By Vandana Shiva
Native seeds, health and abundance
Traditional seeds are "the most important source of profit for the industry through the patent system," says Vandana Shiva, which is possible only through GMOs. He contrasts this with "smart" natural design: seeds are saved from harvesting food, which in turn ensures that there will be food in the future. Genetically modified seeds, on the other hand, must be purchased every season, leading to debt and peasant suicides, he says.
The prominent activist points out that GMOs, in addition to destroying biodiversity, are not intended for food but for industrial uses - such as biofuel - and to be fodder for animals. “Food was never his goal, more than in speech. It's really about profit, profit and profit, ”he says.
Of the native seeds it is also necessary to appreciate that they are adapted not only to each climate, but to each ecological community, and can grow together as in the cornfield. Industrial crops, when competing with each other, mean that in planting "you lose your source of protein, iron or vitamins"; From this come the deficiencies in the diet, which the industry intends to supply with genetically modified plants "and then the banana with iron arrives to 'solve it'. It is a cycle of benefits, which for the earth is a cycle of poisoning; for the people, death and malnutrition ”, affirms the scientist.
Native seeds, unlike transgenic ones, signify abundance, farming systems that respect the land, health and savings, contrasts Shiva.
The system that allows Monsanto to enforce its law is based on collusion between the agrochemical industry and the State, "which abandons its commitment to democracy and the Constitutions."
The first responsible for the destruction of the land and the genocide that means the suicide of peasants (burdened by the debts brought by being forced to buy transgenics), are agrochemicals and the war industry. "Chemical fertilizers are produced in the same factories as explosives."
The transgenic industry has corrupt governments as its main allies ("in the United States it is called lobbying," says Shiva with a smile). Monsanto cannot pretend to produce life and patent "its" seed without the support of the US authorities, who decide not only to allow it but to make it international law through the World Trade Organization (WTO), he exemplifies.
Legal advances against Monsanto
The scientist affirms that nowadays, what is made is from life, which can only be stopped if people retain their ability to reproduce and produce food.
The activist refers that Monsanto needs scientists to legally validate its "lies" (that it produces more food and kills weeds and pests), so it is necessary for activists to be creatively involved in battles legal. “In many places, the advance of transgenics has been stopped when parliaments work outside the government and through the courts; since all this is about patenting, taking over life and saying that indigenous knowledge is their invention - all this is called biopiracy - we must fight the legal battle ”.
"Every instrument and every institution must be put at the service of the rights of the people," he concludes.
However, the best response to GMOs is to rescue seeds and traditional ways of growing and making food, as well as building movements around it, he values. “You can be saying No to Monsanto while they destroy everything. And what will there be to save? Each seed saved gives us more power, confidence and knowledge against GMOs ”, he says.
Coming from India, Vandana Shiva highlights the influence that Gandhi has on her and the non-cooperation or "force of truth", which is basically not abiding by unjust laws, which violate the fundamental human rights of justice, equality and peace. Therefore, his movement is based on the freedom of the seeds and non-cooperation as two hands of the same body. “In 2004, they tried to make it illegal to plant their own seeds; We did great acts of civil disobedience and we managed to stop that law, ”he exemplifies. For Shiva, non-cooperation with unjust laws means at the same time, solidarity with the communities and rebuilding the courage to fight against GMOs.
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