Food & Farming: Dr. Vandana Shiva Calls Out Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg & Monsanto

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Physicist, environmental activist and renowned author Dr. Vandana Shiva explains modern day global food and farming issues.

  • Reflect On:
    • When organic agriculture has shown to be one of the best ways to feed the world, why do giant corporations insist on taking over and doing things their way?

    • Why do they have so much sway over government policy?

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Dr. Vandana Shiva is a renowned author, environmental activist, and physicist. Shiva founded Navdanya, an international movement started 30 years ago in India to defend seed and food sovereignty and small farmers around the world.  Navdanya pioneered the movement of seed saving and seed freedom, which began in response to the crisis of erosion of agricultural biodiversity and introduction of GMOs and patents on seeds through intellectual property rights (IPRs) and so-called ‘free trade’ agreements.

Navdanya has long fought against biopiracy, the patenting of indigenous knowledge by self-interested multinational corporations and won cases related to Neem, basmati rice and wheat in India. Navdanya promotes a new agricultural and economic paradigm, a culture of food for health, where ecological responsibility and economic justice replace the present greed, consumerism and competition which have become dominant in society. It aims at regaining the common good as a foundation for a renewed sense of community, solidarity and culture of peace.

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In the last 30 years, Navdanya’s research on Biodiversity based Agro-ecological farming has shown how Agroecology can increase nutrition and health, as well as farmers incomes while rejuvenating soil, water and biodiversity and enhancing climate resilience. They have a membership of more than 650,000 farmer families in 22 states of India. According to Navdanya:

The COVID public health crisis and its resulting economic devastation have accelerated calls to respond through the ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism through embracing the fourth industrial revolution. For food systems, this would mean a ‘food systems transformation’ where all areas of the food supply chain are further centralized, digitized, and mined for data in the false names of ‘public health’ and ‘economic recovery’. This push is now being supported by international organizations and world leaders who stand hand-in-hand with big corporations’ desires for further agrifood system concentration. This translated to a more aggressive push toward false solutions of farms managed through artificial intelligence and predictive algorithms, precision farming, fake foods- such as lab-grown meat, synthetically produced oils, and breastmilk- robot pollinators, biofortification, gene drives for more advanced forms of GMOs, and digital sequencing genetic information (DSI) of agro-diversity.

They recently put out a very informative report titled “Gates to A Global Empire.” The Report gathers evidence and sheds light on the dangers of philanthrocapitalism, which is boosting the corporate takeover of our seed, agriculture, food, knowledge and global health systems, manipulating information and eroding our democracies.

This is a growing issues that will affect the quality of the global food supply and who controls it. It follows the ongoing move towards more centralized power.

The clip below is from 2019 but still very relevant to today’s climate – perhaps even more so.

For more, here is a recent article written by Dr. Shiva (her twitter account) titled, “Indian farmers’ 30 year struggle against corporate globalisation and 40 year struggle against the green revolution.” 

Her books are also a great resource documenting the takeover of seed and the immoral and unethical actions of big corporations, like Monsanto, in India and all over the world.

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