Friday, April 17, 2009

Indian Farmers Commit Mass Suicide: Blame Genetically Modified Crops

"The headline has been hard to ignore. Across the world press, news media have announced that over 1,500 farmers in the Indian state of Chattisgarh committed suicide. The motive has been blamed on farmers being crippled by overwhelming debt in the face of crop failure.
In the last ten years, the problem has been reaching epidemic proportions. In one region of India alone 1,300 cotton farmers took their own lives in 2006, but the culprit cannot rest solely on a falling water table.
As the Independent article continues:
Bharatendu Prakash, from the Organic Farming Association of India, told the Press Association: "Farmers' suicides are increasing due to a vicious circle created by money lenders. They lure farmers to take money but when the crops fail, they are left with no option other than death."
But there's more to the story than that. Farmer suicides can be attributed to, "something far more modern and sinister: genetically modified crops," the UK's Daily Mail reports.
Shankara, like millions of other Indian farmers, had been promised previously unheard of harvests and income if he switched from farming with traditional seeds to planting GM seeds instead.
Beguiled by the promise of future riches, he borrowed money in order to buy the GM seeds. But when the harvests failed, he was left with spiraling debts -- and no income.
So Shankara became one of an estimated 125,000 farmers to take their own life as a result of the ruthless drive to use India as a testing ground for genetically modified crops.
And no company has been as notorious in the business as the U.S. agra-giant Monsanto."

http://www.alternet.org/workplace/137059/1%2C500_indian_farmers_commit_mass_suicide%3A_why_we_are_complicit_in_these_deaths/?page=entire

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