Sunday, March 25, 2007

Monsanto's hand in the suicides of Indian cotton farmers

Monsanto's GM Bt cotton is a failure in India:
CHIDAMBARAM: The fully owned subsidiary of US biotech major Monsanto, Mahyco has been asked by the government to compensate cotton farmers for failure of Bt cotton in the current season, industry sources said here on January 07.
The end result:
The previous year’s toll in Vidarbha was well over 1,000 - almost at the rate of 100 suicides a month.
The continuing suicide saga falsifies the government claim of a bumper cotton crop, Tiwari said. Total cotton procurement in Vidarbha so far, a major chunk of which was done by private traders, is 10 million quintals as against the government prediction of 35 million quintals, he pointed out.
The state controlled cotton federation opened fewer procurement centres this year pushing the farmers to private traders who paid Rs.100 per quintal less to them than the federation, Tiwari said.
”The stark reality of farmers’ suicides bares the failure of Bt cotton (genetically modified cottonseeds) in rain-fed conditions,” the VJAS leader remarked adding that the relief package from the state and the central government had benefited the cooperative banks alone, compensating them against the interest on farmers’ loans that the government had waived.
The plight of cotton growers can be gauged from the fact that farmers in Koljhari village in Yavatmal district took a New Year vow not to cultivate cotton any more, Tiwari said.

Websource on GM crops/foods and related issues in India.

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