Summary: Vandana Shiva talks about patenting of seeds; other examples of privatisation with patents and funding
OUR regular contributor Wallclimber has transcribed a video that we shared last week because some people needed it as text. The video showed Vandana Shiva (homepage) talking about the outrageous patents of Monsanto, which wants to own the world’s food.
Here is what Shiva said (Wallclimber used brackets like “[...]” where she couldn’t understand Shiva’s words, so maybe other people can fill in the missing parts):
[...] But now the word “patent” is used as an exclusive right to something you have invented. And it is a right to prevent anyone else from making, using, saving, distributing that patented thing.
(0:30) So when seeds, for example, becomes patented by Monsanto – when a farmer saves seed on their own land, a duty in an ecological world-view, that saving of seed is now an intellectual property crime. It is treated as theft. (0:58)
(1:07) And, in fact, it’s because of this extremely outrageous notion I’ve started to save seeds and I’ve started a garden.
(1:26) Seed exchange is treated as theft, if I give you seed so you can grow a nice vegetable in your garden, THAT is treated as theft of Intellectual Property.
(1:53) But what is worse, for example, when your genetically engineered seeds are introduced – you know – they hybridize, they pollinate, so they contaminate with their genetic traits.
(2:20) Now, in [...] law, when I spread a pollution, I must pay. It’s called The polluter [...] pays.
(2:33) But when you have patents on seed, when the genes spread you don’t have to pay, you, in fact, own the other person’s crop now.
(2:55) This is what happened to a Canadian farmer called, Percy Schmitzer.
(3:04) It’s happened to 1,500 (one thousand five hundred) American farmers, who have been sued by Monsanto after Monsanto contaminated their crops.
(3:29) And the way Monsanto finds out that your crop has their – as they call it “their genes”, they send out detectives to collect samples from farmers’ fields.
(3:57) And they send Helicopters over a farm, so if they sold you corn last year and this year you didn’t grow corn, but your field had one volunteer corn – one! – they come and sue you.
(4:20) Now, it so happens that a large number of farmers don’t buy Monsanto seeds.
(4:29) Just looking at the farms here, you know, none of the seeds here have come from within the industrial seed system.
(4:43) And in India 80% (eighty percent) of the seeds are farmers’ own supply…over centuries, the breeding that has been done.
(5:00) So of course, companies like Monsanto know that if farmers have their own seeds then they can’t lock them in, into patentency.
(5:17) So they are doing another thing to take away farmers’ freedom.
(5:26) And that is to create laws that will make it illegal for farmers to have their own seeds also!
(5:40) They’re trying to – in Europe, they are trying that definitely, because I know German farmers are fighting it – if you grow a seed which has not been registered, for which you haven’t paid the license fees, for which you did not get some clearance from Madrid…you know, that yes, you can grow this variety of olive…and if you’re growing fifty varieties of olives, then there is no way individual farmers can afford to pay the fees for registration, or go to the [...] seed and it is to surely shut down the farmers’ independent supply.
(6:40) And this is a criminalization of the most beautiful activity that human beings can engage in; working with the earth, and working with the soil.
(7:01) I see this as Totalitarianism.
(7:09) It is…it leaves no space for freedom of species, leaves no space for freedom of small farmers. It leaves no space for cultures to have their own food culture.
(7:37) And since whatever they sell is not food…
(7:44) I call it non-food. What you get at McDonalds is not food. What’s sold by Coca-Cola is not a drink, because it doesn’t do for our body what our bodies are asking for.
(8:09) Our bodies need nourishment, they don’t want to be bombarded by toxics. And the war that’s created out outside, with the Earth and nature, eventually comes back and becomes a war against our bodies.
[End of video]
Yesterday we shared a full programme about the subject of Monsanto. It indicates that privately (but not so internally), the company speaks about its goal of owning the world’s food. What’s next? Oxygen? What they do is they find a way of gaining ownership of something in nature by warping it in experimental, untested ways and then claiming “intellectual property” on animals and crops. Who’s the guinea pig now?
This subject is interesting to us for two reasons: 1) The Gates Foundation is a major financial backer of Monsanto and it also helps spread Monsanto’s monopoly to more countries, using words, spin, and marketing; 2) Monsanto patents on animals and crops are proof that the patent system is out of control and needs to be stopped.
The connection between the Gates Foundation and Monsanto was already explored and explained in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Monsanto is trying to privatise life in the same way that the Gates Foundation is now trying to privatise (and thus control) schools. As this new comment says:
You’re right Rhonda, there’s big bucks involved. And it is part of the trend of privatization: privatizing education, maintaining privatized health care, privatizing our water (Hi Nestle!).
Backing for the takeover of Sac High provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Beware the hidden agenda. █