I saw this little piece of news a few weeks back. Although brinjal is definitely not cotton, and Karnataka is south of Maharashtra (where I’ll be doing my research), this news is exciting and pertinent! As I watched the report the wheels began turning in my little head (which, is actually very little. I can wear children’s sized hats, ok?).
How will this case effect the future relationship between Monsanto and India?
Will this case of biopiracy shed light on how Monsanto is a for-profit company that uses patents and new technology to make money and keep it’s shareholders happy? Will more people begin to question whether or not small-scale farmers in countries like India benefit as much as Monsanto and it’s shareholders do?
Will the take home message from this case simply be that Monsanto should have compensated the farmers for the seeds and the knowledge that they stole? Or should “possession” of the aforementioned knowledge remain in the farmers’ hands? What is the benefit of this “new technology” that Monsanto continues to introduce? If Monsanto is stealing knowledge from farmers and local universities, do we really need it’s expensive seeds in the first place? Is Monsanto simply taking knowledge from communities and repackaging it in a flashier and more expensive packet?
I wonder how much influence farmers actually have? Could this case bring more attention to how farmers struggle in the shadow of debt incurred in order to afford Monsanto’s costly new technologies like genetically modified seeds?
Towards the end of the video, the reporter comments that India is a huge market for Monsanto, so this case or any other problem that Monsanto encounters is unlikely to drive them away from India. So what will suing Monsanto do? I suppose putting them on a leash is better than letting them run rampant…
Just some of my initial thoughts. I’d love to hear your’s. Comment below! Till next time…