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Vandana Shiva: The Future of Food-Part 2

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Bringing the people behind our food to life. There are those that say we cant feed the world without genetic manipulation of seeds and crops and without commodification how could we possibly feed all the hungry? I think the first thing to recognize about hunger is that today its rural phenomena its mainly in third world country's and its mainly in among community's that are actually agricultural community's. So why are people who growing food going hungry themselves? They are going hungry because everything they have grown has to be sold. In order to pay for a costly seeds and costly chemicals. So a high cost chemical in intensive agriculture is recipe for hunger. Secondly the models of agriculture that chemical farming has promoted are monocultures. Monocultures are nutritional impoverished. But the same acre of land using biodiversity, using organic and ecological methods could produce 5 to 10 times more nutrition than a monoculture can. So maximizing the production of commodities for international trade is directly proportioned to the decrease in nutrition availability to local community's. Which is why hunger grows. The world has to be it has to be feed by growing food locally to be used locally as the biggest proportion of the food basket. Some elements will be traded internationally. But what is traded internationally should not be stapled foods. What is traded internationally should be that extra flavor of spices from India and coffee from Guatemala. That is all right. But to turn the world into dependency on staples has nothing to do with feeding the world, it has a lot to do with controlling the food supply. The USA evolved the phrase during the Vietnam war, and what phrase was : "Food as weapon". The use of food as the ultimate weapon of control. And the tragedy is the growth of agribusiness in the USA has gone hand in hand with USA foreign policy to deliberately create hunger locally in order to make the world dependent on food supply's through which you can than control country's and decision making ability. So hunger is .. has become instrument of war. And food responding to that artificial created hunger is instrument of war. Peace means: you grow food locally, you grow food with peace, you grow food nonviolently and the country's that are to the worse victims of hunger could me higher producer of food. Africa has the largest land per human being, per capita. Africa is abandoned continent. And yet because the deliberate policies, it has today turn into continent of hunger. India, which has the best soils, best monsoons, the highest biodiversity shouldn't have any problem in growing our food. And yet 70% of our children going hungry because economic system is robbing them of their right to food. So food production must once again be an issue of sustainability, taking care of the earth and the human right to food must an inalienable right. These rights cannot be insured throw a market place where food become commodity and subject of speculation. We saw what speculation did in 2008, food prices doubled and the companies that control the food system doubled their profits. While riots take place in 40 countries. If you can say whats going on with scientific background that bought and payed for scientist and their studies have a hard time standing up to. Absolutely. And that's frightening. And they become very angry. Because: A)I'm a woman, I'm third worldler, but I'm a physicist. And I can add numbers. So when numbers don't add, and I say it, they get very angry. Because they think go through life faking data. Picking and choosing the data that supports what they want, the position .. I think its worse. Its not just picking and choosing the data. It is actually manufacturing the data, and there is for example the data that Green Revolution produce more foods is manufactured because discounted elements outside wheat and rice. But India lives on more than wheat and rice. We eat pulses, we eat all seeds, we eat millets all of that was make to disappear. In the whole genetic engineering issue its totally manufactured data that farmers a growing more or earning more. Monsanto studies always see Indian farmers earn 27 billion $ 27 millions $ more every year. But if they earning that much more why they committing suicide in the fact most farmers growing BT are either in depth or just above. Because the seed cost jump from 7 rupees a kilo to 70.000 rupees a kilo. And the pesticide used with these GMO BT cotton seeds has increased 13-fold in 4 years of planting. So the package of expenditure is so huge. But this is never shown, whats manufactured is: Radesham got 2.000 kg of cotton, we go to a Radesham and find out he got it on 5 acres not per 1 acre. So they manufacture the data and falsify the data. At this point we are in the period of not just a risks of genetic contamination through GMO crops, we are in the period of contamination of knowledge. Where true knowledge has become very very rare. Availability in the public domain. And without a true knowledge, really true knowledge, how we will ever be able to make right decisions about the way we want our world to go? Its putting democracy at risk. Its putting security at risk. But if you don't know what is safety of the seed is, or if you don't know what actual performance of the seed is, and its all based on lies. Then we will be having no food, we will be having no seed supply and we will be told to believe. In the miracle that is happening in Monsanto labs. But the miracle happens in the fields and its been happening the fields, prairie and the mountains for millennia. I think that's the thing that genetic engineering and biotechnology industry constantly forgets. That what they are trying to do is undo not just a freedoms of farmers to save seeds, they are trying to undo millennia of evolution. Both in the past and into the future. They are unscrambling the tree of life itself. And that's very very risky business. Because they gonna appropriate power, but with a power that they appropriated they cannot perform the miracles that nature has performed over these millennia. They cannot perform the miracles that millions and billions of farmers are performing daily. By saving seed, evolving seed, breading seed giving us a food. And the separation of responsibility of bringing us food to the rights to ownership of a life. That is separation is the hart of it. I always felt that separations rights from duties creates all kinds of dictatorships. Its only when you have a duty linked to responsibility you will act for the common good.

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 21 seconds
Year: 2009
Country: India
Language: English
Views: 157
Posted by: nave on Jun 14, 2010

In part two, Dr. Vandana Shiva expresses her strong views about the problems of hunger in the developing world; the struggle of farmers in India; biotechnology, and her prescription for the type of farming model she believes the world needs.

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