SOC 2080 Mar.27.docx

31 views2 pages
29 Mar 2012
From Green Revolution to GM Foods
-technologies for food production don’t exist in the abstract-we must speak about them in context
-in context means an enveloping structure that has social, cultural, economic and political dimensions
-the structure is characterized by tension, gross economic inequalities, asymmetries of power, conflict
-this structure is permeated by contradictions
Green Revolution: 1960’s
-conception: public institutions funded by private foundations-Ford and Rockefeller
-disinterested or self-interested funding?-farm equipment and farm chemicals were major inputs for this
-H Y Varieties dependent upon technological package
-wheat, rice, corn, coffee- major impact crops
-hailed as a huge success
-yields increase substantially over next few decades
-advocates point to India-from importer to exporter of grain
-yield increases seen w/other crops i.e. coffee
-initial critiques on “scale effects” of these technologies-impacts on small farmers-differentiation of farm
-impoverishment of majority, enrichment of minority of small capitalist farmers
-Punjab of N. India was heavily studied area- wheat, rice, cotton
-early proletarianization of Punjabi small holders
-in last 10 years studies indicate presence mercury, cadmium, chromium, and lead in vegetables bring
grown alongside the length of Buddha Nuhhal river in Punjab
-fluoride, mercury, beta-endosulphan and heptachlor [pesticides] were found to be more than
permissible limit [MPL] in ground and tap water
-ammonia, phosphate, chloride, chromium, arsenic were also found
-pesticides detected in fodder, vegetables, blood, bovine and human milk samples, indicating that these
have entered the food chain due to the use of agricultural run-off and irrigation of fields w/drain water
[Express India]
-Greenpeace funded study of 50 Punjab villages-found rampant biological and chemical contamination
-it notes that “it’s clear that Punjab is in a deep ecological crisis”
Water Depletion
-Green Rev. also dependent on heavy irrigation, b/c double cropping decision
-one crop during the natural monsoon, the other w/the artificial monsoon derived from irrigation
-evidence of drastic ground water depletion
-NASA satellite that can detect groundwater supplies noted dramatic changes in groundwater level is
NW India-Punjab-over last decade
Soil Salinization
-high water needs require drilling ever-deeper wells for groundwater
-evaporation=salt residues that build over time
-eventually salinization effectively ruins the soil, rendering it barren
Unlock document

This preview shows half of the first page of the document.
Unlock all 2 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get OneClass Notes+

Unlimited access to class notes and textbook notes.

YearlyBest Value
75% OFF
$8 USD/m
$30 USD/m
You will be charged $96 USD upfront and auto renewed at the end of each cycle. You may cancel anytime under Payment Settings. For more information, see our Terms and Privacy.
Payments are encrypted using 256-bit SSL. Powered by Stripe.