GENTECH archive


Letter from Dr. Vandana Shiva, Jan 4, 1999

Apologies if you've seen this elsewhere.

Date: Wed, 06 Jan 1999 16:34:57 +0500
From: Vandana Shiva <>

Dear Friends,	 4 Jan 1999

I wish you all a happy New Year and look forward to further strengthening
our campaigns against Genetic Engineering and Patents on Life.

Tomorrow are filing the legal challenge against Monsanto on its genetic
engineering trials in India. Monsanto is also attempting to hijack the
Indian National Science Congress, an important institution built through
our Independence Movement. Over the next few days, we will be organising a
national debate on the future of Indian science -- Will it serve the needs
of Indian people or become an instrument for the profits of TNCs such as
Monsanto?  In the midst of the tremendous energies unleashed among citizens
on issues related to the future of agriculture and food security, I have
had some disturbing news.

A delegation of farmers from Karnataka, some still with KRRS and some who
have left it, came to make a representation to me thinking that as in the
past, I was involved in the exposure trip of KRRS farmer representatives to
Europe in in May 1999. They had assumed that I was organising this with
Third World Network (TWN) which has been the main collaboration through
which the KRRS's international activity and exposure has been organised in
the past.  They wanted me to know that since most Indian farmers are buried
under debt and thousands have committed suicide over the past year due to
indebtedness, no farmer can afford to pay Rs. 35,000 for travel to Europe.
Most of the so called 500 farmers who will be travelling to Europe as part
of the "Caravan" are basically Bank officials, pesticides and seed agents
and commission agents.

I informed  the farmers' delegation that I have nothing to do with the
organisation of the "Caravan" and also promised to communicate their
message to my friends in Europe so that people in Europe could make their
decisions about hosting the "Caravan" with full awareness of the
background. Hence, I am communicating this message as part of this promise
groups I work with.

Over the next few months, we will be intensifying the Indian Campaign
against Genetic Engineering and will keep you updated.

Since we do feel that global solidarity between citizens is critical at
this moment of human history and since real Indian farmers and peasants
cannot travel overseas, we will work with the wide network of farmers
organisations and citizen groups to organise a solidarity meeting in India.
 We will keep you informed about the dates of the solidarity meeting after
our National Coordination Group meets in Hyderabad from 5 to 7 Jan 99.

With best wishes,

Vandana Shiva

   Bob Olsen, Toronto