i. Indian Farmer Suicide


2011, 4 min 51 sec

In what has been called the single largest wave of recorded suicides in human history, Indian farmers are now killing themselves in record numbers. It has been extensively reported, even in mainstream news, but nothing has been done about it. Monsanto’s inflated costs and ineffective seeds have driven farmers to suicide and is considered to be one of the largest – if not the largest – cause of the quarter of a million farmer suicides over the last 16 years.

According to the most recent figures provided by the New York University School of Law, 17.638 Indian farmers committed suicide in 2009 – about one death every 30 minutes. In 2008, the Daily Mail labeled the continual and disturbing suicide spree as the GM Genocide. Due to failing harvests and inflated prices that bankrupt the poor farmers, struggling Indian farmers killed themselves. Oftentimes, they would commit the act by drinking the very same insecticide that Monsanto supplied them with – a gruesome testament to the extent in which Monsanto has wrecked the lives of independent and traditional farmers.

The rate of Indian farmer suicides massively increased since the introduction of Monsanto’s Bt cotton in 2002. It is no wonder that a large percentage of farmers who take their own lives are cotton farmers, the demographic that is thought to be among the most impacted. Many families are ruined by the loss of their loved ones and struggle to fight off starvation. “We are ruined now,” says a 38-year-old widow. “We bought 100 grams of Bt Cotton. Our crop failed twice. My husband had become depressed. He went out to his field, laid down in the cotton and swallowed insecticide.” In India, around 60 per cent of the population -currently standing at 1.1 billion- are directly or indirectly reliant on agriculture. Monsanto’s intrusion into India’s traditional and sustainable farming community has clearly become an issue bigger then a solely health-related one.