Government and International Relations Honors Papers

“Enemies of Life in the Name of Life”: Seed Patents, GM Crops, and the Global South

Patricia Arenson, Connecticut College

Document Type Honors Paper


In the past few decades agribusiness in the global North has developed a booming industry in genetically modified (GM) crops; industry giants have secured patents and aggressively protected them to maximize profits. This new technology has been exported to the Global south, where its introduction has caused a cascade of horrific problems for farmers and non-­‐farmers alike. GM crops and seed patents have exacerbated poverty, accelerated the loss of indigenous knowledge, and threatened to destroy ecosystems through the loss of biodiversity. This honors thesis explores these issues with a focus on the situation in India, where Vandana Shiva has led the fight for seed sovereignty, biodiversity, and farmers' rights.


The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.