Why Do So Many Indian Farmers Commit Suicide?

Unlike safety evaluations for drugs, there are no human clinical trials of GM foods. The only published human feeding experiment revealed that the genetic material inserted into GM soy transfers into bacteria living inside our intestines and continues to function. This means that long after we stop eating GM foods, we may still have their GM proteins produced continuously inside us. This could mean:

  • If the antibiotic gene inserted into most GM crops were to transfer, it could create super diseases, resistant to antibiotics
  • If the gene that creates Bt-toxin in GM corn were to transfer, it might turn our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories.

Why Do So Many Indian Farmers Commit Suicide?

The introduction of genetically engineered seeds, and the coercion of Indian farmers to use them, has led to the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history. In India, it’s been estimated that a farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes, typically by ingesting pesticide. But why? The short answer is crop failures, which leaves them in financial ruin.

What many fail to realize is that it’s the genetically engineered (GE) seeds that fail (especially Bt cotton), and GE seeds must be repurchased every year. You’re not allowed to save patented GE seeds, as has been done since the beginnings of agriculture. Bt cotton is much more expensive than traditional cotton seed, requires more water and pesticides, and has failed to produce the increased crop yields promised by Monsanto. A single failed crop combined with lack of financing options can therefore bankrupt a farmer. Others keep going, taking out more and more loans, until they simply cannot ever pay them back.

Michael Specter tries to make light of such statistics stating that the Indian suicide trend is similar to that in France. In my view, we should be horrified to realize that the business of growing food has gotten so financially challenging that even in a country like France a farmer commits suicide every two days —again due to being financially ruined, just like the farmers in India. Interestingly, poisoning by pesticide has actually become the leading method of suicide around the world, according to the World Health Organization.

GMO Promises Fall Flat Because They’re Not Rooted in Truth

David Friedberg is the latest poster boy for Monsanto, as it tries to clean up its image. According to the St. Louis Business Journal:   “Friedberg, a 34-year-old lifelong vegetarian, is emerging as ‘an unlikely champion’ of Monsanto and its genetically modified products… Friedberg, who formerly was a Google Inc. executive, oversees Monsanto’s precision agriculture services… The Wall Street Journal reports that Friedberg’s ‘Silicon Valley pedigree’ is helping open doors for him to advocate for Monsanto in a region that has been anti-GMO… Friedberg said he believes Monsanto’s products help sustain food production for the world’s growing population.”

The claim that GE crops are “necessary” to feed a growing population is a popular mantra among those who do not have an understanding of the whole picture. It’s actually 180 degrees from the truth, as what we really need is to focus on strategies that will promote soil health, and GE crops decimate soil fertility.

Also, besides killing critical soil microbes needed for plant health and nutrition, what many fail to take into account is that GE plants typically require more water, not less, and while many varieties are designed to produce their own internal pesticides, which was meant to reduce pesticide requirements, these plants actually require more pesticides too—just to keep up with the proliferation of resistant pests and weeds!

For example, earlier this summer Bloomberg  reported that “BASF, the world’s biggest chemical maker, plans to produce 50 percent more dicamba weedkiller in Texas to keep pace with anticipated demand from a new generation of genetically modified crops.”

Dicamba is a weed killer linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. And Texas is gearing up to dump 50 percent more of it on its crops in the near future. How is this benefiting anyone’s health and well-being? How are GE crops “saving the world” when they are poisoning the environment and the people eating the food? This is NOT a sensible solution to world hunger. The fact is that 30-50 percent of the four billion tons of food produced around the world each year never reaches a human mouth. Cutting food waste is a critical aspect of preventing hunger as the population grows.

The list of failed GMO promises goes on and on… And countries that recognize these facts and risks are even being more or less blackmailed into accepting GE crops, especially if they’re in need of aid. El Salvador is one such example.  If saving the world was really that high on the list of priorities, the chemical technology industry, led by Monsanto, would hardly engage in the kind of mafia tactics they’ve become famous for…

GMOs Have Labeling Requirements in More Than 60 Countries, Why Not in the US?

The words, “Contain GMOs,” are required on labels in 64 other countries around the world. It is truthful information, and just like added flavors must be labeled “natural or artificial,” and juice must state if it is from concentrate, whether or not an ingredient is genetically engineered falls under truth in labeling. To take it a step further, it prevents fraud.

Free market principles require certain understandings. If you label a product “salmon,” a buyer and seller understand what salmon is. If you splice eel genes into salmon, it is no longer plain, regular old salmon. If you continue to mislabel this eel-spliced fish as salmon, the seller is committing fraud. Labeling GMOs—transgenic plants and animals—is a truthful right of the consumer. We consider non-labeled transgenic products to be fraud that the federal government has allowed based on “substantial equivalence”—a term invented to monopolize and patent life between a few gigantic corporate interests.

Read the full article at the source – click on linkhttp://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/09/16/us-gmo-labeling-expenses.aspx 
photo credit: Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/thenext28days/9444075077

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