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New Novel, "Earth Sentinels," Takes a Look at the GMO Seed Suicides in India
The new novel, Earth Sentinels: The Storm Creators, takes a hard look at the nearly 300,000 suicides committed by farmers living in India’s Cotton Belt, as well as other pressing environmental and indigenous peoples issues.
In 1997-98, Monsanto started open field trials of its GMO Bt cotton illegally with the intent to sell the seeds the following year.¹
Cottonseed has historically been among the farmers’ lowest expenses. During the harvest, cotton growers would cultivate crop seeds, saving them for the following season. As a general practice, they also would swap seeds with neighboring farmers, ensuring through natural selection that subsequent generations of cottonseed would be best suited for the region. Although local cotton does not provide the same potential yields as cotton seed from the Americas, it has adapted to India’s unique climate — an intense monsoon season followed by months of drought.²
After the introduction of GMO seeds, fifty percent of an Indian farmer’s debt was for the purchase of new seeds. GMO seeds cost up to 10 times more than traditional seeds and are engineered to self destruct, ensuring that farmers must purchase new seeds the following year—further increasing their debt.²
To afford GMO cottonseeds, the farmer must take out a seed loan from the State Bank of India. If the crop fails, which is highly probable since GMO cotton is designed for use in irrigated fields, the farmer will not be able to pay back the loan and will be denied a second loan, forcing the farmer to seek an unregulated private moneylender who charges steep interest rates, sometimes as high as 100 percent. A second crop failure, or even an underperforming crop, can place the farmer in a hole so deep that many turn to suicide.²
Earth Sentinels introduces its readers to Mahakanta Suresh, a cotton farmer in India, as he takes one last look at his farm before gulping a toxic pesticide that kills him, but not before his family arrives home to discover him in agonizing pain.
Mahakanta’s spirit joins others in the spirit realm where he and a group of shamans and indigenous peoples, under the guidance of the fallen angel Bechard, begin a poignant adventure, using supernatural powers to save the planet from mankind’s greed, corruption and indifference. Inspired by current events, Earth Sentinels leads you through the world’s most pressing issues while offering amazing insights and instilling hope.
Mark Champion of OurHealingMatters.com, said, “On occasion, we all read a book that we know will mark the time of our age. Where truth is illegal, communication is regulated and monitored, and humanity is impaled upon the skewer of power and greed, Earth Sentinels’ message is every bit as telling and accurate as Animal Farm and Fahrenheit 451. It is a succulent portion of cold, hard truth played out with characters you share affinity with, understand and love.”
Earth Sentinels is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and at fine bookstores.
Earth Sentinels: The Storm Creators, visionary fiction, 270 pages ISBN-13: 978-0692225318
Author website: ShamanElizabethHerrera.com
¹Global Research: http://www.globalresearch.ca/
Shaman Elizabeth Herrera