(NAGPUR ) – We have reported in the past an alarming suicide rate among farmers in India that is connected to the failure of American GMO (genetically modified organism) cotton seeds.
Monsanto, the U.S. company responsible for Agent Orange, a cancer-causing chemical sprayed on the jungles of Vietnam, is now in the GMO food and seed business.
Monsanto stands accused of having an international monopoly of the notorious bio-engineered Bt cotton seeds.
Advocates for the agricultural industry say they never dreamed of the tragedy to come, when a 2005 decision was announced to allow the seeds in India.
Now an agrarian crisis has hit Maharashtra itself thanks to the Monsanto program.
Farmers are buying 11 packets of 450 gm per hectare as per the company’s guide for the recommended “population method” but the sudden demand and ill-managed Indian sub agents have brought the company big trouble as 50% of the Bt cotton seeds failed to germinate even after it’s second sowing.
Now cries are being heard in other part of India too.
The Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti farmers advocacy group has approached the local state Govt. of Maharashtra to arrange a high level probe of all complaints received from farmers of west Vidarbha where more than 10,000 cotton farmers have committed suicide since June 2005 after the introduction of the killer Bt cotton seeds in this region.
Around Rs.10,000 crore has been pumped in by Indian and state Govt. to bailout cotton farmers from the agrarian crisis which is likely to get worse if corrective action are not taken immediately, Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti said today.
The Monsanto Bt cotton seed crisis heated up in early June when all Bt cotton seeds ordered by Maharashtra dealers sold out it to the adjourning Andhra farmers and there was no seed available to cater to the local market.
Monsanto sub-agents had failed to respond to a state govt. request, and then suddenly Bt cotton seeds were freely available in the market by the third week of June.
A source supply was immediately discovered and Yavatmal police raided the house of Nerendra Indurkar in the very small village of Munjala and reportedly caught him red handed packing local cotton seed in the pockets of branded Bt cotton.
Police have sealed the advanced imported pocket packing machines and thousands of packets of Bt cotton seeds being sold on the premium.
However the alleged culprit, Nerendra Indurkar, was allowed to go without any interrogation.
Officials of the American Bt cotton seeds giant in India were called and facts were shared but they denied any link with this bogus Bt cotton seed supply racket.
Monsanto officials beaten up by Cotton farmers as Bt.cotton seed failed
When news of a Monsanto senior official’s arrival from Mumbai reached the nearby village of Munjala, cotton farmers of the village Karanji, about 140 K.m. from Nagpur located the Monsanto official and took him to their field where a complete failure of ‘Paras Sudarshan’ Bt cotton seed was shown to him.
When the Monsanto representative failed to admit the lapse, he was severely beaten up by the farmers.
It was reported that even a local agriculture officer did not come to his rescue.
This, from accounts in daily papers in Vidarbha and the Marathwada region of Maharashtra where more than 4 million hectares under Bt cotton cultivation are reporting the flood of bogus seed supplied local agents of American cotton seed MNC giant Monsanto.
At this point, although the situation was reported, the administration has failed to take any action of this serious issue.
So, Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti has written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prathiraj Chavan to order a judicial enquiry into the supply racket of bogus BT. cotton seed in Maharashtra, and also to start criminal action against the culprit, Tiwari added.
Exactly where Monsanto’s trail across the globe that has left so many dead and dying begins is not known, nor is the future this model agency of the American military industrial complex known.
The company has never accounted for its role in the deaths of so many Vietnamese and American and Australian Vietnam Veterans who have fought so hard for so government accountability in return.
Agent Orange doesn’t just affect the person who comes into contact with it, it goes on to affect their children, and their children’s children. I suspect there are a great number of people who cracked a smile when they read this account of a Monsanto official being beaten up in an Indian farm field. Violence is never a good answer, but particularly in light of the horrific, staggering suicide rate, it is understandable why some might embrace it as a last resort.
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