Talking Biotech: Podcast with Kevin Folta

A science based assessment of new technology and the future of food. 100% funded by Kevin Folta.


Talking Biotech: Cornell’s Ronald Herring rebukes GMO link to Indian farmer suicides

& | July 25, 2016 |

In discussion of genetically engineered crops there is frequent reference to farmer suicides in India. Claims are made that Indian farmers build massive debt for cotton seeds, they become beholden to Monsanto for the money, and then kill themselves.

This story is repeated ad nauseam by Vandana Shiva and others that exploit the untimely deaths of farmers for political gain and to fuel anti-biotechnology sentiment.

Dr. Ronald Herring, a professor of government and international professor of agriculture and rural development at Cornell University, is a social scientist who has studied farmer suicides in India. On the podcast, Herring discusses the complexities of the reasons behind suicides and the role BT cotton has played in Indian agriculture. Guest host Kavin Senapathy interviews Herring and provides perspective of a first-generation Indian-American in the discussion.


Kavin Senapathy is a science writer and mom, who frequently writes for Forbes and other venues. Her twitter handle is @ksenapathy.

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  • Mo

    Vandana Shiva is a moron of the highest order and is pretending to be an expert in area where she has no relevant insight or understanding. The sooner she was shown her place the better for all. One won’t be surprised if Chinese are indirectly channeling funds to antiGM lobby in India.

  • pkv

    Vandana Shiva, her studies in physics and philosophy of science, knowledge in environmental science makes her to speak strongly on GMOs. The way she is managing, feels she is strong in the area of GM technology. However, genetic recombination is part of birthright of all living organisms. In nature, evolution is meant to change and that brings in new technologies through meticulous evaluation. She must be using all high tech tools to speak and publish to reach large mass is that not the evolution or change or what else then?