Anti-GMO activist Vandana Shiva earns $40,000 per speech advocating policies harming poor

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Vandana Shiva, the Indian activist who opposes modern agriculture and modern science — and well, modernity in general — is a popular guest lecturer on American campuses. Last spring, she held the Weissberg Chair in International Studies (2013-2014) at Beloit College and this fall is scheduled to lecture at Arizona State and Wake Forest universities.

Although she gets good press from left-wing and environmental publications, Shiva is widely considered by the scientific community to be unbalanced (in both senses of the word) for advocating unsound, anti-social policies and promulgating disproven theories about agriculture. One hopes her remarks to university students are placed in perspective by someone who knows better.

Shiva claims that the cultivation of genetically engineered, pest-resistant cotton is not only ineffective but has been the cause of hundreds of thousands of farmer suicides in India. But Shiva’s statistics are cherry-picked, largely irrelevant and often wrong, and her argument relies on a fallacy of logic known as post hoc, ergo propter hoc–after the fact, therefore because of the fact. In other words, she confuses correlation with causation, the kind of “logic” that leads one to believe that autism is caused by organic food because of graphs like this one.

Eminent Berkeley agricultural economist David Zilberman sums up India’s experience with genetic engineering this way: “India [has] gained from adopting [genetic engineering applied to] cotton but has lost from not adopting it with other crops. The US, Brazil and Argentina adopted [genetic engineering] in corn and soybean, which led to increases in output and gains from exporting these extra crops. India and the rest of the world have also indirectly enjoyed benefits from the increased global supply of corn because of [genetic engineering].

While this upper-caste Indian gets little right about science, she is clearly adept at extracting money from sponsors on the lecture circuit. According to her speakers’ agency, the Evil Twin Booking Agency (we are not making this up), Shiva’s usual fee for an American university appearance is $40,000 plus a business class round-trip ticket from New Delhi. Thus, we infer that Beloit, Wake Forest and Arizona State have probably paid Dr. Shiva close to $50,000 each for exposing their students to her mendacious, baseless attacks on modern agriculture and science.

Read the full, original article: Wealthy activist Vandana Shiva is a poor advocate for the poor

  • First Officer

    Now we need to know how much Jeffrey Smith, Dr. Mercola and Mike Adams earn for similar engagements.

    • Yes, and don’t forget Michael Pollan, David Suzuki and John Mackey.

    • Neil

      ” According to her speakers’ agency, the Evil Twin Booking Agency (we are not making this up), Shiva’s usual fee for an American university appearance is $40,000 plus a business class round-trip ticket from New Delhi.”

      Has anybody independently confirmed this? I gotta say I don’t believe that anybody would be stupid enough to pay $40k to get Shiva to speak but if they are it would be a major blow to her credibility – and, yeah, it would be very interesting to find out how much appearance money the other antis are paid.

      • mlechha

        [quote] it would be a major blow to her credibility [/quote]

        Why?

  • V.K.V.RAVICHANDRAN

    Vandhana Shiva is a rumor monger. She always makes rubbish anti science speeches and spreads myth. While she earns $ 50000 per lecture,she expects our farmers to reel under poverty. Ridiculous.

    • jmmulet

      I can confirm Vandana’s Fare. She gave a Speech in Spain in 2011 and the organizer told me that he had paid her about 30.000 EUR plus Business. By the way, they were very disappointed because of her tyrannical behaviour and surly manners.

      http://www.revistadelibros.com/articulos/el-mito-vandana-shiva

  • Mitesh

    Rubbish article, sponsored by Monsanto

    • dj

      Rubbish comment, sponsored by Whole Foods

  • ken

    vandana shiva is a retarded bitch and shouldnt be arguing something she doesnt know about. My familys farms are using GMO’s and it has never done anything wrong. Ive looked at our farm records from way back when and it shows that there was basically nothing being grown, the crop was so minimal that we lost our ass all the time. But now that we use GMO’s I have noticed that we have been making profit every year since we started using them. This year is actually our biggest year ever and if the Shiva chick is going to be so much of a bitch and talk shit about them then let her ponder this in her mind. If we were using all organic food which we really dont since chemicals of some kind are used on every farm(besides the point), we wouldnt be able to survive since it produces barely anything in terms of crops. If we use GMO’s we are able to support the entire world with food and are able to survive. Id say to shiva that if she is going to complain about GMO’s and how they are basically the devil, then she needs to literally fuck off and kill her self. Farming is a way of life and GMO’s are an adaptation to agriculture all around the globe. So im sorry about my language but i do not agree with this publicity whore talking smack about my familys way of life. Also thankyou for listening to my little rant.

  • Caroline

    If this article isn’t full of fallacious argument, I am a goat.
    Evocation of wage as a gage of credibility is in itself fallacious. Now is this even sourced ?

  • Caroline

    If this article isn’t full of fallacious argument, I am a goat.
    Evocation of wage as a gage of credibility is in itself fallacious. Now is this even sourced ?

  • John Freeberg

    V. Shiva delivered a keynote address in KC, MO last April. The following day she conducted a workshop and spoke at dinner in the evening. Cost was less than half of the $40K this article references.