Belcher Gastronomique

A cheerily unalphabetical dictionary of food terms

The Dying Fields

The name given by PBS to a spate of farmer suicides in central India where Monsanto’s campaign to promote Roundup® resistant GM Bollgard® cotton seeds began. The cost of the GM seeds such as Bt cotton, which are aggressively marketed as delivering high yields, is twice that of ordinary seeds, which, where successful, can be reused. This leads to farmers, who were already struggling with low prices, being even more reliant on local moneylenders. Furthermore, since GM seeds cannot be reused, and since the promise of high yields is tied in to liberal use of the equally costly Roundup®, this debt can soon escalate. Since farming in areas like India’s Vidarbha are rain-dependent, GM crops of this nature, designed primarily for a more intensive form of agriculture, multiply the already substantial risks of farming. The New York Times puts the figure of farmer suicides in India as 17,000 in 2003.


January 20, 2010 Posted by | Dy, Dyi, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment