India’s Farmer Suicides

“The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.” —Will Rogers

In a Nutshell

Monsanto’s (exorbitantly expensive) genetically modified seeds and ineffective pesticides have destroyed the sustainable farming industry of India. To keep their land, farmers take out huge loans, but when they are unable to pay them back, hundreds of thousands of despondent farmers have killed themselves to escape their obligations.

The Whole Bushel

Considered by many to be the most evil corporation in the world, Monsanto is a perennial favorite for popping up in discussions of capitalist greed. In their goal to corner the entire global food market, the company has their fingers in a lot of pies, but are best known for their stake in GMOs (genetically modified organisms). The company holds a great deal of sway over every agrarian society on earth, particularly in India, where farmers live on the razor-thin margins between life and death.

Indian farmers have begun taking their lives in staggering numbers, more than a quarter million in the last two decades, a trend the Daily Mail has termed the “Genetically Modified Genocide.” According to a paper published by New York University, 17,638 farmers killed themselves in 2009 (one every half-hour). While farming might be among the most ancient of all professions, it is not immune to the changing tide of technology. Desperate to preserve their way of life, farmers are forced to take usurious loans to pay for Monsanto seeds and pesticides just to stay afloat.

Even under optimal conditions, a farmer with several acres of land makes less than a dollar a day. India is already cripplingly poor; 25 percent of the population lives under the poverty line (mandated by the government at approximately 40 cents a day). One bad growing season (whether caused by drought, infestations, or expensive chemicals that just didn’t work) leaves a farmer with tragically few options. He can default on his loan, lose his land and live as a beggar, or end things once and for all. In a truly ugly twist of irony, the farmers often kill themselves by drinking the very pesticides that were supposed to save them, leaving behind helpless families.

Show Me The Proof

Monsanto’s GMO Seeds Contributing to Farmer Suicides Every 30 Minutes
Seeds of Suicide: India’s Desperate Farmers
Every Thirty Minutes: Farmer Suicides, Human Right, And The Agrarian Crisis In India

  • Elizabeth Lopez

    Wow…..There’s many prisoners that are sentenced to 400 years in prison and sure, some are deserving, but to think how this company (or person) has killed millions and millions of people…Don’t they deserve a strong hand of the penal system? There’s got to be consequences for your actions and yet Monsanto seems to be getting stronger and stronger. This really saddens me.

    • brooklynarcher

      because money talks and the bullshit walks smh

    • inconspicuous detective

      well maybe not prison time, but the company needs to be stopped and the reason it’s so out of control is because so little is talked about involving what is going on with the food industry. generally speaking, people are content if they don’t know.

      • anonymouse72

        True, I never knew about it until I read this, and WHY does it still exist?

        • inconspicuous detective

          in the words of brooklynarcher: money talks and bullshit walks. they can lobby or whatever they need to do to have people in their pocket.

  • Phil_42

    Monsanto is so f-ing evil. The most calculated strategic monopolising business structure the world has ever seen. These are very bad people.

    • Mom424

      The worst; it’s like a dystopian movie but we’re living it.

  • The Bully007

    The company Monsanto should be pulled apart and distroyed. They should stop being a company. Won’t someone do something about it?

  • I read about this recently. Very weird and sad.

  • valiullah choudhary
  • Liege_Lord

    Great article. It is unfortunate that there is nothing illegal about these practices as it is all well within the general scope of capitalist marketing and business. It is sad we hear terms like “Business Ethics”, yet all businesses seem too function objectively and analytically, rarely if ever considering the human repercussions of their business decisions.
    Articles like this which raise awareness are the first step in changing these unfortunate and horrific practices.

  • arkadev

    try this. it’s not about monsanto, but a different angle to look at the farmer suicides: http://archive.tehelka.com/story_main52.asp?filename=Ws190312Anguish.asp

  • gillybean

    The statistics for farmer-suicides worldwide are pretty dismal, even in the UK farmers are three times more likely to commit suicide than the average person.

  • rhijulbec

    Monsanto=evil incarnate and governments seem either powerless to stop them or worse, in this companies bed and complicit in their evil deeds.I fear for the world my grands are inheriting.

  • TheUnknownTruth

    Their is a Great Documentary that will really open your eyes on the Food industry called “Food Inc.” . And its not one of those lets show you how we kill the cow types that gross you out but they really go behind the whole GMO farming scams.

  • Hillyard

    While Monsanto is an evil corporation, blame lies also with the lenders that charge such high interest rates. A cap on the interest charged farmers might help the situation a bit.

  • LOL I like how Web Of Trust (WOT) marks the Mosanto website as very untrustworthy. 🙂