Vandana Shiva accuses multinational corporations such as Monsanto of attempting to impose food totalitarianism on the world.

Vandana Shiva accuses multinational corporations such as Monsanto of attempting to impose food totalitarianism on the world.

Vandana Shiva accuses multinational corporations such as Monsanto of attempting to impose “food totalitarianism” on the world.

Shiva’s fiery opposition to globalization and to the use of genetically modified crops has made her a hero to anti-G.M.O. activists everywhere. The purpose of the trip through Europe, she had told me a few weeks earlier, was to focus attention there on “the voices of those who want their agriculture to be free of poison and G.M.O.s.” At each stop, Shiva delivered a message that she has honed for nearly three decades: by engineering, patenting, and transforming seeds into costly packets of intellectual property, multinational corporations such as Monsanto, with considerable assistance from the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the United States government, and even philanthropies like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are attempting to impose “food totalitarianism” on the world. She describes the fight against agricultural biotechnology as a global war against a few giant seed companies on behalf of the billions of farmers who depend on what they themselves grow to survive. Shiva contends that nothing less than the future of humanity rides on the outcome.

“There are two trends,” she told the crowd that had gathered in Piazza Santissima Annunziata, in Florence, for the seed fair. “One: a trend of diversity, democracy, freedom, joy, culture—people celebrating their lives.” She paused to let silence fill the square. “And the other: monocultures, deadness. Everyone depressed. Everyone on Prozac. More and more young people unemployed. We don’t want that world of death.” The audience, a mixture of people attending the festival and tourists on their way to the Duomo, stood transfixed. Shiva, dressed in a burgundy sari and a shawl the color of rust, was a formidable sight. “We would have no hunger in the world if the seed was in the hands of the farmers and gardeners and the land was in the hands of the farmers,” she said. “They want to take that away.”

Shiva, along with a growing army of supporters, argues that the prevailing model of industrial agriculture, heavily reliant on chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fossil fuels, and a seemingly limitless supply of cheap water, places an unacceptable burden on the Earth’s resources. She promotes, as most knowledgeable farmers do, more diversity in crops, greater care for the soil, and more support for people who work the land every day. Shiva has particular contempt for farmers who plant monocultures—vast fields of a single crop. “They are ruining the planet,” she told me. “They are destroying this beautiful world.”

The global food supply is indeed in danger. Feeding the expanding population without further harming the Earth presents one of the greatest challenges of our time, perhaps of all time. By the end of the century, the world may well have to accommodate ten billion inhabitants—roughly the equivalent of adding two new Indias. Sustaining that many people will require farmers to grow more food in the next seventy-five years than has been produced in all of human history. For most of the past ten thousand years, feeding more people simply meant farming more land. That option no longer exists; nearly every arable patch of ground has been cultivated, and irrigation for agriculture already consumes seventy per cent of the Earth’s freshwater.

The nutritional demands of the developing world’s rapidly growing middle class—more protein from pork, beef, chicken, and eggs—will add to the pressure; so will the ecological impact of climate change, particularly in India and other countries where farmers depend on monsoons. Many scientists are convinced that we can hope to meet those demands only with help from the advanced tools of plant genetics. Shiva disagrees; she looks upon any seed bred in a laboratory as an abomination.

The fight has not been easy. Few technologies, not the car, the phone, or even the computer, have been adopted as rapidly and as widely as the products of agricultural biotechnology. Between 1996, when genetically engineered crops were first planted, and last year, the area they cover has increased a hundredfold—from 1.7 million hectares to a hundred and seventy million. Nearly half of the world’s soybeans and a third of its corn are products of biotechnology. Cotton that has been engineered to repel the devastating bollworm dominates the Indian market, as it does almost everywhere it has been introduced.

Those statistics have not deterred Shiva. At the age of sixty-one, she is constantly in motion: this year, she has travelled not only across Europe but throughout South Asia, Africa, and Canada, and twice to the United States. In the past quarter century, she has turned out nearly a book a year, including “The Violence of the Green Revolution,” “Monocultures of the Mind,” “Stolen Harvest,” and “Water Wars.” In each, she has argued that modern agricultural practices have done little but plunder the Earth.

Bill Gates is the only person who owns 242,000 acres of farmland – World’s Largest Farmland Owner 2021

Bill Gates, the fourth richest person in the world and a self-described nerd who is known for his early programming skills rather than his love of the outdoors, has been quietly snatching up 242,000 acres of farmland across the U.S. — enough to make him the top private farmland owner in America.

After years of reports that he was purchasing agricultural land in places like Florida and Washington, The Land Report revealed that Gates, who has a net worth of nearly $121 billion according to Forbes, has built up a massive farmland portfolio spanning 18 states. His largest holdings are in Louisiana (69,071 acres), Arkansas (47,927 acres) and Nebraska (20,588 acres). Additionally, he has a stake in 25,750 acres of transitional land on the west side of Phoenix, Arizona, which is being developed as a new suburb.

According to The Land Report’s research, the land is held directly and through third-party entities by Cascade Investments, Gates’ personal investment vehicle. Cascade’s other investments include food-safety company Ecolab, used-car retailer Vroom and Canadian National Railway.

While it may be surprising that a tech billionaire would also be the biggest farmland owner in the country, this is not Gates’ only foray into agriculture. In 2008, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced $306 million in grants to promote high-yield, sustainable agriculture among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The foundation has further invested in the development and proliferation of “super crops” resistant to climate change and higher-yield dairy cows. Last year, the organization announced Gates Ag One, a nonprofit to advance those efforts.

It is not entirely clear how Gates’  farmland is being used, or whether any of the land is being set aside for conservation. (Cascade did not return Forbes’ request for comment.) However, there is some indication that the land could be used in a way that aligns with the foundation’s values. Cottonwood Ag Management, a subsidiary of Cascade, is a member of Leading Harvest, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable agriculture standards that prioritize protections of crops, soil and water resources.

Yohan Tengra activists bio-terror weapon” Coronavirus is part of a larger plot to crush the right to protest

Mumbai: Activists gather to discuss how dissent is being crushed in guise of pandemic

The stage was full of non-believers who are sure that the “bio-terror weapon” Coronavirus is part of a larger plot to crush the right to protest

The Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh played host to a wide variety of people from different walks of life on Saturday afternoon—all of whom had gathered at the venue to reveal the “truth behind COVID-19 crisis“—which included talking about how the virus is “an excuse to usher in a fascist global economy”, and questioning whether the vaccine that has been developed for it, is actually a weapon more than a medicine.

Organised by the group Anarchy For Freedom, which describes itself as ‘India’s Home for Conspiracy Research and Free Thinking‘, Saturday’s event boasted speakers such as activist Feroz Mithiborwala of Narmada Bachao Andloan fame, who spoke about “tracking the bio-terrorism war against humanity,” as well as South-Mumbai based anti-5G activist Prakash Munshi who urged people to “say NO to the 5G rollout.” Other speakers at the event included Mumbai-based Yohan Tengra, from the group Awaken India, Jagannath Chatterjee, Dr Amar Singh Azad (MBBS MD), Ambar Koiri, with the afternoon being hosted by activist and motivational speaker Rebel Shraddha Nand Pati.

Speaking with mid-day shortly ahead of the event, Mithiborwala said: “I have maintained my stance since the beginning, that COVID-19 is a bio-terror weapon that has been unleashed upon humanity. There are important factors that we have found in our research, as to how the death rate as per US CDC as well as Australian CDC doesn’t show a big percentage jump in number of annual deaths. The deaths, caused primarily due to flu, have remained pretty much the same for the last four years. The flu deaths have somehow disappeared and have been replaced by COVID-19 deaths.”

According to Mithiborwala, the COVID-19 crisis has been put in play by big Pharma companies that are “far more powerful than governments.” He said: “We have been witnessing the emergence of a biotech industrial complex, which is basically a totalitarian and surveillance-based fascist state.” On Saturday afternoon, he mainly spoke about three events that have taken place in the past, namely, Dark Winter, which Mithiborwala describes as a “stimulation exercise in June 2001 that foretold an anthrax bioweapon attack on US Soil,” as well as traced timelines from “Event 201” and “Crimson Contagion” till the present day.

Lastly, Mithiborwala believes that the current lockdown being implanted in the national capital amid rising COVID-19 numbers, is targeting the national kisaan and mazdoor movement, to prevent them from carrying out their demonstrations against the recently-passed farm bills. “Look at the scenario around you: In Bihar, lakhs of people attended rallies, not caring to wear masks and standing shoulder to shoulder with other people. You had Diwali celebrations all across the country, now being followed by Chath Puja. However, the Coronavirus suddenly seems to be only in and around Delhi, with Bihar and UP remaining unaffected. Lockdowns have become a nice excuse by any government to crush the right to protest.”