16 thoughts on “The GMO-Suicide Myth

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  2. Pingback: Vandana Shiva Is One of the World's Worst People | Michigan Standard

  3. Webmaster

    Dear Ms. Kloor,

    I am a simple man, retired with my wife from the high-pressure corporate world of New Jersey to WNC ten years ago. I am a conservative by nature with my father having served on Okinawa in WWII and one of my sons in Afghanistan for one short tour.

    Because I was raised when America was at its peak in the 1950’s, I know what real freedom looks like before the new age of the socialist activists developed from a young generation of Americans looking for free stuff.

    I was brought up when there were mortgage burning parties and the only thing a family might get a loan for outside the home was a family car. Everything else was basically paid for in cash, Americans proud to be on their own wanting little or no assistance from the feds. My father didn’t belong to any church nor was required to. I became a Christian in the late 30’s, discouraged today with the politics of the church but not in its founder.

    I started a tiny hobby Web site eight years ago that I still receive no income from, which has grown to a conservative Web portal where busy folks can check the news from close to 70 posted Web sites. My site started by helping people find jobs with my having been downsized. The URL, however, quickly morphed to the domain name of Freedom is knowledge when I watched what was happening in the pre election days of 2007.

    I have been sending out a weekend e-mail for about three years on the summary of the week’s news to a short e-mail list of retired military and professionals. To that end I received an e-mail from one of those on my list today, a retired Army officer with 22 years of service, his talking about if I knew about Indians committing suicide over genetically modified crops.

    I did a quick search and came across the name of Vandana Shiva with a 2014 article printed in the New Yorker Magazine. Then I come across your excellent calming post mentioning the names of Bill Moyer, Greenpeace, and the Huffington Post, which I am banned from leaving comments on. So I don’t need much more to figure out what’s going on, remembering the Obama administration’s mission statement to never allow a good crisis go to waste.

    I saw your post noted two comments were left and felt you needed to know your words fell on fertile ground today. I will also be sending your article to my Army friend. And I will also post it in one of my e-mails going out to continue to support my warnings of the dangerous politically correct world we live in today. It is where Obama’s activists can go from holding their hands up saying don’t shoot to a nationwide movement that quickly morphs back to Obama’s Marxist OWS supported by the ideology of radicals such as Cloward and Piven. Pelosi at the time said God had blessed the OWS.

    My chores for the day of cleaning the bathrooms and cooking a special dinner for friends tomorrow is calling, so I need to go. Like I said, I am a simple man. By the way we had a former neighbor, a priest, who lived next to us for a few years from Brooklyn, discovering that green grass took more time to care for than hosing down cement.

    Best regards,


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  6. Pingback: Farmer suicides: A global phenomenon | The Inquisit

  7. Prakash

    Why a farmer commits suicide
    • A farmer never pays any tax
    • Most of the farmers are given free electricity & water.
    • Many of their loans exempted once new government comes.
    • They have given low interest loan on their purchases of farming equipment.

    Still why a farmer commits suicide??
    Before we find the answers we should find reason influencing it

    • Working / Business men pays tax ( so many taxes )
    • Working / Business men has to pay all his loans with high interest & penalty ( no mercy )
    • For Working / Business men everything is charged road, electricity, water etc. nothing is free

    The most influencing answer is here

    • Working / business men left out with less money after all their taxes to purchase what local farmer supplies to market; he goes for cheaper food alternatives.
    • The farmer is weakened because of drop in his profit even though he has no taxes he can’t find a prospective buyer
    • The farmer cannot bear the overheads of family and commits suicide motivated by the compensation offered by government for his death to save his family
    Final out come
    • Working / Business men continue paying more and more taxes to fund the government to give compensation to a dead farmer and money spent by our pro farmer ministers for their boosting rallies and vote banking favouring farmers with their generous contributions ( with tax payers money)
    • Again the real buyer left out with few money and look for cheaper food stuff and one more farmer dies.
    The truth is Working / Business men pays for the welfare of farmers not the one who are giving big speeches ……….Dear back bone of India (farmers ) please understand it , don’t waste time on listening to unethical politicians who are not even aware without a prospective buyer the producer never survives

  8. Brenda Kwon

    Apologies: this is the edited version.

    While you spend a great deal of time emphasizing that there is no connection between Bt cotton and the suicides of Indian farmers, there’s very little here exploring what is at the root of those suicides, so your article’s intent seems less to truly investigate that phenomemom than it is to defend Montsanto and discredit Vandana Shiva. There is a more complex relationship between industrial agriculture and the debts incurred by these failed farmers. One need not go much further than to look at Montsanto’s not-so-private history of bankrupting farmers on American soil to see the economic politics involved in their policies and tactics. The suicides are real, and they are by marginal farmers who have no money to buy Montsanto products; neither are they simply cotton farmers. The presence of large-scale agribusiness has damaging effects environmentally and socially. To call attention to that is not to jump on a bandwagon, as you suggest here.

  9. Dr. Paul Blake, ND

    This article left out one very important problem cotton has. The more you grow it the more it depletes your soil. So if BT is successful at one end it kills your soil at the other.
    —“A historic example of nutrient depletion is the depletion of soils in the southeastern United States by the growing of cotton. As late as 1950, “King Cotton” was the most valuable farm commodity produced in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.”

    Plant Life: Soil Degradation,

  10. sureshpal dhaliwal

    Dear Mr. Kloor

    I found your article refreshing. I do believe that Dr. Vandana has ulterior motives for propagating the myth relating Monsanto and indian farmer suicides. Her assumption is rather naive. One wonders who finances her global trips and her office. As they say follow the money trail and her motives will be uncovered.


  11. Mark Phillips

    As Mr. Blake alludes to here, the more important issue is not GM crops per se but the aggregate affect of ignoring soil health. Natural system based agricultural techniques such as Agroforestry and agroecology, which fundamentally focus on building healthy soil, are the answer to sustainable food production. Corporate controlled, industrial agriculture, which is mentioned repeatedly but not problematized, is what drives soil degradation whether or not GM crops are the culprit. Effective policies would look at the Indian suicides systemically, offering programs, services, and market incentives that encourage stewardship of the soil. In this situation, Monsanto’s primary concern is not to feed the world, but to maximize profits. This is why the seeds are patented, and this is why, beyond Monsanto, the ecosystem for financing agriculture is designed for extracting money from rural Indian farmers, as opposed to allowing them to take the necessary time for nurturing soil health. Addressing this issue over the long term will require providing viable pathways to land and soil stewardship and, ultimately, empowerment of the rural Indian farmer. This is what Vandana Shiva and other like-minded activists are actually interested in solving but which the government and scientific community at large is incapable of acknowledging. Healthy soil = healthy food = healthy societies = healthy economies.

    1. Don Heller

      You point out that cotton is hard on soil. The fact that a farmer uses or does not use bt cotton does not affect that. The farmers there should do what the farmers here do. Most of the cotton farmers on the Rolling Plains of Texas will rotate wheat or sesame into the rotation to help the soil. Regardless of the type of cotton used the farmers should find a rotation crop.

      Shiva cares nothing for the farmer or the soil. She cares to promote her name and her religion of natural farming. That notion will starve the population because her natural farming methods are not effective. Dr Norman Borloug warned against letting people like her have the ability to this important tool away from the farmers. These people who want to remove GM from the tool box of farmers are the people who will have to answer for the deaths of billions who will starve because we cannot keep up with the growth of the population.

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