Colin Todhunter is an independent writer and former social policy researcher. He writes on food, agriculture, geopolitics and neoliberal globalization. His main area of concern involves how large corporations, especially transnational agribusiness, have captured key international and national institutions to undermine indigenous models of agriculture. Originally from the UK, Colin has spent many years in India where he has written for various publications, most notably the Bangalore-based Deccan Herald for 10 years.
Agroecology offers concrete, practical solutions to many of the world's problems that move beyond (but which are linked to) agriculture. Agroecology challenges the prevailing moribund doctrinaire economics of a neoliberalism that drives a failing system.
The push to commercialise the growing of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India is currently held up in court due to a lawsuit by Aruna Rodrigues. The next hearing is due in February. Rodrigues' claim is that, to date, procedures and tests have been corrupted by fraudulent practices, conflicts of interest and regulatory delinquency.
The ultimate irony (and hypocrisy) is that Christmas is now cheer-led and celebrated by a consumer capitalism whose corporations are destroying the environment through, for example, the genetic engineering of crops, the drenching of soil with agrotoxins and the eradication of indigenous cultures.
When India ushered in neoliberal economic reforms during the early 1990s, the promise was job creation, inclusive growth and prosperity for all. But, 25 years later, what we have seen is over 300,000...
The case of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India has reached the Supreme Court. The government has said it will bow to the court's eventual ruling. That ruling could green-light GM mustard as first commercial GM food crop. If this goes ahead, there will be wide-ranging, devastating implications for Indian food and agriculture.
Who will be the winners and the losers in the coming U.S. presidential election? Trump or Clinton, Clinton or Trump? The mainstream media is consumed with personality politics. There will only be one winner: the interlocking directorate of financial, oil, military, media, agribusiness and pharmaceuticals interests that run the U.S.
In 2006, Monmohan Singh, the then-prime minister of India, made a deal with George W. Bush to open India's agriculture sector to U.S. agribusiness interests. Since that time, India has been under pressure to change its land acquisition and seed patenting laws
Mention Gandhi in certain circles and the response might be one of cynicism: his ideas are outdated and irrelevant in today's world. Yet Gandhi could see the future impact of large-scale industrialization in terms of the devastation of the environment, the destruction of ecology and the unsustainable plunder of natural resources.
Most U.S. voters seem to believe the lies being fed to them: A public that is encouraged to regard what is happening in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Libya as a disconnected array of events in need of Western intervention based on bogus notions of 'humanitarianism' or a 'war on terror', rather than the planned machinations of empire.
Occupation can take many forms. It does not necessarily imply a military presence or military domination. For example, in India right now, there is a drive to get genetically modified (GM) mustard sanctioned for commercial cultivation; this would be the first GM food crop to be grown in the country.
The decision whether to allow the commercialization of the first genetically modified (GM) food crop (mustard) in India is nearing. Serious conflicts of interest and outright fraud could mean the decision coming down in favour of commercialization.
Across the globe healthy, sustainable agriculture has been uprooted and transformed to suit the profit margins of these transnational agribusiness concerns. If we continue to hand over the control of society's most important infrastructure -- food and agriculture -- to these wealthy private interests, what might the future look like? We don't need to imagine: We can see the effects right now.
Global corporations are engaged in a long-term attack on India's local cooking oil producers. In just 20 years, they have reduced India from self-sufficiency to importing half its needs. Now attempts to impose genetically modified mustard seed threaten to wipe out a crop at the root of Indian food and farming traditions.
It's not so much the Bayer-Monsanto deal is a move in the wrong direction (which it is), but increasing consolidation is to be expected given the trend in many key sectors toward monopoly capitalism or just plain cartelism, whichever way you choose to look at it.
Nyeleni (global congress for food sovereignty) produced The Declaration of the International Forum for Agroecology. It advocated a model of food production radically opposed to the current corporate-controlled system. The declaration represents a challenge to transnational agribusiness. Rather than wanting to transform society and food and agriculture, these state-corporate interests require business as usual.
Coming from the GMO biotech industry, the term "sound science" rings extremely hollow. The industry carries out inadequate, short-term studies and conceals the data produced by its research under the guise of commercial confidentiality while independent research highlights the dangers of its products.
But let's get one thing clear: a single modern nuclear weapon would most likely end up killing many millions, whether immediately or slowly, and is designed to be much more devastating to both people and the environment than those dropped by the U.S. on Japan.