The Monsanto Company has long stated its allegiance to farmers, and claims that their livelihoods have been the number one motivator behind their business model comprised of patented genetically engineered seeds and a vast array of farming chemicals.
But the company has struggled to shake off unending criticism for their actions, including everything from widespread destruction caused by their chemicals across the United States to misery caused by the failed promises of GMO corn in the Philippines.
Perhaps the most infamous of all is the story of how Monsanto’s seeds, chemicals and contracts have allegedly “biowrecked” the fields of India — and ultimately the lives of thousands of farmers, too.
Small Farms Hurting from Monsanto Seeds, Author Says
Speaking to the website RT.com in a recent interview, Alakanada Nag said that small farms in India were the ones hit hardest by the failed promises of Monsanto’s GMO crops.
Nag interviewed dozens of Indian farmers whose relatives have taken their own lives since the crops were introduced in India in 2002, noting a “sharp rise” since then; many of them were unable to pay for expensive chemicals to spray the crops after becoming locked into contracts that plunged them into debt.
According to the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, in 2009 alone 17,638 farmers committed suicide in India, amounting to one suicide every 30 minutes. Monsanto has been blamed for contributing to 290,000 suicides by farmers over the last 20 years according to the nation crime records bureau of India.
Monsanto has denied the claims that their products have led to increased farmer suicides according to the RT article, but the country’s Council for Responsible Genetics has said that GMO crops have not done well in many regions leading to increased stress and high amounts of debt.
Some farmers have even reportedly committed suicide by drinking farm chemicals in order to send a message.
One “farmer’s widow” recounts her story in Nag’s film on “Film on Farmer Suicide and Agrarian Crises” which you can see by clicking on the video player below.
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