Reality-Check
May 15, 2014
Myth #3: Monsanto GM seeds cause farmer suicides in India

False. Indian farmers do sometimes commit suicide, and this is tragic. But the fact is such suicides happen independently of Monsanto and GM seeds. They began before the introduction of GM cotton in India in 2002. In fact, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), a United Nations organization, suicides among farmers have been decreasing since the introduction of GM cotton, and are no higher among Indian farmers than among the Indian population as a whole.

This myth of a link between GM seeds and Indian farmer suicides has been the subject of loads of thoughtful investigation. Invariably, people who actually bother to talk with farmers and other rural stakeholders determine that there are several factors at play in farmer suicides in India. These range from the inadvertent use of counterfeit seeds–by definition not Monsanto products–to changes in the Indian banking system. Here are just of few of these independent reports:

We also have an article about the Indian farmer suicides and links to further sources of factual information on our corporate website.

We find it deplorable that certain activists, and not a few journalists, continue to propagate this myth and to give air time to statements which have been demonstrated to be blatant lies. 

[If you’ve heard any other stories about Monsanto that you suspect aren’t true, check out our other blog entries in this series or download our pocket-sized Myths & Facts leaflet, which is available in several languages.]

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