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Biodiversity Advocate To Speak At SDSU

An advocate for sustainable agriculture is bringer her perspective on feeding the world to a South Dakota college campus. Vandana Shiva is set to discuss her challenges with industrial agriculture and genetically modified crops. Shiva says people need to prioritize their health and the planet.

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are common in modern agriculture. India-based scientist and advocate Vandana Shiva says companies claim to want to produce more to feed people, but that doesn’t happen.

Shiva says businesses genetically alter crops for profit so they can patent a specific type of seed. She says they also lobby to destroy seeds that are already in the public domain.

"Sadly at this  point, initiatives like seed libraries which are saving seeds so people can have a kitchen garden, people can grow seed that is healthy and nutritious and tasty, they are being sent notices to shut down," Shiva says.

Shiva says modifying seeds destroys biodiversity, and she says preserving that is the best way to produce enough healthy food for the world’s population. She says most of the human food supply comes from ecological, small farms. She says expanding industrial agriculture is the wrong move.

"And that’s the choice people need to make: a dead planet or a living planet," Shiva says. "The issue of food has to be imbedded in what does it do to the earth, the web of life, and the systems that actually create food: the seed, the soil, the water."

Shiva is based in Dehli, India. She’s written more than twenty books.

Shiva’s Harding lecture is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24th at South Dakota State University. It happens at 7 p.m.