The GMO Suicides

ox cartSince 1997, there have been over 200,000 suicides by farmers in India’s Cotton Belt.

The entry of Monsanto in the Indian seed sector was made possible with a 1998 Seed Policy imposed by the World Bank, requiring the Government of India to deregulate the seed sector.¹

In 1997-98, Monsanto started open field trials of its GMO Bt cotton illegally with the intent to sell the seeds the following year.¹

Cotton seed has historically been among farmers’ lowest expenses. During the harvest, cotton growers would cultivate crop seeds and save them for the following season. As a general practice, they also would swap seeds with neighboring farmers, ensuring through natural selection that subsequent generations of cotton seed would be best suited for the region. Although local cotton did not provide the same potential yields as cotton seed from the Americas, it had adapted to India’s unique climate — an intense monsoon season followed by months of drought.²

After the introduction of GMO seeds, fifty percent of an Indian farmer’s debt was for the purchase of new seeds. GMO seeds cost up to 10 times more than traditional seeds and are structured to self destruct, ensuring that farmers must purchase new seeds the following year—further increasing their debt.²

To afford GMO cotton seeds, the farmer must take out a seed loan from the State Bank of India. If the crop fails, which is highly probable since GMO cotton is designed for use in irrigated fields, the farmer will not be able to pay back the loan and will be denied a second loan. The farmer then will turn to an unregulated private moneylender who charges usurious rates, sometimes as high as 100 percent. A second crop failure, or even an underperforming crop, can place the farmer in a hole so deep that many turn to suicide.²

As Monsanto’s profits grow, farmers’ debt grows. It is in this systemic sense that Monsanto’s seeds are seeds of suicide.¹

jim carey monsanto

 

 

 

Credits:

¹Global Research: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-seeds-of-suicide-how-monsanto-destroys-farming/5329947

² Combat-monsanto.co.uk: http://www.combat-monsanto.co.uk/spip.php?article549

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2 thoughts on “The GMO Suicides

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