September 11, 2003 -- CropChoice news -- BBC news online:
Angry farmers in southern India have stormed a building
that formerly housed the global biotech giant, Monsanto.
More than 40 farmers ransacked the corporation's former
Bangalore facility on Thursday, after staging noisy
They were protesting after more than 70 farmers committed
suicide in the region in the last three months.
Their deaths are being blamed on debt and drought -
and on the introduction of Monsanto's genetically modified
According to eyewitnesses, the farmers went on the
rampage in a former Monsanto research center, located
in India's top science facility, the Indian Institute
They damaged furniture and windows, and shouted slogans
demanding Monsanto close down its operations in India.
Monsanto is active in several southern Indian states,
where it has angered environmentalists and farmers by
spearheading the cultivation of genetically modified
The police arrested 15 farmers after Thursday's incident.
They said Monsanto had shifted its research facility
recently, but the protesters were probably not aware
A leader of the Karnataka State Farmers Association,
Professor MD Nanjundaswamy, told the BBC the attack
was a warning to Monsanto to leave India.
The farmer's association had also torched several farms
in the state where Monsanto's new cotton crop was being
The environmental group, Greenpeace, has joined protests
against Monsanto by calling on the company to withdraw
its seeds from the market.
Monsanto says its critics have been misinformed, and
its experiments in genetically modified farming have
been successful in the US, China and other countries.