Resources Research

Making local sense of food, urban growth, population and energy

Monsanto, get out of India!

with 7 comments

On 9th August 2011, which is 69 years since the Quit India movement was launched in India as part of the freedom struggle, marches will be held in major Indian cities to throw out GM crops, industrial agriculture, corporate land grabs, and the multinational companies who are profiting at the expense of millions of small farming families.

India’s kisan swaraj movement – farmers’ independent self-reliance – has said that the question of who controls our agriculture – our crores of farmers or a few big corporations – has deep ramifications for the whole society.

“We all have a big stake in whether unsafe genetically modified foods will be thrust on us, whether unsafe agri-chemicals would further damage our water, soil and health, whether 10 crore (100 million) farmer families will lose their livelihoods, whether our rural and urban areas will be sustainable and whether we would have safe, diverse and nutritious food to eat.”

The 9th of August 2011 is to be a day of action which aims to strengthen the broader struggle against corporate domination of agriculture by focusing on its most potent symbol. From Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and other towns and cities in India, a strong signal will be sent that citizens will not tolerate corporate domination of our food and farming systems.

This call is being put out by Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA), an all-India network of about 400 organisations of farmers, agricultural workers, consumers, social activists and academics, working to promote ecologically sustainable agriculture and secure livelihoods for farmers, and stop corporate domination of our agriculture and food system.

Monsanto’s Misdeeds and Growing Threat in India – A few indications about the dangers of Monsanto and the extent of its control [get the English pamphlet here / get the Hindi pamphlet here]:
1. Mahyco-Monsanto used its Bt cotton seed monopoly to set exorbitant prices. The Andhra Pradesh government had to use the MRTP Commission,  Essential Commodities Act and then a special Act to finally push its price from Rs.1800 per packet to Rs.750.
2. Monsanto actually sued Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat state governments that they have no right to control seed prices – with Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi as its lawyer! How can individual farmers protect themselves from its legal machine?
3. Monsanto entered into licensing agreements with most seed companies so that out of 225 lakh acres of GM cotton, 210 lakh acres is planted with its Bollgard. During 2002-2006, Monsanto earned Rs.1600 crores just in the form of royalties.
4. Monsanto is on the Board of US-India Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture, under which bio-safety regime for GM crops was sought to be weakened; repeating its US strategy where its lawyers practically wrote the policies on GM seeds and patents.
5. Monsanto entered into hushed-up agreements with several states  (Rajasthan, Orissa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir) under which the states spend hundreds of crores of public funds every year to purchase Hybrid Maize seeds from Monsanto and distributing them free of cost to farmers, creating a ready market.
6. Monsanto is pushing the sales of its herbicide glyphosate which is known to cause reproductive problems. Approval for its herbicide-tolerant GM crops would skyrocket the use of this hazardous chemical in our fields.
7. Recently, gross violations were exposed in its GM maize field trials in Karnataka.

Written by makanaka

August 8, 2011 at 20:23

7 Responses

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  1. Monsanto crops and RoundUp do not cause problems tthese stories and not laid. There is zero evidence of harm. Monsanto technology has greatly increased yields in India and Indian farmers have benefited. What gross violations in corn> There are no harmful violations. I lot it when a company gives away its product it is somehow harmful? Since when are free trials dangerous and harmful?

    You are really full of it aren’t you

    Tony

    August 9, 2011 at 08:25

    • Dear Tony. Thanks for your comments. We have the evidence we need to make our choice. That choice is to remove industrial agriculture and corporate control of food from our country.

      makanaka

      August 9, 2011 at 10:58

    • these stories are fully supported by various evidences…this is just another strategy to drain all our wealth and promoting the concept of “rich gets richier while poor getts poorer. Also Mr Tony I think you need to chech your source of information once again when you give the above comments.

      Megha

      August 14, 2012 at 13:02

  2. usually farmers who depend only on themselves – fail. farmers who form coops do better . When they use the best seed and techniques they win

    Tony

    August 9, 2011 at 08:26

  3. […] [See earlier post, 'Monsanto, get out of India!'] […]

  4. […]   Seed security – who is stealing our seeds or are seeds at some risk? Did I miss out on this in the newspapers? A further reading on this matter brings me to the seed security bill. And as is […]

  5. […] security – who is stealing our seeds or are seeds at some risk? Did I miss out on this in the newspapers? A further reading on this matter brings me to the seed security bill. And as is […]


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