Monsanto has caused 250,000 to die in India
Not my claim, this is the assertion made in the new film Bitter Seeds, that Indian farmers who slipping into debt because of the false claims and terminator policies of Monsanto kills themselves every 30 seconds out of sheer hopelessness. Can this possibly be true? If it's even 1/100th that amount, isn't it a monstrous crime?
'Bitter SeedsÃ¢ÂÂ leads a call to action against GMOs
By Blair Madole
Thursday, February 16,2012
In the fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack sells everything he owns for a handful of magic beans. It works out for Jack. He takes on the Giant, wins, and returns home to a happy mother (though she may not send him to market again responsible for the sale of their only livestock).
The story that unfolds in the documentary Bitter Seeds, featured at the Boulder International Film Festival, is about farmers who wager it all on what are promised to be miracle seeds, but land dust and failed crops rather than a magic bean pole. Their ending is far more grim.
A quarter of a million farmers in India have committed suicide in the last 16 years, according to Bitter Seeds. This equates to one farmer killing himself every 30 minutes, all because the miracle cotton seeds they were sold with the promise they would increase yield drove them into debt and failed to produce an ample return. In this tale, the giant they faced is GMO seed producer Monsanto, and they lost.
Historically, Indian farmers have cultivated their own seeds each year. However, when genetically modified seeds were introduced into the market after the World Trade Organization forced India to open its doors to foreign seed companies, things changed. According to Bitter Seeds, directed by Micha X. Peled, Indian farmers were told that, although the seeds are exorbitantly priced, they would produce double the farmersÃ¢ÂÂ normal yield and resist pests. The farmers were not told that the seeds required large amounts of water rarely found in India.
Farmers sought loans from the bank or, when that option failed, signed over their land for a loan from illegal moneylenders who charge extremely high interest rates. They were left relying heavily on a high yield of crops in order to keep their land, and when the crop failed, as it so often did because of lack of water, the farmers had nothing to keep them going.
Here is a link that might be useful: Bitter Seeds trailer