Monday, 24 June 2013

The Farce of GM Food Economics

We live in a bizarre world, where those out to make a quick profit on the back of dying farmers sponsor global prizes that they award to themselves in the hope of what?  Pacifying their conscience? Eye-washing the consumer society?

Monsanto, Syngenta (better known for the neonicotinoid insecticides responsible behind the recent drop in bee population worldwide) and other GM seed companies has been awarded the World Food Prize for their contribution in feeding the world!  What a joke!

The news coming out form independent research is being stifled in order to protect these companies commercial interest.  World wide, the Bt gene introduced in a variety of crops (in India: Bt bringal, Bt tomato, Bt corn, Bt cotton) is giving rise to an evolution in insects resistant to the gene, effectively creating a time-bomb waiting to explode.  The frightening face of GM crops is that it was created to resist herbicides, allowing farmers to use stronger more potent herbicides that the crop could resist and other herbs killed off.  Use of herbicides have increased compared to non-GM crops, and these have been harsher and more poisonous.  The use of GM crop has had the effect of increasing the pollution in the land and waterways.

The rise of resistance to Bt genes among insects means that farmers will now revert to using chemical insecticides, and since our legislators and politicians have handed over the control of our agriculture to these GM companies, traditional seeds have been removed from the market in order to monopolise it.  We are left with an agriculture that is immensely worse off than 2o years ago.

What a miracle!  And these geniuses have the audacity to sponsor the World Food Prize in order to award it to themselves. 

Thursday, 20 June 2013

The art of Green-(eye)-washing

Is Nike a green brand, or Nestle, or even Coca-Col, or for that matter Shell (an oil company)??? One wouldn't really think so a priori.Yet, according to highly mediatised report by Interbrand, these are among the top 50 greenest brands in the world, or so they would like you to believe.

A new report by brand value management company Interbrand, a US based Media company that compiles reports on global companies.  The report, titled Best Global Green Brands 2013, has been conveniently marketed in world Media as the greenest brands in the world (see sample articles, here, here and here.

The methodology used in the above report is a little thin on details, although it contains the right vocabulary.  However, like all statistical analysis, much and anything can be conveyed and obtained from statistics, it all depends on how objective one is.  So without knowing who is sponsoring this report, it is difficult to evaluate its authenticity.  If you look at the clients of Interbrand (the company behind the report) many of them are global multinationals.

Another interesting aspect of this report is that it has only been applied to the top 100 global brands (selected in terms of brand value, economic profit, brand strength and role of brand) in other words we are talking about the most valued companies.  Top 50 Greenest brands are not the most sustainable brands, but rather the most sustainable of the most economically successful brands).
The nominees are drawn from Interbrand’s annual Best Global Brands report, which ranks the world’s 100 most valuable brands. (Quote from Interbrand report methodology.)

This finer point is conveniently left out of their Media report, letting consumers believe these are the greenest brands in the world.  So yet again, a lovely marketing eye wash that lets me believe that this report has been financed by top global brands as yet another exercise in Green-(eye)-washing.

Monday, 10 June 2013

The Green People of India

A new movement has been launched in India to bring together eco-companies that strive for a more sustainable choice in our lifestyle for our society.  The Green People of India (TGPI) has launched a preliminary site,, that will eventually serve the purpose of informing and empowering Indian consumers on their choices for a more eco-friendly and sustainable future, but also as a platform for exchange and communication between eco-companies in India.

The Green Festival

 TGPI has succefully completed its first green festival held in Mumbai from the 7th to 9th June.  as you can see from the photos and videos below it was a lot of fun.
We had the support of actors Kalki and Gulshan or Shaitan fame.

It was green and it was fun with impromptu jamming sessions from Mouth Harp maestro Nepture Chapotin.

With lots of stalls and very interesting products on display from clothes, to food to cosmetics and other household items.