Across 17 states in India there are a group of organic seed-collecting activists who have decided to take Monsanto and other Big Ag and chemical companies down in this interminable fight the old-fashioned way – by beating them at their own game. The seed bank, called Navdanya also has a learning center called Bija Vidyapeeth (meaning school of the seed) that teaches the importance of biodiversity, conservation of the earth’s resources and organic farming methods.
The organization refers to GMOs as “biopiracy” and aims to rejuvenate the indigenous farming practices that have been passed down for multiple generations, often for more than thousands of years. The desire to teach people of their food rights and alternate means to staying healthy and well fed in the face of climate change without the use of genetically altered seeds and the herbicides, like Round Up, which are utilized to grow them.
Prince Charles, one of the British royals, visited Navdanya earlier this month, presenting a Rudraksh tree, during a symbolic planting, whose seeds are traditionally used as prayer beads in Hinduism. Prince Charles has a relationship with an organic activist, Dr. Vandana Shiva. Dr. Shiva is not only an activist, but has long been an advocate of human rights and has been awarded the Right Livelihood Award, considered the “alternate Nobel Prize.”