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Is Monsanto Responsible For 200,000 Farmer Suicides?

Is Monsanto Responsible For 200,000 Farmer Suicides?

A recent government study found that 200,000 Indian farmers have killed themselves in the past ten years.

Well-known Bollywood filmaker Aamir Khan attributes this startling statistic to the fact that many unsuspecting farmers are convinced that genetically modified seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers from American companies like Monsanto will increase their profits. Khan is hoping to spread awareness about this disturbing trend in a new movie.

The film, called Peepli Live, is set in an Indian village named Peepli. A young debt-burdened farmer named Natha is talked into taking his own life after he learns that his family will be financially compensated through a government program created to alleviate the loss of farmers taking their own lives (Alternet).

To afford the supplies and steep licensing fees imposed by Monsanto, many farmers mortgage their farms just to survive to plant another year. The first bad yield due to drought or flooding plunges them so far into debt that many resort to suicide.

The Problem With Franken-Food

Supporters of genetially engineered foods often claim that bio-crops are the only way to feed the world’s booming population in the future.

Unfortunately, a study from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that genetically engineered crops have never been proven to produce larger harvests. Crop yield increases in recent years have almost entirely been due to improved farming or traditional plant breeding, despite thousands of field trials of GM crops (Scientific American).

Seeds purchased from companies like Monsanto are also engineered with “terminator technology,” which means plants produce sterile seeds after only one season. Farmers, already in debt because of the high price of “superior” GM seeds, are thereby forced to buy more seeds for the next harvest.

Read the entire Peepli Live interview with Aamir Khan here.

Sign the petitions!

Take GM Corn off the Shelves!

Bring Down The Monsanto Monopoly

Prosecute Monsanto for Crimes against Nature and all Life!

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Image Credit: Flickr - antkriz

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248 comments

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1:41PM PDT on Apr 6, 2013

If you ever give them a chance to find a way to your farm you are slave forever

3:39AM PST on Feb 17, 2012

Very interesting topic. Unfortunately, not enough people are interested in him.

7:11AM PST on Feb 14, 2012

No way can Indian farmers cab afford to grow Monsanto crops to begin with! They can't afford the seed, sprays, fertilizers! Then not produce a crop due to weather the farmers don't have crop insurance to help cushion their input costs. Monsanto should be legislated out of India!

5:42AM PDT on Jul 31, 2011

Greed greed greed rears its ugly head. What has a front has a back- the bigger the front the bigger the back! Which basically means what looks too good to be true is and always has consequences.

1:03AM PST on Nov 10, 2010

Its sad to known abt these things. Its like thing that are created for humans to make their life easy now control human. The main creation is money. Everything boils down to it. Human life is considered as per ur bank balance. SHAME!!!!!!!

12:51AM PST on Nov 10, 2010

Its sad to known abt these things. Its like thing that are created for humans to make their life easy now control human. The main creation is money. Everything boils down to it. Human life is considered as per ur bank balance. SHAME!!!!!!!

4:31PM PDT on Sep 22, 2010

thanx Beth, God Bless

3:48PM PDT on Sep 13, 2010

thankyou for shareing

1:26PM PDT on Sep 9, 2010

I also agree a bit with what Farmer B says. Monsanto seeds are engineered to withstand bugs and other disasters. These special seeds are sold on a yearly basis, just like your antivirus program on your computer. So, if you were running Norton for an extra year and didn't pay for it, Norton would want paid. Same thing for Monsanto. If you use their seeds for a longer time than you contracted for, you get sued. People like to attack Monsanto over things but they are following their law, and if you think the laws are a bit wrong or fuzzy, then people shouldn't sign the contracts.

1:22PM PDT on Sep 9, 2010

um, having written an article about the dangers of Monsanto and other seed companies, like Solutia and such, people can do something about it... They can not buy monsanto seeds. Its not a big deal, most of the farms around the midwest area don't use monsanto seed! Thats right, the bread basket of the world, and most of it is not genetically engineered seeds. Farmers make the choice. Most people will not eat GMO food so the smaller farmers or anyone not using monsanto still wins.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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