The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops
By Andrew Malone
Last updated at 12:48 AM on 03rd November 2008
When Prince Charles claimed thousands of Indian farmers were killing themselves after using GM crops, he was branded a scaremonger. In fact, as this chilling dispatch reveals, it’s even WORSE than he feared.
The children were inconsolable. Mute with shock and fighting back tears, they huddled beside their mother as friends and neighbours prepared their father’s body for cremation on a blazing bonfire built on the cracked, barren fields near their home.
As flames consumed the corpse, Ganjanan, 12, and Kalpana, 14, faced a grim future. While Shankara Mandaukar had hoped his son and daughter would have a better life under India’s economic boom, they now face working as slave labour for a few pence a day. Landless and homeless, they will be the lowest of the low.
Published by The San Francisco Chronicle
India’s Debt-Ridden Farmers Committing Suicide
Nashik, India — On a recent afternoon, Seetabai Atthre heard a faint cry from the edge of a vineyard that her family has cultivated for more than 40 years. Through the furrows, she found her husband, Vishal, smoldering on the ground next to an empty can of kerosene. He had lit himself on fire and died three days later in a local hospital.
Atthre attributes her husband’s suicide to a $5,600 debt. The farm located on the arid plains of northern Maharashtra state near the town of Nashik had not turned a profit in more than two years, and 65-year-old Vishal could no longer secure a bank loan to pay off interest on the debt.”This is wrong, and it’s killing us,” Sanjay Gangode said at a gathering of debt-ridden grape farmers in the region. “There is no future here.”
While India’s economy surges forward on the crest of globalization, thousands of farmers are taking their own lives every year to escape mounting debt and an uncertain future. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, at least 87,567 farmers committed suicide between 2002 and 2006. In Maharashtra state, there were 4,453 suicides in 2006, the last year for which statistics were made available, an increase of 527 compared with 2005. Sharp increases have also been reported in Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh states.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Why don’t the food manufacturers and the biotech companies want you to know if your foods have been genetically engineered?
Answer: Because if they are labeled, you will start asking questions such as “Have these genetically engineered foods been safety tested on humans?” The answer to that question is NO!
Question: Doesn’t the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) require genetically engineered foods to be safety tested like they do for new drugs and food additives before they are sold to the public for consumption?
Answer: NO! With limited exceptions, under current FDA regulations, companies are not even required to notify the agency they are bringing new genetically engineered products to the market.
Question: How much of the food I buy in the grocery stores contain genetically engineered ingredients?
Answer: Since genetically engineered soy and corn are used in many processed foods, it is estimated that over 70 percent of the foods in grocery stores in the U.S. and Canada contain genetically engineered ingredients.
Question: Are people all over the world eating genetically engineered foods?
Answer: No, all of the European Union nations, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries require the mandatory labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients. As a result, food manufacturers in all those countries choose to use non-genetically engineered ingredients.