Interpreting the colour green

Posted on Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

By Dr. Vandana Shiva

[Originally posted at The Asian Age]

Photo by Joe Athialy

March 10 : Ecologists like me are called “greens”. We work to protect the green mantle of the earth — forests and biodiversity, soil and water. Nature’s green capital is the real capital that supports all life, and in the final analysis all livelihoods and the entire economy. However, the colour green has been much abused and used for anti-green, anti-nature, anti-people programmes.

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Public Hearings Tackle Monopolies in US Agriculture Industry

Posted on Friday, March 26th, 2010

On Friday, March 12, the US Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Agriculture (USDA) convened the first of five public hearings on the monopolization and strangulation of competition in the US agriculture industry. The hearings were announced in January soon after the opening of a federal antitrust investigation of agribusiness giant Monsanto. Attorneys general from seven states have since joined the investigation.

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Relying on GM Crops to Battle Climate Change ‘Suicidal,’ Indian Activist Charges

Posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2010

(Published on Monday, March 15, 2010 by Reuters AlertNet)
By Laurie Goering

A cotton field

Photo by jankie

LONDON – Faced with growing demand for food and increasingly unpredictable weather, many developing nations are debating whether to relax restrictions on the use of genetically modified crops.

Seed developers promise that a coming generation of genetically modified (GM) food crops will have climate-resilient features, from drought resistance to saltwater tolerance.

But widespread adoption of GM varieties by small farmers would be “suicidal in terms of climate change,” said Vandana Shiva, an Indian social activist, environmentalist and proponent of small-scale farming.

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Gathering in the Name of Seed Sovereignty

Posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Navdanya’s Bija Vidyapeeth held its Seed Sovereignty workshop on the biodiversity conservation farm outside Dehradun February 24–26. Quickly following Navdanya’s International Conference on Two Decades of the GMO-Free Movement in New Delhi, the programme zeroed in on seeds and biodiversity as the answer to the spreading devastation of industrial agriculture, GMOs, and seed monopolies. Sixty farmers, seed bank coordinators, physicians, scholars, and documentary filmmakers from all over the world attended—exchanging their stories, information, inspiration, and ideas for the future of the seed sovereignty movement.

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Democratic Choice

Posted on Thursday, March 11th, 2010

By Dr. Vandana Shiva

Biotech technicians neither have the knowledge of gene ecology nor the expertise in multiple disciplines

Biotech

Photo by IRRI Images

After the minister of environment Jairam Ramesh announced a moratorium on Bt brinjal, article after article in the media has denounced the decision, saying such decisions should be left to ‘scientists.’ The issue is however not science vs anti-science. It is reductionist science vs systems science. The moratorium took into account the best of science.

Many scientists have called for caution and for full and independent assessment. Dr Pushpa Bhargava, the leading scientist who established genetic engineering in India, has been the most vocal voice against Bt brinjal. The so called ‘scientists’ speaking most vociferously for Bt brinjal are in fact ‘technicians’ who are using an outmoded reductionist science to develop GM crops for corporations like Monsanto/Mahyco.

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BBC World News Interview with Dr. Vandana Shiva

Posted on Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

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How food and water are driving a 21st-century African land grab

Posted on Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Original post: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/07/food-water-africa-land-grab

Land grabbed or not?

Near Spring Valley Nairobi - An area that was supposedly protected by the Green Belt Movement is now being built up by a developer. Photo by afromusing

We turned off the main road to Awassa, talked our way past security guards and drove a mile across empty land before we found what will soon be Ethiopia’s largest greenhouse. Nestling below an escarpment of the Rift Valley, the development is far from finished, but the plastic and steel structure already stretches over 20 hectares – the size of 20 football pitches.

The farm manager shows us millions of tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables being grown in 500m rows in computer controlled conditions. Spanish engineers are building the steel structure, Dutch technology minimises water use from two bore-holes and 1,000 women pick and pack 50 tonnes of food a day. Within 24 hours, it has been driven 200 miles to Addis Ababa and flown 1,000 miles to the shops and restaurants of Dubai, Jeddah and elsewhere in the Middle East.

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Ban Bt Crops

Posted on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

We Need a Ban on Bt crops in light of Monsanto admitting that BT cotton has failed to control the Bollworm.

The public hearings on Bt Brinjal organised by the Ministry of Environment led to a Moratorium on BT Brinjal. The Moratorium is already under threat, with the Agriculture Minister and the Minister of Science and Technology trying to put pressure on the Prime Minister to allow the commercialisation of BT Brinjal by Monsanto and Mahyco.

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Architecture of Food Dictatorship

Posted on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

The Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill 2009

By Dr. Vandana Shiva

No to Bt Brinjal

Photo by Joe Athiali

On 9th February, the Environment Minister of India Jairam Ramesh announced a Moratorium on Bt. Brinjal as a result of public hearings organised across the country. The democratic voice of the people of India and of independent scientists was a clear “No” to Bt. Brinjal and to GM foods. People’s voice was joined by the voice of the States, exercising their right under the Constitution under which Agriculture is a State subject.

There is now an attempt to silence the voice of independent science and democracy and institutionalize an architecture of dictatorship through the proposed Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill 2009.

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