*This article has been flagged as false, and has been revised. The man sharing his opinion in this article has no scientific background and cannot provide any reliable inforation on 5G technology as it related to human health.
Ian Furgeson put up this video that went viral on Facebook about his concerns about 5G. He explains how he is a tower climber that installs the equipment that allows telecommunications to function. He is currently in 5G training, explaining how he is already concerned about the technology, even before he learned about the science about it. He explains how the radio frequency is very different from the radiation that is currently being beamed out by cell towers, which has still proven to be harmful. 5G is incomparably more harmful and more intense. He explains how 5G is going to broadcast in gigahertz, not megahertz, which is 15000 times stronger than what we are receiving now.
This man has no scientific background, and does not present any evidence for his claims.
Why Some people Are Concerned.
Martin L. Pall, PhD and Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University outlined in a new report the many health risks associated with 5G technology and wireless radiation in general. In it, he stated that 5G is the “stupidest idea in the history of the world.” You can read more about that specific story here.
Health professionals are gathering more and more to create awareness about this, which is very encouraging. For example, Dr. Sharon Goldberg, an internal medicine physician & professor recently gave her testimony regarding the dangers of electromagnetic radiation. She says: “Wireless radiation has biological effects. Period.” You can watch that testimony here.
There are similar statements from other academicians, Dr. Martin Blank, Ph.D., from the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Colombia University makes the point quite clear: “Putting it bluntly they are damaging the living cells in our bodies and killing many of us prematurely” (source)
If you want to go through the science and access a lot of the research in this field, a great place to start is with the Environmental Health Trust.
Study: Governments Should Be Testing 5G & Proving It’s Safe Before Exposing Humanity To It
- The Facts:
A study published in 2019 is one of many to point out that appropriate safety testing is needed and should be required before 5G technology is rolled out.
- Reflect On:
Why do some mainstream media outlets ridicule the idea that 5G technology may be harmful to human health when there is an abundance of peer-reviewed literature emphasizing the need for further study?
The push for 5G forges on regardless of any safety testing. The mainstream continues to tout the idea that no science shows dangers associated with 5G radiation, but there are also no studies to show that it is safe. The truth is, there are medical and health experts who have been raising their concerns with regards to 5G technology, and human exposure to electromagnetic frequencies for quite some time. I’ve published multiple articles expressing these concerns. For example, Dr. Sharon Goldberg, an internal medicine physician, a former medical school assistant professor, and academic with more than two decades in the field gave her testimony regarding electromagnetic radiation and 5G in Michigan, after an industry sponsored 5G wireless infrastructure legislation recently passed through the Michigan House Energy Policy Committee with a vote of 15 to 4. You can watch that and read more about that here.
Martin L. Pall, PhD and Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University taken from his report titled “5G: Great risk for EU, U.S. and International Health! Compelling Evidence for Eight Distinct Types of Great Harm Caused by Electromagnetic Field(EMF) Exposures and the Mechanism that Causes Them,” emphasizes that:
“Putting in tens of millions of 5G antennae without a single biological test of safety has got to be about the stupidest idea anyone has had in the history of the world.”
These concerns are also hitting the mainstream, one recent example of mainstream awareness is an article published in the blog section of Scientific American titled “We Have No Reason to Believe 5G is Safe” written by Joel M. Moskowitz.
So, it’s not like awareness is not getting out there, a few months ago, a number of doctors, scientists and activists sent a National 5G Resolution letter to President Trump, requesting a moratorium on 5G technology until the potential hazards for human health have been appropriately investigated. The Electromagnetic Safety Alliance and Environmental Health Trust coordinated gathering signatories for this 5G Resolution.
The Environmental Health Trust is actually a great place to access more of the science on this topic if you’re interested in learning more.
Unfortunately, President Donald Trump recently signed into law a pair of bills designed to boost wireless and broadband networks: the Secure 5G and Beyond Act and the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act. You can read more about that here.
Despite all of the concerns being raised, the international body in charge of setting limits on exposure to radiation, The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), A Germany-based scientific body that assesses the health risks of this kind of thing, is claiming that 5G radiation is completely safe.
Dr. Eric van Rongen, the ICNIRP chair, said:
“We know parts of the community are concerned about the safety of 5G and we hope the updated guidelines will help put people at ease. The guidelines have been developed after a thorough review of all relevant scientific literature, scientific workshops and an extensive public consultation process. They provide protection against all scientifically substantiated adverse health effects due to [electromagnetic field] exposure in the 100 kHz to 300 GHz range.” (source)
The question is, why is there so much conflicting information, with some scientific bodies claiming that it’s safe, and others claiming that it’s not? Clearly, there are some issues here.
Why would they refer to such concerns being published by doctors and scientists in peer-reviewed literature as “conspiracy theories?” Why do they constantly use the ridicule factor instead of simply sharing both sides from a place of neutrality? Why is this “conspiracy theory” narrative constantly used within the mainstream instead of actually addressing the concerns that many scientists and health experts are having?
Perhaps this conflict comes as a result of corporate influence? Paul Bischoff, a tech journalist and privacy advocate, recently compiled data regarding telecom’s political contributions to influence policies that benefit their industry, it’s quite revealing.
A study published in 2019 is one of many that raises concerns. It’s titled “Risks to Health and Well-Being From Radio-Frequency Radiation Emitted by Cell Phones and Other Wireless Devices.”
It outlines how, “In some countries, notably the US, scientific evidence of the potential hazards of RFR has been largely dismissed (. Findings of carcinogenicity, infertility and cell damage occurring at daily exposure levels—within current limits—indicate that existing exposure standards are not sufficiently protective of public health. Evidence of carcinogenicity alone, such as that from the NTP study, should be sufficient to recognize that current exposure limits are inadequate.”
It goes on to state that “Public health authorities in many jurisdictions have not yet incorporated the latest science from the U.S. NTP or other groups. Many cite 28-year old guidelines by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers which claimed that “Research on the effects of chronic exposure and speculations on the biological significance of non-thermal interactions have not yet resulted in any meaningful basis for alteration of the standard”
It’s one of many that call for safety testing before the rollout of 5G testing, because all we have right now from those who claim that it’s safe are ‘reviews of literature’ that are determining it’s safe.
This particular study emphasizes:
The Telecom industry’s fifth generation (5G) wireless service will require the placement of many times more small antennae/cell towers close to all recipients of the service, because solid structures, rain and foliage block the associated millimeter wave RFR (72). Frequency bands for 5G are separated into two different frequency ranges. Frequency Range 1 (FR1) includes sub-6 GHz frequency bands, some of which are bands traditionally used by previous standards, but has been extended to cover potential new spectrum offerings from 410 to 7,125 MHz. Frequency Range 2 (FR2) includes higher frequency bands from 24.25 to 52.6 GHz. Bands in FR2 are largely of millimeter wave length, these have a shorter range but a higher available bandwidth than bands in the FR1. 5G technology is being developed as it is also being deployed, with large arrays of directional, steerable, beam-forming antennae, operating at higher power than previous technologies. 5G is not stand-alone—it will operate and interface with other (including 3G and 4G) frequencies and modulations to enable diverse devices under continual development for the “internet of things,” driverless vehicles and more (72).
Novel 5G technology is being rolled out in several densely populated cities, although potential chronic health or environmental impacts have not been evaluated and are not being followed. Higher frequency (shorter wavelength) radiation associated with 5G does not penetrate the body as deeply as frequencies from older technologies although its effects may be systemic (73, 74). The range and magnitude of potential impacts of 5G technologies are under-researched, although important biological outcomes have been reported with millimeter wavelength exposure. These include oxidative stress and altered gene expression, effects on skin and systemic effects such as on immune function (74). In vivo studies reporting resonance with human sweat ducts (73), acceleration of bacterial and viral replication, and other endpoints indicate the potential for novel as well as more commonly recognized biological impacts from this range of frequencies, and highlight the need for research before population-wide continuous exposures.
One major theme of the study is the absence of science proving that this technology is safe.
With this absence of human evidence, governments must require large-scale animal studies (or other appropriate studies of indicators of carcinogenicity and other adverse health effects) to determine whether the newest modulation technologies incur risks, prior to release into the marketplace. Governments should also investigate short-term impacts such as insomnia, memory, reaction time, hearing and vision, especially those that can occur in children and adolescents, whose use of wireless devices has grown exponentially within the past few years.
How can science like this be deemed a conspiracy theory? If it is, why are scientists allowed to publish it after going through a rigorous peer-reviewed process in an esteemed scientific journal?
At the end of the day, many doctors and scientists are concerned about the rollout of 5G technology, and the already existing levels of unnatural radiation that humanity is exposed to. Clearly, there are biological effects, but some studies point out that conclusions can’t be made. For example, a study published in The International Journal of Environmental Health titled “5G Wireless Communication and Health Effects—A Pragmatic Review Based on Available Studies Regarding 6 to 100 GHz” pointed out that,
The majority of studies with MMW exposures show biological responses. From this observation, however, no in-depth conclusions can be drawn regarding the biological and health effects of MMW exposures in the 6–100 GHz frequency range. The studies are very different and the total number of studies is surprisingly low. The reactions occur both in vivo and in vitro and affect all biological endpoints studied.
This particular study was even funded by Deutsche Telekom Technik GmbH, and again, it emphasizes that “no -in-depth” conclusions can be drawn.
If this is true, as some studies argue it’s not and certain conclusions can be drawn, then shouldn’t we wait until “in-depth” conclusions can be drawn that guarantee our safety? Something to think about.
A list of Annual Reports by telecommunication companies clearly shows how companies warn their shareholders but not residents living near cell antennas. Read more here. They are already facing numerous lawsuits.
At the end of the day, this begs the question, do we really live in a democracy? If 5G came down to a vote from the people within that country, it’s hard to believe the vote would pass. Today, we seem to be living in a time where governments and big corporations can enforce measures upon us that we do not desire, or in this case, impose measures upon us that have not yet been proved to be safe. This is one of many examples of why people continue to lose trust in governments as well as federal health regulatory agencies. Furthermore, there seems to be a large bias within the mainstream media, almost ridiculing the idea
John Whitehead: The Attack on Civil Liberties in the Age of COVID-19
You can always count on the government to take advantage of a crisis, legitimate or manufactured.
This coronavirus pandemic is no exception.
Not only are the federal and state governments unraveling the constitutional fabric of the nation with lockdown mandates that are sending the economy into a tailspin and wreaking havoc with our liberties, but they are also rendering the citizenry fully dependent on the government for financial handouts, medical intervention, protection and sustenance.
Unless we find some way to rein in the government’s power grabs, the fall-out will be epic.
Everything I have warned about for years—government overreach, invasive surveillance, martial law, abuse of powers, militarized police, weaponized technology used to track and control the citizenry, and so on—has coalesced into this present moment.
The government’s shameless exploitation of past national emergencies for its own nefarious purposes pales in comparison to what is presently unfolding.
Deploying the same strategy it used with 9/11 to acquire greater powers under the USA Patriot Act, the police state—a.k.a. the shadow government, a.k.a. the Deep State—has been anticipating this moment for years, quietly assembling a wish list of lockdown powers that could be trotted out and approved at a moment’s notice.
It should surprise no one, then, that the Trump Administration has asked Congress to allow it to suspend parts of the Constitution whenever it deems it necessary during this coronavirus pandemic and “other” emergencies.
It’s that “other” emergencies part that should particularly give you pause, if not spur you to immediate action (by action, I mean a loud and vocal, apolitical, nonpartisan outcry and sustained, apolitical, nonpartisan resistance).
In fact, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been quietly trotting out and testing a long laundry list of terrifying powers that override the Constitution.
We’re talking about lockdown powers (at both the federal and state level): the ability to suspend the Constitution, indefinitely detain American citizens, bypass the courts, quarantine whole communities or segments of the population, override the First Amendment by outlawing religious gatherings and assemblies of more than a few people, shut down entire industries and manipulate the economy, muzzle dissidents, “stop and seize any plane, train or automobile to stymie the spread of contagious disease,” reshape financial markets, create a digital currency (and thus further restrict the use of cash), determine who should live or die…
You’re getting the picture now, right?
These are powers the police state would desperately like to make permanent.
Bear in mind, however, that these powers the Trump Administration, acting on orders from the police state, are officially asking Congress to recognize and authorize barely scratch the surface of the far-reaching powers the government has already unilaterally claimed for itself.
Unofficially, the police state has been riding roughshod over the rule of law for years now without any pretense of being reined in or restricted in its power grabs by Congress, the courts or the citizenry.
This current pandemic is a test to see whether the Constitution—and our commitment to the principles enshrined in the Bill of Rights—can survive a national crisis and true state of emergency.
Here’s what we know: whatever the so-called threat to the nation—whether it’s civil unrest, school shootings, alleged acts of terrorism, or the threat of a global pandemic in the case of COVID-19—the government has a tendency to capitalize on the nation’s heightened emotions, confusion and fear as a means of extending the reach of the police state.
This coronavirus epidemic, which has brought China’s Orwellian surveillance out of the shadows and caused Italy to declare a nationwide lockdown threatens to bring the American Police State out into the open on a scale we’ve not seen before.
Every day brings a drastic new set of restrictions by government bodies (most have been delivered by way of executive orders) at the local, state and federal level that are eager to flex their muscles for the so-called “good” of the populace.
This is where we run the risk of this whole fly-by-night operation going completely off the rails.
It’s one thing to attempt an experiment in social distancing in order to flatten the curve of this virus because we can’t afford to risk overwhelming the hospitals and exposing the most vulnerable in the nation to unavoidable loss of life scenarios. However, there’s a fine line between strongly worded suggestions for citizens to voluntarily stay at home and strong-armed house arrest orders with penalties in place for non-compliance.
More than three-quarters of all Americans have now been ordered to stay at home and that number is growing as more states fall in line.
Schools have canceled physical classes, many for the remainder of the academic year.
Many of the states have banned gatherings of more than 10 people.
At least three states (Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania) have ordered non-essential businesses to close.
In Washington, DC, residents face 90 days in jail and a $5,000 fine if they leave their homes during the coronavirus outbreak. Residents of Maryland, Hawaii and Washington state also risk severe penalties of up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine for violating the stay-at-home orders. Violators in Alaska could face jail time and up to $25,000 in fines.
Kentucky residents are prohibited from traveling outside the state, with a few exceptions.
New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., is offering its Rikers Island prisoners $6 an hour to help dig mass graves.
In San Francisco, cannabis dispensaries were included among the essential businesses allowed to keep operating during the city-wide lockdown.
New Jersey’s governor canceled gatherings of any number, including parties, weddings and religious ceremonies, and warned the restrictions could continue for weeks or months. One city actually threatened to prosecute residents who spread false information about the virus.
Oregon banned all nonessential social and recreational gatherings, regardless of size.
Rhode Island has given police the go-ahead to pull over anyone with New York license plates to record their contact information and order them to self-quarantine for 14 days.
South Carolina’s police have been empowered to break up any public gatherings of more than three people.
Of course, there are exceptions to all of these stay-at-home orders (in more than 30 states and counting), the longest of which runs until June 10. Essential workers (doctors, firefighters, police and grocery store workers) can go to work. Everyone else will have to fit themselves into a variety of exceptions in order to leave their homes: for grocery runs, doctor visits, to get exercise, to visit a family member, etc.
Throughout the country, more than 14,000 “Citizen-Soldiers” of the National Guard have been mobilized to support the states and the federal government in their fight against the coronavirus.
Thus far, we have not breached the Constitution’s crisis point: martial law has yet to be overtly imposed (although an argument could be made to the contrary given the militarized nature of the American police state).
It’s just a matter of time before all hell breaks loose.
If this is not the defining point at which we cross over into all-out totalitarianism, then it is at a minimum a test to see how easily we will surrender.
Generally, the government has to show a compelling state interest before it can override certain critical rights such as free speech, assembly, press, search and seizure, etc. Most of the time, it lacks that compelling state interest, but it still manages to violate those rights, setting itself up for legal battles further down the road.
These lockdown measures—on the right of the people to peaceably assemble, to travel, to engage in commerce, etc.—unquestionably restrict fundamental constitutional rights, which might pass muster for a short period of time, but can it be sustained for longer stretches legally?
That’s the challenge before us, of course, if these days and weeks potentially stretch into months-long quarantines.
At the moment, the government believes it has a compelling interest—albeit a temporary one—in restricting gatherings, assemblies and movement in public in order to minimize the spread of this virus.
The key point is this: while we may tolerate these restrictions on our liberties in the short term, we should never fail to be on guard lest these one-time constraints become a slippery slope to a total lockdown mindset.
What we must guard against, more than ever before, is the tendency to become so accustomed to our prison walls—these lockdowns, authoritarian dictates, and police state tactics justified as necessary for national security—that we allow the government to keep having its way in all things, without any civic resistance or objections being raised.
Most of all, don’t be naïve: the government will use this crisis to expand its powers far beyond the reach of the Constitution.
That’s how it starts.
Travel too far down that slippery slope, and there will be no turning back.
As I make clear in my book “Battlefield America: The War on the American People,” if you wait to speak out—stand up—and resist until the government’s lockdowns impact your freedoms personally, it could be too late.
Just because we’re fighting an unseen enemy in the form of a virus doesn’t mean we have to relinquish every shred of our humanity, our common sense, or our freedoms to a nanny state that thinks it can do a better job of keeping us safe.
Whatever we give up willingly now—whether it’s basic human decency, the ability to manage our private affairs, the right to have a say in how the government navigates this crisis, or the few rights still left to us that haven’t been disemboweled in recent years by a power-hungry police state—we won’t get back so easily once this crisis is past.
The government never cedes power willingly.
Neither should we.
Feature Photo | A member of the Maryland National Guard in a Humvee outside a COVID-19 testing facility in a parking lot of FedEx Field, March 30, 2020, in Landover, Md. Andrew Harnik | AP
John W. Whitehead is a constitutional attorney, author and founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His book “Battlefield America: The War on the American People” is available online at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.
This article was originally written at and published by MintPressNews.com, posted here with permission.
The Seeds Of Suicide: How Monsanto Destroys Farming
“As part of the process, they portrayed the various concerns as merely the ignorant opinions of misinformed individuals – and derided them as not only unscientific, but anti-science. They then set to work to convince the public and government officials, through the dissemination of false information, that there was an overwhelming expert consensus, based on solid evidence, that GMOs were safe.” – Jane Goodall, in the forward about the book mentioned below.
In 1996, Steven M. Druker did something very few Americans were doing then — learn the facts about the massive venture to restructure the genetic core of the world’s food supply. The problem of unawareness still exists today, but it’s getting much better thanks to activists like Druker.
Druker, being a public interest attorney and the Executive Director of the Alliance For Bio-Integrity, initiated a lawsuit in 1998 that forced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to divulge its files on genetically engineered foods.
He’s recently published a book on the lawsuit (2015). In the book, Druker provides details of his experience, and he’s also released the documents on his website showing the significant hazards of genetically engineering foods and the flaws that the FDA made in its policy.
The book has some very impressive reviews. For example, David Schubert, Ph.D., molecular biologist and Head of Cellular Neurobiology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies said that this “incisive and insightful book is truly outstanding. Not only is it well-reasoned and scientifically solid, it’s a pleasure to read – and a must-read.”
You can click on the link to read more info. Apart from efforts like this from Druker, there is a wealth of science that has also emerged detailing various concerns. This science, both health and environmental, has been cited by more than 35 countries that have now completely banned the growing and import of GMO crops. Many also have severe restrictions on them, as well as the pesticides that go with them. There are also concerning Wikileaks documents pertaining to GMOs…
The Seeds Of Suicide: How Monsanto Destroys Farming
Below is an article written by Dr. Vandana Shiva, trained as a Physicist at the University of Punjab, and completed her Ph.D. on the ‘Hidden Variables and Non-locality in Quantum Theory’ from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She later shifted to inter-disciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy, which she carried out at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India. In 1982, she founded an independent institute – the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in Dehra Dun – dedicated to high quality and independent research to address the most significant ecological and social issues of our times, working in close partnership with local communities and social movements. In 1991 she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources – especially native seed – and to promote organic farming and fair trade. For last two decades, Navdanya has worked with local communities and organisations, serving more than 500,000 men and women farmers.
You can learn more about her, and what she is doing by visiting her website HERE.
The general gist of the article is about Monsanto putting vast amounts of articles to debunk all of the suicides that have been committed by farmers in India, due to the company’s control over the cotton seed supply. It goes into the idea that, when a corporation controls seed, it controls life, including the life of farmers worldwide. It was written and published in 2013.
Monsanto and its PR men are trying desperately to delink the epidemic of farmers suicides in India from its growing control over the cotton seed supply. For us it is the control over seed, the first link in the food chain, the source of life which is our biggest concern. When a corporation controls seed, it controls life. Including the life of our farmers.
The trends of Monsanto’s concentrated control on the seed sector in India or across the world is the central issue. This is what connects the farmer suicides in India, to Monsanto v Percy Schmeiser in Canada, or Monsanto v Bowman in the US, to farmers in Brazil suing Monsanto for $2.2 billion for unfair collection of royalty. Through patents on seeds, Monsanto has become the “Life Lord” on the planet, collecting rents from life’s renewal and from farmers, the original breeders. Patents on seed are illegitimate because putting a toxic gene into a plant cell is not the “creation” or invention of the plant. They are seeds of deception – the deception of Monsanto being the creator of seeds and life, the deception that while it sues farmers and traps them in debt, it is working for farmers’ welfare and “improving farmers lives” – the deception that GMOs feed the world. GMOs are failing to control pests and weeds, and have instead led to the emergence of super pests and super weeds [PDF].
In 1995 , Monsanto introduced its Bt technology in India through a joint venture with the Indian company Mahyco.
In 1997-98, Monsanto started open field trials of its propriety GMO Bt cotton illegally, and had announced it would be selling the seeds commercially the following year.
India has had rules for regulating GMOs since 1989 under the Environment Protection Act. Under these rules, it is mandatory to get approval from the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee under the Ministry of Environment for GMO trials.
When we found out that Monsanto had not applied for approval, the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology sued Monsanto in the Supreme Court of India. As a result, Monsanto could not start commercial sales of its Bt cotton seeds until 2002. But it had started to change Indian agriculture before that.
‘Seeds of suicide’
The entry of Monsanto in the Indian seed sector was made possible with a 1988 Seed Policy imposed by the World Bank, requiring the government of India to deregulate the seed sector.
Five things changed with Monsanto’s entry. First, Indian companies were locked into joint ventures and licensing arrangements, and concentration over the seed sector increased. In the case of cotton, Monsanto now controls 95 percent of the cotton seed market through its GMOs. Second, seed which had been the farmers’ common resource became the “intellectual property” of Monsanto, for which it started collecting royalties thus raising the costs of seed. Third, open-pollinated cotton seeds were displaced by hybrids, including GMO hybrids. A renewable resource became a non-renewable patented commodity. Fourth, cotton which had earlier been grown as a mixture with food crops now had to be grown as a monoculture, with higher vulnerability to pests, disease, drought and crop failure. Finally, Monsanto started to subvert India’s regulatory processes, and in fact started to use public resources to push its non-renewable hybrids and GMOs through so-called public private partnerships (PPP).
The creation of seed monopolies, the destruction of alternatives, the collection of superprofits in the form of royalties, and the increasing vulnerability of monocultures has created a context for debt, suicides, and agrarian distress.
I have always been critical of reductionism. I look at systems, and at contextual causation. It is this system that Monsanto has created of seed monopoly, crop monocultures and a context of debt, dependency and distress – which is driving the farmers’ suicide epidemic in India. This systemic control has been intensified with Bt cotton. That is why most suicides are in the cotton belt. The highest acreage of Bt cotton is Maharashtra, and this is also where the highest farm suicides are. According to P Sainath, who has covered farmer suicides extensively: “The total number of farmers who have taken their own lives in Maharashtra since 1995 is closing in on 54,000. Of these, 33,752 have occurred in nine years since 2003, at an annual average of 3,750. The figure for 1995-2002 was 20,066 at an average of 2,508.” Suicides have increased after Bt cotton was introduced. The price of seed jumped 8,000 percent; Monsanto’s royalty extraction and the high costs of purchased seed and chemicals have created a debt trap.
According to data from the Indian government, nearly 75 percent rural debt is due to purchased inputs. Farmers’ debt grows as Monsanto profits grow. It is in this systemic sense that Monsanto’s seeds are those of suicide. An internal advisory by the agricultural ministry of India in January 2012 had this to say to the cotton growing states in India: “Cotton farmers are in a deep crisis since shifting to Bt cotton. The spate of farmer suicides in 2011-12 has been particularly severe among Bt cotton farmers.”
Moreover, after the damning report of the parliamentary committee on Bt crops, the panel of technical experts appointed by the supreme court has recommended a 10-year moratorium on field trials of all GM food and termination of all ongoing trials of transgenic crops.
And the ultimate seeds of suicide are Monsanto’s patented Terminator Tecnology that create sterile seed. The Convention on Biological Diversity has banned its use, otherwise Monsanto would be collecting even higher profits from it.
“Monsanto is an agricultural company. We apply innovation and technology to help farmers around the world produce more while conserving more.”
“Produce more. Conserve more. Improving farmers’ lives.”
This is the announcement on Monsanto India’s website. All the pictures are of smiling prosperous farmers from the state of Maharashtra. However, we see that the reality on the ground is completely different. Farmers are in debt and in deep distress, and have become dependent on Monsanto’s seed monopoly. Most of the farmers who have committed suicide in India did so due to being trapped in debt and are in the cotton belt – which has become a suicide belt now: The highest suicides are in Maharashtra. Monsanto’s talk of “technology” tries to hide its real objectives of ownership, where genetic engineering is just a means to control seeds and the food system through patents and intellectual property rights.
A Monsanto representative admitted that they were “the patient, diagnostician, and physician all in one” in writing the patents on life sections in the TRIPS agreement of WTO. Stopping farmers from saving seeds and exercising their seed sovereignty was the objective. Monsanto has gone very far down the road of destroying biodiversity and seed sovereignty. It is now extending its patents to conventionally-bred seed – as in the case of broccoli and capsicum, or the low-gluten wheat it had pirated from India, which we challenged as a biopiracy case in the European Patent Office.
That is why we have started Fibres of Freedom in the heart of Monsanto’s Bt cotton/suicide belt in Vidharba. We have created community seed banks with indigenous seeds and helped farmers go organic. No GMO seeds, no debt, no suicides. We save and share seeds of life and freedom – diverse, open-pollinated, GMO-free, patent-free seeds.
Dr Vandana Shiva is a physicist, eco-feminist, philosopher, activist, and author of more than 20 books and 500 papers. She is the founder of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, and has campaigned for biodiversity, conservation and farmers’ rights – winning the Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize) in 1993.
Follow her on Twitter: @drvandanashiva
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While the majority of rest of the world is under a state of quarantine and some places with a police...
John Whitehead: The Attack on Civil Liberties in the Age of COVID-19
You can always count on the government to take advantage of a crisis, legitimate or manufactured. This coronavirus pandemic is...