Punjabi farmers killing selves

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In India, farmers are killing themselves by swallowing the same pesticides used to protect their fields, but not before greedy global agribusiness kills their crops, their land, and their hopes.

In a speech for the BBC’s REITH LECTURES 2000, sustainable-development advocate Vandana Shiva relates the utter destruction she saw in the country’s Punjab region, which was once a richly productive farming region.

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Shiva says global agribusiness goaded Punjab farmers into abandoning their traditional crops for genetically engineered hybrid cotton — “white gold” which would make the peasant farmers rich. Instead, the farmers are now beholden to the company to get seeds at ever higher prices to replant crops.

Worse, the GE cotton is especially prone to disease and pests, and the volume of pesticides farmers must use have wiped out local pollinating insects like butterflies and bees. Now, without the insects, other crops are dying.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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