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Seed Sovereignty, Food Security: Women in the Vanguard, by Vandana Shiva.

May 31, 2015

Seed Sovereignty, Food Security; Women in the Vanguard, by Vandana Shiva.  North Melbourne, Victoria : Spinifex, [2015].

4 stars

An anthology of articles by experts and activists opposing industrialized agriculture and GMO’s and advocating the preservation of biodiversity in seeds and locally sustainable food.

Vandana Shiva is an Indian woman at the forefront of international environmental movements, particularly in the movement to ensure that all people have access to healthy, nutritious food. She knows the science about food production, and she has worked in the field assisting those who are fighting at the local level to preserve traditional, small-scale farming. In her new book from Spinifex Press, she brings together an impressive international array of individual activists and scientists who share her convictions. As Shiva notes, it is women who have lead this fight because women are the ones who typically are the ones growing and preparing food.

In the introduction to the book, Shiva lays out her arguments against industrial approaches to food production. She explicitly attacks the false claims which supporters of GMO foods have sought to spread. Evidence supports her belief that the claims that GMO foods are better, cheap, and result in more food are simply false. The use of GMOs and single crop agriculture drain the land of nutrients and require toxic chemicals. Food grown in this way has fewer nutrients and presents more dangers. For her, GMO foods and the control of food production by an international elite threatens us all. In the other articles in the book, a variety of others expand on her arguments and describe their own efforts to retain the right to grow and eat their own food. I found the articles by activists around the global to be especially interesting and powerful.

I strongly recommend Seed Sovereignty, Food Security to a wide group of readers, especially to those who have not taken the threat to our food supply seriously. This is a important statement of why we all should care about the future of agriculture.

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