstano” and you’ll find tons of very good investigation on the subject.

    FAIR USE NOTICE: This video may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes only. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

    Category:
    News & Politics

    HOW CROOKED THE USA IS WHEN LOBBYS- LOBBY….

    PIZZAS’ ARE VEGETABLES…

    WHY SO- THERE SOME TOMATOE ON THEM…

    AMERICAN SCHOOLS KIDS WEIGHT PROBLEMS ARE TERRIBLE- YET PIZZAS’ ARE PUSHED ON THEM IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS—

    THE COMPANY THAT MAKES THIS CRAP FOOD- SOOTHES THE PALMS OF POLITICIANS WITH $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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