We recently came back from five weeks of filming in India and Sri Lanka. We spent a lot of time researching story ideas, but one topic we knew we wanted to cover was seed saving and farmer suicides in India. In case you aren’t familiar, there have been over 270,000 farmer suicides in the country over the last 15 years (most are cotton farmers). There are many theories about what circumstances have led to this rash of deaths, but for Dr. Vandana Shiva, the reasons are clear: GMOs.
Dr. Vandana Shiva is an environmental activist who has spent the last 30 years battling against pesticides and GMOs. Among her many accolades, she has both sued and been sued by Monsanto. Beyond pointing fingers and litigation, she has proactively worked to preserve the heirloom seeds of India by starting Navdanya, an organic farm that grows over 1500 rice varieties alone.
We spent an evening with Dr. Shiva and two days at her farm. Her passion, as well as that of the head seed saver (Bija Devi), were palatable and inspiring. Watch the video to hear about their mission: