Bill Moyer talks to scientist and philosopher Vandana Shiva, who’s become a rock star in the global battle over genetically modified seeds. These seeds — considered “intellectual property” by the big companies who own the patents — are globally marketed to monopolize food production and profits. Opponents challenge the safety of genetically modified seeds, claiming they also harm the environment, are more costly, and leave local farmers deep in debt as well as dependent on suppliers. Shiva, who founded a movement in India to promote native seeds, links genetic tinkering to problems in our ecology, economy, and humanity, and sees this as the latest battleground in the war on Planet Earth.
Moyers remarked that Shiva is facing an “uphill battle,” being one woman against some of the most powerful corporations on the planet. Shiva replied that under the teachings of the sacred Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita
, duty comes before any thought of outcome.
“You do not measure the fruit of your actions,” she said, “You have to measure the obligation of your actions. You have to find out what’s the right thing to do. That is your duty. Whether you win or lose is not the issue.”