Nagpur: Tomorrow, world over, people of different countries are uniting to march against Monsanto, an American agricultural seed company. Why such resistance and opposition to someone making something ‘harmless, like seeds?’
The reply is that this ONE Company has succeeded in creating a world wide monopoly over Cotton and Soyabean seeds world wide. Not just plain seeds that too, but genetically modified ones. GM implies two things:
- Genes of Soyabean/ Cotton are mated with genes of another organism, creating a new breed not found in nature. The hazards of this on the atmosphere have not been studied in depth and are therefore a still unknown risk – because Man is attempting to play God.
- These seeds cannot be multiplied in the next generation i.e. a farmer cannot use seed from this year’s produce to sow again next year in his farm as he has been doing for centuries.
- Genetically modified plants require a particular kind of weedicide, called Glyphosate which is again a monopoly of Monsanto.
- In the quest to increase Soyabean and Cotton plantation, traditional seed oils that people were using like ground nut, til, jawas, coconut, mustard have been systematically portrayed as unhealthy and their usage has drastically gone down leading to many health problems. Because the fact is that Soyabean oil, which is consumed by maximum Indians today, has been considered unfit for human consumption all these years.
- Scientists are apprehensive that disorders like Autism in children and the occurence of cancer are increasing due to usage of Glyphosate pesticide. (In 1975, 1 in every 5000 child would develop autism. In 1985, it was 1 in every 2,500. In 1995 , it was 1 in every 500, in 2005 in was 1 in every 166 and today it is approximately 1 in every 68 children. This is exactly why scientists are making some extraordinary statements – from an American study.)
The resistance to Monsanto and GM crops has now spread to other crops as well –
Early Sunday morning, French police stood helpless as sixty people, locked inside an open-air field of genetically modified grapevines, uprooted all the plants.
In Spain last month, dozens of people destroyed two GMO fields. On the millennial cusp, Indian farmers burned Bt cotton in their Cremate Monsanto campaign. Ignored by multinational corporations and corrupt public policy makers, citizens act to protect the food supply and the planet.
The French vineyard is the same field attacked last year when the plants were only cut. But the security features installed after that incident kept authorities at bay while the group accomplished its mission yesterday.
Speaking for the group, Olivier Florent told Le Figaro that they condemned the use of public funds for open-field testing of GMOs “that we do not want.”
Pitching tents in the rain near France’s National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA) site in Colmar the night before, the group waited until 5 AM before converging on the site and locking the gates behind them. They uprooted all 70 plants, then submitted to arrest.
This is the second attack on GMO crops to make international news this year. In July dozens of people destroyed two experimental corn crops in Spain.
In an anonymous press release, they wrote,
“This kind of direct action is the best way to respond to the fait accompli policy through which the Generalitat, the State and the biotech multinationals have been unilaterally imposing genetically modified organisms.”
In the 1990s, Indian farmers burnt Bt cotton fields in their Cremate Monsanto campaign.
So who is promoting Monsanto and foisting GM seeds on the rest of the world?
Shockingly, the American administration, right from the American President himself!
Word is that Obama’s wife Michelle, allows only Organic food in her kitchen for her family, but her husband wants the rest of the world to consume Monsanto produced Soya and Cotton seed oil.
Monsanto is such a large MNC that it wields that kind of a clout.
This is the kind of destructive monopoly that people world over are uniting to fight tomorrow.
Tomorrow at 5 p.m. many concerned environmentalists and proponents of Organic farming are going to join the ” World March against Monsanto” beginning at 5 p.m. from the RBI square.
In a press conference held today, they hit out at Monsanto claims of ‘better yields, more nutritious, requires less pesticides, is safe… etc. etc.’ citing how it was always better to consume indigenous and locally available food grains that our bodies are adapted to since time immemorial.
What is good commerce for an American Company is definitely neither healthy nor needed by us!
Amidst such world wide opposition there is news that German agrochemicals giant Bayer might be buying over Monsanto or aquiring its shares to consolidate its world wide market.