Affordable Access

Access to the full text

Farmer-suicide in India: debating the role of biotechnology

Authors
  • Thomas, Gigesh1
  • De Tavernier, Johan1
  • 1 KU Leuven, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Sint-Michielsstraat, Leuven, 3000, Belgium , Leuven (Belgium)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Life Sciences, Society and Policy
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
May 11, 2017
Volume
13
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s40504-017-0052-z
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Indian Biotech opponents have attributed the increase of suicides to the monopolization of GM seeds, centering on patent control, application of terminator technology, marketing strategy, and increased production costs. The contentions of the biotech opponents, however, have been criticized for a lack of transparency in their modus operandi i.e. the use of methodology in their argumentation. The fact is, however, that with the intention of getting the attention of those capable of determining the future of GM cotton in India, opponents resorted to generating controversies. Therefore, this article will review and evaluate the multifaceted contentions of both opponents and defenders. Although the association between seed monopolization and farmer-suicide is debatable, we will show that there is a link between the economic factors associated with Bt. cultivation and farmer suicide. The underlying thesis of biotech opponents becomes all the more significant when analysed vis-à-vis the contention of the globalization critics that there has been a political and economic marginalization of the Indian farmers. Their accusation assumes significance in the context of a fragile democracy like India where market forces are accorded precedence over farmers’ needs until election time.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times