‘Bitter Seeds’ leads a call to action against GMOs
In the fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack sells everything he owns — one cow — for a handful of magic beans. It works out for Jack. He takes on the Giant, wins, and returns home to a happy mother (though she may not send him to market again responsible for the sale of their only livestock).
The story that unfolds in the documentary Bitter Seeds, featured at the Boulder International Film Festival, is about farmers who wager it all on what are promised to be miracle seeds, but land dust and failed crops rather than a magic bean pole. Their ending is far more grim.
A quarter of a million farmers in India have committed suicide in the last 16 years, according to Bitter Seeds. This equates to one farmer killing himself every 30 minutes, all because the miracle cotton seeds they were sold with the promise they would increase yield drove them into debt and failed to produce an ample return. In this tale, the giant they faced is GMO seed producer Monsanto, and they lost.
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