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In an interview with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Vandana Shiva discusses how Bill Gates, along with Big Ag, Big Chemical, Big Food, Big Tech and Big Pharma are destroying Earth’s ecosystem and with it, our health.
Shiva, who has a Ph.D. in quantum physics, is founder of Navdanya International, an organization dedicated to protecting seed and food sovereignty, and small farmers around the world.
Kennedy, chairman and chief legal counsel for Children’s Health Defense, and Shiva discuss how the Gates empire aims to control the food system, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s quest to make this the Decade of Vaccines.
Watch the interview here:
Read the transcript:
RFK, Jr. : This is my hero, Vandana Shiva, whom I have known for many, many years, who has been a role model for me, really. She’s about 40 IQ points smarter than I am. I found out because I was reading your biography today, and I didn’t know that you did your doctoral thesis on quantum physics. Was that what you studied in school at some point?
Vandana Shiva: Yes, that’s still what guides my work, the non-separation and the potential. Those are the two things that will get the mechanistic thinking out of the world. Yes, we are connected, and we all have potential, including civil disobedience.
RFK, Jr.: So Vandana Shiva: Shiva is currently the head of Navdanya, right?
Vandana Shiva: Navdanya, which means nine seeds.
RFK, Jr.: But I first ran into you when you were running the Chipko movement back in the 1980s, that’s when I first heard about you, and this extraordinary leader in India who was organizing women to protect forests and trees and all of that.
Vandana Shiva: Bobby, I wasn’t a leader. I was a student, and I was volunteering, and the leaders were the women and they were my professors. I always say, I went to University of Western Ontario for my Ph.D. to figure out quantum theory better, but I went to the Chipko University to figure out biodiversity. And Bobby, just the other day, the mafia has taken hold of David Attenborough to launch portfolio management on biodiversity, like portfolios on land ownership, as if value to biodiversity was not recognized by the Chipko women. I think that is the clash we are living through. The billionaires wanting to turn everything into their portfolio, and the ordinary people saying, “No, we want to protect our land.” Our farmers have been protesting now for six months for the land. That’s what they’re saying.
RFK, Jr.: I’ve seen on the international news these huge, vast gatherings of farmers now in India are marching on the cities. And so tell us, because I know you’re right in the middle of that … let me just introduce a little bit more about you. Shiva is one of the great grassroots leaders on the planet today. She has won every prize that you can win from people who care about grassroots women’s rights, about intellectual property and seeds, particularly, in GMOs, in forest protection, in chemical agriculture versus the agriculture than Vandana Shiva fights for, and has led us all in the wars against Monsanto. Hanging out with you for many, many years, I don’t even remember the first time we met, but she’s just an extraordinary, extraordinary leader. So, I want to talk to you about Bill Gates and about his purchase of the land, and his move to create a new feudalism on this planet, and to get the farmers off the land, and the billionaires onto it. And let’s talk first about current events and about what’s happening in India with these marches that you’re involved in.
READ + SHARE my latest on #TheDefender as I dive deep on #BillGates quietly becoming the largest owner of farmland in the U.S. and the irresistible pull #Gates has to exert monopoly control over global food supplies. https://t.co/F6hOyCfsAw
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) February 4, 2021
Vandana Shiva: So Bobby, my life was around physics and quantum physics, and of course, the Chipko movement. I was, from a very young age, an ecological activist. But it was 1984 …
RFK, Jr.: Your dad was a forester, right?
Vandana Shiva: My father was a forest conservator. Yes, I learned a lot from him. And my mother was a refugee from the partition. When India was split by a line drawn on a map, and she said, “Well, I’ve done everything. I’ve broken every glass ceiling for women, and now I’ll be a farmer.” So she became a farmer, and my father was in the forest, and we lived between the farm and the forest. And they were wonderful people. I mean, their values, their life has given me all the values I live, of fearlessness, of truth, of never giving up, and loving nature very deeply. But my involvement in agriculture begins with 1984, when there were similar protests against the green revolution. Now, the green revolution was first implemented on Punjab …
RFK, Jr.: That was a program by the Rockefellers, originally, Rockefellers, right?
Vandana Shiva: Exactly, and the World Bank. So the World Bank, the USAID [U.S. Agency for International Development], the Rockefellers. They had a package working for a while on how do you get to move these huge amounts of chemicals, the fertilizers, the pesticides after the wars. Those factories should have just shut down, and instead, the Rockefellers, who were very much involved in the IG Farben and Hitler experiments. I mean, there’s so much reports on that. The oil came from the Rockefellers. The chemical agriculture is a fossil fuel agriculture. They provided the oil, and the Germans provided the science and the Rockefellers, also the private bankers, provided the finance. And so after the war, it should have been an end to chemical warfare on this planet, and instead they worked on saying, “How do we change agriculture to make it more adapted to chemical.?” So, we have tall wheats, and tall rices and even animals are dual purpose.
The bullocks will pull the plow and the cows will give you milk. So we never do one dimensional thinking in India. And the fact that so many Indians are heading so many institutions is they’re living on the leftovers of multi-dimensional thinking, to push the world into one dimensional artificial intelligence thinking. But at that point, Barlow was picked up from DuPont defense labs to work on changing the plans. Now, the U.S. had stolen some wheat from Japan during the war, and there was rice from Indonesia, and they changed the plant, made the dwarf … I call it the civil disobedience of the plant. The plants were saying, “Don’t want you chemicals. Go away,” and they changed the plant. And this was all done by Norman Borlaug, who got a Nobel Peace Prize. In 1984, farmers are being shot. Farmers are being killed, and I’m seeing this was about to … It’s supposed to be about peace. He gets a Nobel Peace Prize. 20,000 people have died in Punjab.
So the protests of today are a continuity of protests we’ve had since 1991, which is a watershed for this neoliberal globalization imposed by the World Bank, which first got us into debt. I mean, that’s how the shylocks of the world work, right? Get it into debt, and then on the pound of flesh. And the laws that the farmers are fighting against are the pound of flesh that the World Bank had demanded in 1991, except that they were pushed back, and pushed back and pushed back. Right now, the protests are huge. Farmers aren’t stupid. Farmers know what they’re fighting against and they say, “We are fighting for the soul and the soil of India, because if we aren’t there as farmers, this civilization is dead. If we aren’t there as farmers, this soil is dead.” They’ve witnessed how the soil has been degraded with the chemical green revolution. They have witnessed the monoculture commodity farming for Pepsi, which is one model. So Pepsi came into India after 1984 and suicide started in the potato belts. Pepsi, for a 20 rupee package of potato, the farmer gets 0.04 paisa, which is an insignificant amount. So, when it’s chemical agriculture, GMO seeds and globalized trade by agribusiness and agro-processing industry, on average, farmers get 0.5 to 4% of what a consumer pays. But the consumer pays not just the price of that junk food in the package, they’re paying for the price of junk food in their health.
And that’s why the work you’re doing Bobby, on the issue of health, particularly children’s health. I see the industrial agriculture and industrial processing and the industrial mindset as invasions into our bodies. Earlier, it was happening indirectly, the cancers through the toxics. You’ve been fighting on the Monsanto cancer cases. All of that is an invasion into the body. But now there’s a conscious denial that there’s a harmony between the soils’ health, the plant health, our health. Our gut microbiome is a rain forest of diversity. And if it doesn’t receive diversity of food and it doesn’t receive fresh food, it is like a war against our gut microbiome, which is 90% of us in terms of biodiversity. We are 10% human, 90% other beings who keep us healthy, who make us. And the war against our bodies is at its last stages.
But it’s happening at a time when awareness on health is growing so much. Where awareness of biodiversity is growing so much. And now they’re thinking, “Oh, what we did when colonialism started, just change the mindset, call them barbarians, civilize them.” I mean, they’re basically carrying on the civilizing mission narrative. And that’s why I wrote my book, Oneness Vs. the 1%. I said, Bill Gates, keeps talking about innovation, all he’s doing is colonization. And I’ve basically shown how it’s colonization.
RFK, Jr.: Right. And that’s what I want to talk to you about. And I have a piece that I interviewed you for extensively that’s running in The Defender this week about Bill Gates’ new feudalism. The U.S. papers finally recognized the tip of the iceberg of what’s happening because they discovered suddenly that he was now the biggest owner of farmland in the United States of America. He did this health campaign to take over our farmland. Nobody knew he was doing it. He was buying it through shell companies, cascade investments and other means. And what I do in this article, with your help, is connect what he’s doing in this country. He’s also investing in Alphabet, which is a Google company and developing robotic farm workers that will replace farmers. He is developing artificial intelligence and stealing the knowledge as he did in India, from the little farmer. He put cameras in their homes, in their fields. He put sensors everywhere to figure out how they were using the seeds.
And then he took the seed banks, there’s 15 seed banks around the world that store all of the heritage seeds of humanity, 786,000 species of seeds. They’re there for humanity, for the commons, and he has taken over that seed bank, consolidated it and is now privatizing it and changing the genetic makeup of those seeds, making it so that they are chemically dependent so he can patent all of the life that has been developed over 20,000 years of agriculture on this planet.
I want to start telling this story about what happened during the green revolution, which was started by the Rockefellers, mainly in India and Mexico. Gates moved it in the early 2000s to Africa. Gates and the Rockefeller Foundation. And they started doing the same thing there. And it’s the same thing he did with vaccines. There’s a human problem, which he says is hunger or disease, and I’m going to solve it with my technology, which is GMO crops, patented seed, synthetic foods, chemical agriculture, pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizing monocultures.
And he went into 13 African nations and forced them to do commodity agriculture, to accept his inputs, built the supply chain and now there’s 131 million people starving in those nations. The starvation rate has gone up by 30%. And he is now trying to do the same thing to the rest of the world. And I know you’ve been active in Africa and fighting them there for many, many years. And that really helped alert the world about this. It’s not about farming, it’s not about food, it’s about taking over our land and giving us really unhealthy food.
Vandana Shiva: Bobby, you know better than anyone, how we are witnessing both the patterns of the old colonization of 500 years. And I think it’s very important that Black Lives Matter wakes up to the Gates empire, which is a racist empire. They might appoint at their heads or give a few jobs, but the mindset and the structural processes is where systems get decided.
While he’s using that old mindset, of course he’s using new tools, and the new tools are basically genetic engineering. And I’d started Navdanya, which means nine seeds, which is diversity, when I was called at a meeting in 1987 with the old poison cartel. “Now we own the seed, we’re not making enough money by selling chemicals, we’ve got to make it illegal for farmers to have seed. We will own seed as intellectual property and we’ll have an international cloak called the WTO Trade-Related Intellectual Property to force farmers to have GMO patency. I said, “But this is so wrong. This is an empire over life.” And I took a commitment, I’m going to save seeds. I want to work with our government on laws that say, plants, animals, seeds are not patentable.
RFK, Jr.: Let me interrupt you for a second because there’s a lot of people who listen to this who won’t understand why GMO seeds are connected to chemicals. And let me explain very briefly, what happened is, when DDT was banned in 1974, and it was Monsanto’s product, they bought another product called glyphosate. Somebody had taken this, it was a tank cleaner, somebody had thrown it out in the backyard and saw it killed all the grass. And Monsanto said, “This would be a good weedkiller.” It made it a weedkiller, marketed it as a wee killer. Farmers would have hundreds of farm workers wearing backpack sprayers, spraying the weeds in the cornfield before the corn got too big.
Then, in 1994, somebody put some of this glyphosate on the ground, and there was one weed that didn’t die. Monsanto took the gene out of that weed that made it resistant to glyphosate and they put it in corn. And now they had corn, that if you sprayed it with glyphosate it would not die. Well, now you can fire all those farm workers and you hire one airplane that saturates the entire landscape with glyphosate, and the only thing that lives is that GMO corn.
And that now is the biggest pesticide in the world. I think 80% of the pesticides in the world are that and they have now bred all kinds of all of our grains. And all of our food stuffs and fruits are now being genetically engineered so that they are resistant to Roundup, so that you can dump this stuff all over the landscape. What we find is the way that it kills plants is it sucks all the minerals out of them and destroys the building blocks of life. The foo that you get doesn’t have the minerals you need, you can have a full belly, but you can be dying of malnutrition. And that is one of the things that you really have articulated better than anybody.
Vandana Shiva: You’re so right. So whether it is the green revolution in India where Borlaug married chemical fertilizers to dwarf varieties of plants, or Monsanto steals basically already made Roundup glyphosate, makes it Roundup. And then they sued every company that was doing genetic engineering so they could buy them out. They never did any work. Monsanto, none of these companies have done any work. They’ve just sued, and sue, and sued. And the genetic engineering, and patents and chemicals go together.
And now the same Rockefellers that started the chemical industry with the IG Farben, and also started the entire irresponsible pharmaceuticals. You know, we’ve had medicine forever. And Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine.” Ayurveda says “that good food is the only medicine, and bad food has no medicine to cure the diseases it causes. It’s all known. A hundred years of bad … what is it called? There’s a lovely word for it, snake oil? Selling snake oil.
And now Big Pharma, Big Tech, Big IT, and big .. they call it FinTech, financial technology. It’s basically using digital speculative measures and portfolios, turning the land into a portfolio, the biodiversity into a portfolio, and thinking it’s some smart economics. And sadly, poor Attenborough went and said, “Ecologists don’t know biodiversity. Economists do.” because money-making … And Aristotle had said, “Economy is the art of living.” Chrematistics is the art of money making.
So now in the art of moneymaking is Big Ag, Big Food, Big Tech, Big Everyone wanting to get bigger like a cancer cell. And the new Gates Ag One is this convergence. It’s one year old. Last year in January, he announced it. And as he says, time is the enemy. When only stupid people think time is the enemy. Wise people know time is your friend that tests the best out of you. After all, Mr. Gates locked us all in for one year, and time has taught us what wonderful friendships and love is about. It has taught us about enoughness, and simplicity, what we can do without. They don’t realize there’s a living world out there. And I feel Mr. Gates, besides having the disease of the cancer cell, not knowing when to stop growing … Healthy cells know how to stop growing. I think he’s got a disease of power, and he has a disease of fear because … I said, why is this man so afraid of the tiniest microbe, and so afraid of the tiniest small farmer protesting on the Indian streets today? Why is he so afraid of a plant that breeds for free? And why is he so afraid of democracy that if India says no to GMO rice, the golden rice, a fake solution to gold blindness, or the Bt eggplant, which we threw out in 2001 through our government ministry, through seven public hearings, where the government listened to the farmers, and listened to the citizens and listened to the scientists.
RFK, Jr.: And those were GMO crops that he tried to force on India, and India threw them out. But he moved to Bangladesh and Pakistan with his GMO cotton. He doesn’t want anything except the GMOs.
Vandana Shiva: But he also moved the golden rice to the Philippines, for which there’s a huge movement, no golden rice. And this comes back to the seed issue. So when the green revolution was started and the Rockefellers and the World Bank were taking all the seeds from farmers to force them to have the green revolution seeds with chemicals, these 15 seed banks were created, and all our seeds lie in this. Now, Gates has taken control of this public system of seeds. And the rice seed bank in Philippines, where the work on golden rice was being done, the GMO golden rice, the reason it’s important for following that is one, all the seeds of rice are there. We have all 200,000 varieties of rice. And our top seed scientists refused to part with the seeds. They said, “This is our heritage. This was our civilization. We cannot let the World Bank get hold of it.” World Bank made sure he was removed from his position as the top scientists of his time, Dr. Richharia. He is my teacher. And so when Gates gets hold of the seed bank in the Philippines, and then he does golden rice, he’s now preparing. And this is where we need the civil disobedience, Bobby. We all need to join hands. This year World Food Day, Oct. 16, or before that Food Summit, which he has hijacked, let us do a civil disobedience against force feeding of bad food. Whether it be lab food, like Impossible Burger, or golden rice, because he’s preparing for biofortification to be made compulsory. And we’ve seen how he can make things compulsory.
RFK, Jr.: Let me explain what Vandana Shiva is saying about the Food Summit. Most of the people who watch this show know that in 2010, 2009, Bill Gates went in front of the United Nations, pledged $10 billion to the World Health Organization, and most of it ended up coming from government, not from him, but he put in a couple of billion. And he declared a decade of vaccines. Nobody paid much attention to him. But he was the first unelected official, with no diplomatic portfolio, who appeared before the United Nations and he made this declaration.
Immediately, he started putting all of these wheels spinning. He created all of these groups that fight anti-vaccination, and he started promoting vaccines all over the world … and he created all of these quasi-governmental organizations, CEPI [The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness] and PATH and GAVI, [the Vaccine Alliance] that everybody thinks are government, but they’re just Bill Gates. He took over the World Health Organization during this decade. Even the Financial Times said no decision is made at the World Health Organization that is not run through the Gates Foundation first. And in 2019, the World Health Organization comes out in January, and says that vaccine hesitancy is one of the 10 greatest threats to global health. Did they offer any scientific study to prove that? No. They just stated it. Immediately, the world fell in order. In 150 countries, legislatures, politicians who are on the payroll of big pharma and pushing vaccine mandates and abolishing exemptions.
In the United States, within three months, 100 bills in 50 states had been entered into the legislative process to mandate vaccines, and to ban exemptions … Adam Schiff, who’d been taking money from Gates, the head of the Intelligence Committee, comes forward and tells the social media CEOs, Pinterest, Facebook, Google, all of them, Instagram, YouTube, “You’ve got to start censoring vaccine misinformation.”
And then we had the roll up to 2020, and 2020 in January, right on time for his decade of vaccines, we get COVID. And Fauci, who’s his partner, puts $48 billion into pushing vaccines. Gates gets on TV every day saying, “Until everybody gets vaccinated, we have to stay locked down. We’re going to crash the global economy till all of you do what you’re told and get your vaccine.”
He paid for studies to kill ivermectin, to kill hydroxychloroquine, to discredit them. We’ve spent in our country $0 on any-virals, on off-the-shelf antivirals, researching them, vitamin D, all the things we know that reduce fatalities for COVID. None of that was studied. None of it was recommended. Instead, all of the money, $48 billion, went to vaccines.
Now, he’s reproducing that. He has succeeded with his Decade of Vaccines beyond anybody’s wildest dreams. And now, he’s gone on to part two, which he’s declared the Decade of Food, and he’s doing the same thing. It’s all chemical food. It’s synthetic food. He owns the Impossible Burgers, Beyond Beef all of these things, which are loaded with pesticides, and he’s trying to get the farmers off the farms, he’s taking over the farms with his robots and his artificial intelligence in India, in Africa, and now in the United States, and giving us unhealthy food, and it’s contributing to the chronic illnesses that are going to make us addicted to his medications. Oh, you know the rest of that story, Vandana Shiva, and you tell it better than anybody.
Vandana Shiva: Well, I think what people who love life and love freedom should be preparing for now is, A, the fact that yes, with this Gates Ag One, he wants one agriculture on a planet with so much diversity. Our wetlands with rice are very different from our dry lands with millets. Our barn systems of Bengali are very different from the desert systems of Rajasthan. And the one agriculture he wants is this externally driven system, where two of the chemicals after the wars are added, the GMOs, which became post 1990s with the WTO and they were spread and with the patenting. And now he wants to add digital agriculture farming without farmers. And of course the narrative today, just like then, it was, we grow great from air because we fixed nitrogen by burning fossil fuels. Well, that was a myth. They’ve ruined the land. They ruined the oceans. They ruined the climate, 300 times more deadly than carbon dioxide is the nitrous oxide that gets emitted from nitrogen fertilizers.
So they said the soil is empty. I call it terra nullius. That was the legal jurisprudence of the colonial time. Then they patented the seed and made it look like life is empty. I called it bio nullius. And Mr. Gates was creating his new empire. I call it mente nullius, empty minds. We’ll empty out the minds by mining data and patenting it and turning everyone into zombies and evaluating them and assigning them value. And as the research said, you will own nothing. They will own everything. You will own nothing. And it’ll all be theirs. So no commons, no public good, no shared values, just money, money, money in their hands, and them being an extractive machine.
So because since ’91, everything has been tried in the era that created Gates. He wasn’t as rich as he was ’til the deregulation of finance and deregulation of IT. The first WTO meeting he managed to become duty-free and tax-free for trade in information. That’s how all of these tech giants became so rich.
So now what, at that time, the WTO said seeds will be patented before that. And most seeds are not. The second thing was the Cargills will trade in agriculture and there’ll be no national sovereignty system to protect the rights to food. That’s what Indian farmers are fighting against right now. And the third was what they called sanitary and phytosanitary measures, which is ban good food and make junk food the only option. This is why we have chronic diseases.
Now, Gates is taking all of this to the next step. Oh, there were laws created to prevent me from stealing. I’ll do digital genomic mapping and undercut all the international laws. And on international trade in food, if movements are growing for real food and food sovereignty, let me create fake food in the labs and create starvation and hunger through lockdown. So there is no food and destroy the farmers and do farming without farmers. And why worry only about Pepsi and junk food and Coca-Cola? We’re also the world’s biggest polluters in plastic. No, no, no. What we now do is make totally fake food and we’ll make the right to good food a crime, just like a right to know your health, the right to have the right medicine, the right for entire societies to have deep medical knowledge, that all that is turned into a crime. We’ve seen this happen.
RFK, Jr.: Let me give people an example of what you’re talking about. Gates owns a big stake in Philip Morris, which owns Kraft Foods and also owns General Foods. And they make processed foods and they make American cheese singles and Cheez Whiz. Those are so devoid of nutrition that the government makes those companies put in vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, et cetera. There’s some vitamins in them. What Gates is doing now all across Africa, all across the world, is he’s passing laws, he’s buying off politicians and forcing through mandates for fortified food so that you will not be able to sell food in markets in Africa, unless it’s fortified. Well, the food, the goat cheese that the farmer makes in Masai Mara in Kenya does not need fortification. It already has all the nutrients we want in it, but that farmer will not be able to sell that goat cheese in his local market. Instead Cheez Whiz will be the monopoly there. And that’s one of the ways that he’s using what Vandana Shiva’s saying about illegalizing health or outlawing healthy food to open up these markets and compel us to eat his dirty filthy poisonous food.
Vandana Shiva: Two quick things, Bobby. Phillip Morris was also responsible for the high fructose corn syrup, that starts as synthetic sugar. That has caused cirrhosis in the liver in babies and is added to every food because it’s addictive. The second is, India is such a land of diversity and richness. We always said, Hindustan, diversity is our way. We have so many snacks and so many foods, you can’t taste the same thing in three places. It’s all unique. They banned all of this. I have watched it disappear. They’ve banned our cold press virgin oil mills. Five million were shut down in ’98 when Cargill and Monsanto wanted to dump GM Musoya. We’ve watched this happen. So it’s important to learn the lessons of the green revolution of globalization. And now see how the concentration of all of this in the hands of a Bill Gates is accelerating what was put in place and we should do everything we can to prevent a total takeover of our seed, our food, our freedom.
RFK, Jr.: Vandana Shiva, we’re out of time. Thank you very much. Tell people how they can support you in your work.
Vandana Shiva: Well, for anyone who’s listening, the first is, earlier at the farm, we had learning experiences of how to learn from the earth and grow good food. But we right now are having these as zoom courses. And you can go to the website of navdanya N-A-V-D-A-N-Y-A.org. You can become a seed warrior, a food warrior. Write to me at Vandana Shiva: [email protected] And we also have an international program called Navdanya International, where we’ve just done a report, Gates to a Global Empire. You want to know more about what Gates is up to, read that report. It’s available for free download. And let us make this year the year of transition away from the Gates empire, to the freedom of all life on this planet and all people of this planet in all their freedoms and in all their diversity.
And by the way, my name is Shiva because my parents fought caste. And they said, “We want to take a name that’s not a caste name.” And so they took a name of a divinity and in Christianity, there’s a trinity, but we have millions of divinities. The grass is a divinity, and the soil is a divinity and the rivers are divinities and the mother Ganges is our mother. And it’s beautiful. India is so beautiful in recognizing the divine forces in all life, and you must, therefore, protect them. But we also have a Trinity and there’s Brahma the creator, Vishnu, the maintainer, and Shiva, who destroys bad systems to create new ones. Let’s join hands to create new systems.
RFK, Jr.: Perfect name for you, Vandana Shiva. Thank you for joining me. Follow Vandana Shiva and you can read my article in The Defender this week about our collaboration with Vandana Shiva. Thank you very much for joining us.