Vandana Shiva: “Ecological agriculture is care for the Earth”

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Vandana Shiva, president of Navdanya International, wrote the preface to Manlio Masucci’s book “Pesticide Nation” (Terra Nuova Edizioni).

Here is the text.

“The course of the last century has been characterized by a massive use of toxic chemicals. Originally these compounds were synthesized for military operations, in other words, to kill. They were later adapted and resold on the agricultural market, making us believe that without chemicals there would be no food security. Today we are discovering that the agricultural system based on chemistry and fossil fuels entails a high cost for the planet: water pollution, soil contamination, loss of biodiversity, greenhouse gases that produce climate instability. Chemical compounds used in agriculture also damage our gut, killing the beneficial bacteria we need. Any chronic illness can be linked to toxins and nutrient-deficient food.

The war conglomerates, which enriched themselves with chemicals and technologies that killed millions of people during the two world wars, continue to kill today, exterminating millions of living species with the spread of poisonous chemicals that destroy ecosystems by poisoning the entire network. of life. This group of multinational agribusiness companies, which is taking over every possible aspect of our life with the sole purpose of obtaining more and more profits, I call the Poison Cartel.

In recent decades, corporate globalization based on trade deregulation has facilitated the spread of the industrial food system. The globalized industrial food system has become the most significant anthropocentric force that violates planetary boundaries, ecological limits, the integrity of species, cultures, communities. An unsustainable and unjust food system, which violates the human right to food and health, life and livelihoods. The industrial agriculture lobby has recently begun to urge the second generation of GMOs or New Breeding Techniques (Nbt). We are witnessing a convergence of big tech, big biotech, big ag, big pharma and big media. The race to introduce GMOs is part of a program aimed at deregulating and registering patents. What we are seeing is an attempt to irreversibly destroy knowledge and biodiversity. Patents on seeds threaten the biodiversity that farmers guarantee us. They erase the Source, the culture and the common heritage that the seeds represent. It is a process of appropriation carried out through biopiracy that exploits the “mapping” of their genomes and their genetic sequences. Philanthropy has also come into play with Bill Gates and his Foundation which, in collaboration with large profit companies, is carving out new territories to market agrochemicals, pretending to act for the good of humanity. Now financial companies like Black Rock, Vanguard and the big tech billionaires are promoting their false solutions, which damage nature, women, small farmers, democracy. How can the very subjects involved in the activities that created our health, ecological and climate crises be somehow qualified to sell us a “solution”?


Any discussion of food and agriculture should instead be based on the diversity and complexity of life in the soil, in food, in the real economy. What we need is the practice of ecological agriculture based on biodiversity and the active recognition and promotion of the rights of the living Earth and its biodiversity. Smallholder farmers and a decentralized and diverse food system are the backbone of our food security and sovereignty. Ecological agriculture and food production are “Care of the Earth”. Food communities are emerging all over the world, representing the foundation of a new “Earth Democracy”. This regenerative work in small farms and cities is the true Green Economy. For this we need to green food systems, and detach ourselves from the model of industrial agriculture with a high intensity of fossil fuels, chemicals and capital. We must localize food systems and abandon the unjust rules of corporate globalization that have destroyed our rural economies and food cultures and which have degraded the health of the planet. We must stop the poisoning of the earth and our health by working towards a transition from degenerative, unsustainable and unhealthy food systems to regenerative, sustainable and healthy food systems.

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Pesticide Nation tells the story of this attempt to hijack our planet and our life. It indicates the culprits but also the heroes who show us the resistance and the real innovations that are developing in the territories ».


of Terra Nuova

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The article is in Italian

Tags: Vandana Shiva Ecological agriculture care Earth

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