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Indian Farmers Set Fire to Monsanto's Test Plots

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

"We send today, a very clear message to all those who have invested in Monsanto in India and abroad; take your money out now, before we reduce it to ashes". Karnataka State Farmers Association, India

One of the most morally dubious Claims made in Monsanto's recent _ newspaper advertising blitz was the assertion that the widespread use of food biotechnology is the only way to feed the world's poor. The corporation's argument went like this: millions of people currently go hungry in developing countries. In the future, as global population increases, this problem is set to worsen. Only high yield agriculture can possibly produce enough food to meet this increased demand. There fore, quite obviously, only "biotechnology can feed the world."

Monsanto's strategy was to try to por tray its genetically modified (GM) crops as the solution to the hunger and poverty problems of the Third World. The company even tried to round up a group of 'respect ed voices' from developing countries to endorse an advert entitled 'Let The Harvest Begin', which praised biotechnology as the seed of the future", which will "feed the world in the next century." Monsanto was playing a clever game: it was trying to portray opponents of food biotechnology as selfish and insular. What right, asked the corporation, do well fed Western environ mentalists have to deny the poor farmers of the Third World access to this wonderful new technology, which could teed their families and improve their living standards dramatically in years to come?