Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically-Modified Seeds

In this interview with Vandana Shiva, she argues that everything is interconnected: pollinators, seeds, plants, and farmers are all interconnected.  In contrast, she says globalization isn’t real interconnectedness: it’s global corporate with the goal of producing commodities and profits.  Capitalism is a violent form of disconnection, constantly privatizing and enclosing land, knowledge, and nature.

She singles out Monsanto because they’re the biggest seed company in the world, and they’ve taken over so many others.  For Shiva, it comes down to seeds because that’s where life starts; it’s the source of life and its basis of renewal.  To patent a seed is a lie, because it’s a claim that the corporation has invented or created it.

Monsanto to the fight because they’re the biggest seed company.  They control 95% of cotton in India, and have taken over most seed companies in the world.

Shiva also takes on Bill Gates, who claims that GMOs increase yields.  This is totally false, she explains for several interconnected reasons.  First, the pesticide regime that comes along with GMO crops ends up killing vegetables and other subsistence crops that farmers depend on to feed themselves.  These monocultures also creates a perfect environment for weeds and pests.  Finally, the patents and inputs impoverish the farmers and create spiraling cycles of debt, as farmers need to purchase new inputs every year.

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