A renowned social activist and author who campaigns for the security, sovereignty, and sustainability of the food system is turning her gaze on the next generation of environmental leaders.
Vandana Shiva will speak about her views on GMOs Thursday night in her Vancouver talk, Seeding the Future, as part of the Indian Summer Festival at St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church.
“The story has been, for chemical agriculture and green revolution then and GMOs today, we feed the world,” said Shiva, who entered the world of ecology after the Bhopal disaster in India that killed over 3,000 people in a pesticide plant leak.
“The idea of ‘we feed the world’ is what I learned to be a manipulation through the green revolution. GMOs are basically the old model of chemical farming and industrial agriculture now with new genes added to a crop.”
Shiva began her journey to raise awareness of the issues chemical farming and globalization present and discover why people were dying due to the widely accepted forms of agriculture practices.
Pesticides that increased in strength and use over time lead to the super resilient pests and weeds on todays farms, she explained, which have given way to new technology that continues to harm the environment.
“I say if the tools have failed, change the tools. The technology so far has been to add a new toxic gene to the plant,” said Shiva.
She has spent her life promoting non-violent agriculture, free of poisons and chemicals that kill, and now wants to pass along her wisdom to the next generation of activists to help them change the way the world is run.
“Big challenge is there are systems that work outside the corporate control. Those systems demand creativity. They demand cooperation and community. They demand courage. Those are the systems through which the young people will be able to serve the planet,” she said.
“They’re seeking a way to reconnect to the earth, a way to provide for your own needs, grow your own food, and most importantly, a way for justice for future generations.”