Tag Archives | India

Hard Evidence: does GM cotton lead to farmer suicide in India?

Cotton has become a controversial crop in India. captrosha, CC BY-ND

Cotton has become a controversial crop in India. captrosha, CC BY-ND

In response to yesterday’s article, “Monsanto’s GMO Creations Caused 291,000 Suicides in India,” we had a Facebook commenter share this article with us.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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By Ian Plewis, University of Manchester

Arguments surrounding the use of genetically modified crops and whether they are the solution to the world’s problems of food supply and public health are no nearer to resolution than when GM was introduced.

In Europe, there is widespread opposition to GM crops, with import or cultivation of many GM foods prohibited by EU regulations. In the Americas, and to a lesser extent in Asia, regulations are less stringent and a substantial proportion of the area used to grow corn, soybean and cotton is planted with GM seeds.

The agri-business companies responsible for developing the seeds, notably Monsanto, are frequent targets of anti-GM campaigners.… Read the rest

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Why the world’s largest democracy has the most modern-day slaves

population-enslaved_chartbuilder

via Quartz India:

India has the highest number of enslaved people in the world.

More than 14 million out of India’s population of over 1.2 billion people are living in modern slavery, according to the second edition of the Global Slavery Index. Produced by an Australian human rights body, Walk Free Foundation, the survey defines modern slaves as those without individual liberty, by being subjugated to forced labor, trafficking and sexual exploitation.

An estimated 35.8 million people worldwide, or 0.5% of the world’s population, live as modern-day slaves.

In terms of the highest number of slaves as a percentage of a nation’s population, India is ranked fifth, with 1.14% of the country’s population trapped as slaves. The worst affected are people belonging to lower castes or tribes, religious minorities and migrant workers.

Of 167 countries surveyed, the worst 10 countries are home to 71% of the world’s slaves.

Read More: http://qz.com/298005/why-the-worlds-largest-democracy-has-the-most-modern-day-slaves/

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Monsanto’s GMO Creations Caused 291,000 Suicides in India

India Untravelled (CC BY 2.0)

India Untravelled (CC BY 2.0)

via Natural Society:

It is no secret that Monsanto is making life difficult for countless farmers in America with its parented seeds. After all, the biotech giant has already filed 145 lawsuits (or on average about 9 lawsuits every year for 16 straight years) against farmers who have “improperly reused their patented seeds.” But did you know that Monsanto is also leading hundreds of thousands of farmers to suicide?

Biotech has attempted to dismiss the rise in farmer suicides in India due to the introduction of genetically modified crops, but the problem is too pervasive to wipe under the rug. While there are numerous contributing factors to farmer suicides in India, debt is the largest concern that has been fueled by non-viable crops.

Biotech sells seeds that either don’t grow or lead to the development of unstoppable superweeds and superbugs. Subsequently, biotech urges and nearly forces farmers to purchase RoundUp and other herbicidal chemicals which the farmers can ill afford.

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Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, Slams Rape Culture in Speech

Let’s hope he acts on his words.

via Think Progress:

In speaking out, Modi challenged citizens and government alike to change the way that rape is thought about. “Today as we hear about the incidents of rapes, our head hangs in shame,” he said in his wide-ranging address. “I want to ask parents when your daughter turns 10 or 12 years old, you ask, ‘Where are you going? When will you return?’ Do the parents dare to ask their sons, ‘Where are you going? Why are you going? Who are your friends?’ After all, the rapist is also someone’s son. If only parents decide to put as many restrictions on their sons as they do on their own daughters.”

Though only time will tell whether the Modi government acts on the rhetoric seen in his speech, Tanvi Mandan, head of the Brookings Institution’s India Project told ThinkProgress in an email, the fact that they are even being talked about in this way is significant.

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Rescued Elephant ‘Cries’ Following 50 Years of Captivity and Abuse

Lizzie Dearden writes at the Independent:

An elephant that was kept in chains for 50 years and abused by a drug addict who used the animal beg in India has been freed.

Raju had been beaten and starved since being poached from the wild as a baby and resorted to eating paper and plastic to fill his stomach.

The chains and spikes wrapped around his legs had left him with chronic wounds and arthritis and he was in almost constant pain.

But now he is walking free for the first time after a daring rescue by conservationists with a court order by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department to take the elephant from his abusive owner.

Screenshot of Raju from Above Video

Screenshot of Raju from Above Video

The charity took Raju in the middle of the night on Thursday, supported by police and state officials.

The elephant’s mahout and previous owner tried to stop him being taken by adding more chains and having people block the roads for the rescue lorry.

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Indian Man Is Addicted To Eating Nothing But Bricks

Is this the ultimate hearty, raw diet? Via Metro News:
Pakkirappa Hunagundi suffers from a rare eating disorder and says he is addicted to eating only bricks, gravel and mud. "I only like mud and bricks, nothing else," he told Barcroft TV. "I will eat it because it is my habit. I need it every day. I can’t stop." The 30-year-old has been eating bricks since the age of ten. He now eats up to one brick a day and three kilos of mud and gravel to fulfill his craving. It is believed he suffers from a condition known as Pica, the persistent eating of non-food items with no nutritional value. Mr Hunagundi has ignored pleas from friends and family to change his diet and now plans to travel across India to show off his brick-eating abilities. He says he hasn’t suffered any ill-effects from his unusual diet.
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Indian College Student Jumps Into Tiger Enclosure Looking For a Fight

PIC: Uncredited tourist/CoverAsiaPress

PIC: Uncredited tourist/CoverAsiaPress

Intoxication and/or psychiatric illness are suspected to have played a role in the man’s decision to challenge two tigers to a cage fight. (You think?) Thankfully, the tigers seemed to have been spooked by the man and left him unharmed.

Via Oddity Central:

College students are known to do the stupidest things at times, but this one just takes the cake. Yashonandan Kaushik, a 23-year-old student of Engineering from Madhya Pradesh, India, actually jumped into a tiger’s enclosure at Gwalior Zoo. The bizarre incident that took place around 5pm on Monday stunned spectators and zoo staff alike. Kaushik completely ignored their cries to come out. He took off his shirt, challenged the tigers to a fight and tried to chase one of the beasts into its cave. Surprisingly, he made it out of the enclosure unharmed.

 

 

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Die-Off of India’s Vulture Population Creates Crisis for Zoroastrian Sky Burials

Pic: Cornelius Brown (PD)

Pic: Cornelius Brown (PD)

India has always been a land with a robust vulture population, owing to its 500 million cattle population (almost half of the world’s 1.3 billion) and the taboo associated with eating beef (80% of the country is Hindu).  However this situation has drastically changed in just a generation.

From 1992 to 2007, the Indian population of some 400 million vultures of 9 species has dropped 99.9% due to the widespread use of a drug used to treat inflammatory disorders and pain in cattle called diclofenac.  The indigenous White-rumped Vulture alone, with a population of some 80 million, was described in 1985 as “possibly the most abundant large bird of prey in the world.”  Today the White-rumped Vulture is listed as Critically Endangered.  Tragically, a vulture that eats the flesh of a cow to whom diclofenac was recently administered quickly perishes from acute kidney failure.

This vulture population collapse has led to severe problems in India from undisposed cattle corpses.  Whereas previously a bull could be cleaned in as little as 20 minutes by a pack of vultures, now the carcass putrifies and may cause water contamination from runoff.  Moreover, the open niche has led to a sharp rise in the numbers of roaming wild dogs.  Whereas vultures are an ecological dead-end for pestilence owing to their super-acidic digestive system, dogs and rats are much more liable to spread disease.  Anthrax, plague, and the most fatal disease known to man: rabies, have seen a marked rise since the beginning of the vulture crisis.  Today in India, 30,000 people die from rabies each year, more than half the world’s total.… Read the rest

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Indian Farmer With Human Tail Worshipped As A God

human tailToday’s accidental religious savior via the Huffington Post:

A 35-year-old tea picker in Alipurduar, India, is getting tailed by followers every day — mainly because the 14.5-inch tail growing out of his back makes them think he’s a living god. Chandre Oraon has had his tail since birth and some Hindus believe it’s a sign he’s an incarnation of a monkey god known as “Hanuman,” Barcroft TV reported.

Worshippers from all over India travel to his home in hopes of touching his tail and getting blessings. One woman, Monika Lakda, said she travelled overnight to see Oraon at his small makeshift shrine, hoping he would be able to cure her nephew’s fever.

About 40 cases of human tails have been reported according to a study by the People’s Journal of Scientifc Research.

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