Best of Vandana Shiva 3-Pack
Vandana Shiva – We Are All Seeds
Seeds, those little things we kind of take for granted, are the essence of life. Increasingly, corporations have taken over agriculture and in their insatiable quest for profits have injected GMOs, genetically modified organisms, into the food chain. As the joke goes, GMO stands for “God Move Over.” The four largest GMO crops, corn, soy, sugar beets and canola constitute 70 percent of all products on the store shelves. Should the government require mandatory labeling on foods containing genetically engineered ingredients? A lot of people think so. Large agribusiness and biotech companies have spent hundreds of millions fighting labeling. With control of seeds through patents and so-called intellectual property rights in the hands of a few corporations, biodiversity disappears, and is replaced by GMO monocultures. Seeds in traditional cultures were regarded as sacred. It’s time we stopped soiling the soil.
It is almost a given that the industrialized countries, the North, are the epitome of progress and wisdom. The South, the Third World, is a place of backwardness and ignorance, but it does have lots of resources. The North wants to use those resources to continue to enrich itself. Today parts of the South are redefining and challenging conventional notions of growth and development. There is resistance to the destructive effects of transnational corporations and global capitalism and a new awareness of the value of indigenous knowledge and centuries-old diverse agriculture.
There was much fanfare as the leaders of the U.S. and China, the world’s largest carbon polluters signed what was trumpeted as an “historic” deal cutting greenhouse gas emissions. But the Center for Science & Environment in India denounced the agreement as “self-serving” and “business as usual.” Much more urgent action is required to avoid a catastrophic rise in global temperatures. As the eco-crisis accelerates and the major contributors to climate change make grandiose statements but then take halfhearted measures, it is easy to despair. But we simply can’t afford to do nothing and wallow in negativity. The moment calls for action and engagement not passivity and indifference. The magnitude of the crisis requires radical compassion for the Earth and all its inhabitants and flora and fauna. Despite probes landing on comets this is the only home we have.
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