Vandana Shiva: The Seed at the Heart of Freedom_on Anti-War Progressive Teach-in
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Vandana Shiva: The Seed at the Heart of Freedom
Vandana Shiva came in September 2011 to the first national Heirloom Seed Expo held in Santa Rosa, CA, to give the keynote speech. 10,000 people had come on short notice to see plants and seeds that would already be extinct had not someone lovingly collected and bred them.
Shiva, trained in quantum physics, became a seed saver and ecologist in 1982. She and her organization Navdanya have done a huge part of the work limiting the spread of GMOs into India. For her the attempts to impose GMOs on India is a war on life and the most recent wave of colonialism. She and the members of Navdanya learned from Gandhi’s campaigns against the British – and as Gandhi chose the spinning wheel and salt, they chose the seed as the vessel of life and dedicated themselves to its protection.
Vandana Shiva explains how biotechnology creates super weeds, poisons beneficial insects and soil microbes and only brings high yields when fertilizers, pesticides and abundant water are applied. She reports on Monsanto’s intrusion into the Indian market by burning heirloom seeds, and locking farmers and seed vendors into exclusive agreements. Monsanto is using the patent rights they received via former Monsanto lawyer Clarence Thomas on the US Supreme Court to collect royalty payments and make it illegal to save and exchange seeds. She calls for the international abolition of GMOs and the removal of patents since seeds are a gift from nature to be shared freely.
Her books include Biopiracy, Stolen Harvest, Monocultures of the Mind, and Water Wars. Her many awards include the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the “Alternative Nobel Peace Prize.” She spoke in September 2011 at the Heirloom Seed Expo organized by Baker Creek Seeds along with many independent seed companies, farmers and schools. From a TUC Radio Presentation.
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