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Vandana Shiva: A “Dinosaur” Mentality Guides The Planet Right Now

2012/07/17

One of the best interviewers on television, Bill Moyers, speaks to one of the global sustainability movement’s “superstars”, physicist and food activist Vandana Shiva. The discussion is wide-ranging but centers around genetically modified seeds/foods and the fight against corporate agro-giant Monsanto:

These seeds — considered “intellectual property” by the big companies who own the patents — are globally marketed to monopolize food production and profits. Opponents challenge the safety of genetically modified seeds, claiming they also harm the environment, are more costly, and leave local farmers deep in debt as well as dependent on suppliers. Shiva, who founded a movement in India to promote native seeds, links genetic tinkering to problems in our ecology, economy, and humanity, and sees this as the latest battleground in the war on Planet Earth.

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For the full 25 minute interview, as well as the full transcript, go to BillMoyers.com.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Martin Lack permalink
    2012/07/17 3:19 pm

    Hi Christine. One of the modules of my MA looked at a range of controversial subjects including nuclear energy and GMOs and, I must admit, I came away from looking at both issues as being incapable of being uninvented. However, much more recently (i.e. last weekend), GMOs were on the news in the UK because scientists now say they could take genes from sweet peas (with nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their root nodules) and put them in cereals – thereby eliminating the need for chemical fertilisers…

    This sounded great, until I remembered that GMOs tend to be incapable of reproduction. I have scoured the Internet and emailed and/or tweeted all sorts of people (including the UK government’s Chief Scientist – Sir John Beddington) but still can’t get a definitive answer. However, if I am right, self-fertilising cereals may well eliminate the need to apply chemical fertilisers to the land (reducing soil, water and food chain contamination) but they will still leave farmers dependent on the GMO producers. If so, this is yet another Trojan Horse from the same mutli-nationals that provided African mums-to-be with powdered baby milk…

    If and when I get a definite answer, I will blog about this issue and link back here.

  2. 2012/07/18 5:34 am

    Interesting background and perspective, Martin, especially your statement that GMO & nuclear energy were “incapable of being uninvented”. I tend to agree with this statement, especially in light of the prevailing global mindset (for which we have the West to thank), that posits that man can manipulate nature around him to serve his own purposes, and without great consequence. We are reaping the consequences of that kind of thinking (climate change is only one of them, but it is a big one).
    There are other ways to eliminate chemical fertilizers in agriculture – GMO isn’t the only (or the best) answer to this problem, but it certainly one big Ag likes, for obvious reasons. As you say, it’s the same folks that sold baby formula in developing nations, and are responsible for Agent Orange. No thanks!

  3. 2012/07/18 10:11 pm

    In the recent book that was also endorsed by Vandana Shiva, “Techno-Fix: Why Technology Won’t Save Us or the Environment” (www.technofix.org), a very strong case is made that all technological developments, from GMO crops and industrial agriculture to high-tech medical care, are directed by the imperative of profit maximization, with average people having very little, if any input. GMOs and industrialized food production are just one symptom of the pervasive disease found in all industrialized societies where almost everything is done to maximize profits for the top 1% with little regard for people (99%) or the environment. At the same time, we are told we live in a democracy. What a joke. Neither the development of modern technologies that affect us profoundly in everyday life (i.e., GMOs, food supply, medical care, transportation, communication, and so on) nor our work environment, which is tightly controlled by a top down corporate dictatorship called “management” is democratic. Many of our environmental problems, such as GMOs, are a failure of democracy and can only be solved by people taking back the power that was stolen from them by corporations and their owners. What can an individual do regarding GMOs: Just eat organic food and starve out Monsanto.

    • M Wings permalink
      2012/07/22 12:50 pm

      “As is the food, so is the mind”. Dr. Vandana Shiva is a wake-up call for all of us.
      Interesting interview from an upcoming documentary film. Share the love.

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