You may not know her name, but she is fighting the daily fight to stop an “immoral, unjust, illegal” practice of the privatization and control of life by corporations.
Recently, Zsofia and I had the amazing opportunity to hear Dr. Vandana Shiva talk at Western Washington University. “We will not participate in the patenting and privatization of life” is the pledge that she has taken and upholds in her work as a global environmental activist, author, and Nobel Peace prize recipient.
Vandana fights against what she has termed “biopiracy.” For decades, our global resources have been used by corporations who profit from their use without any consideration or reimbursement to the ecosystem from which they were taken or destroyed. Today, it is also possible to patent, and therefore own, the genetic material of living organisms. These organisms, primarily genetically modified (GMO) or engineered (GE) organisms, are then “owned” by the corporation who can then increase the price and control the distribution.
Even if they have not patented the seeds, corporations can still control the market by buying up seed companies and requiring licensing agreements for seed use. In India, The Monsanto Corporation controls over 95 percent of the cottonseed, increasing the cost to farmers by 80,000 percent. This has sent farmers into debt and caused a massive social and economic crisis.
Vandana asks that we refuse to participate or allow the continuation of the destruction of our natural resources by profit seeking corporations. To find out what you can do and how you can get involved, please check out the resources below.
See a portion of Vandana’s talk at Western Washington University.
More information on Vandana Shiva can be found on her website.
Marni Swart is a Farmer Frog supporter and serves as the organization’s volunteer coordinator.