Bill talks to scientist and philosopher Vandana Shiva, who's become a rock star in the global battle over genetically modified seeds. These seeds - considered "intellectual property" by the big companies who own the patents - are globally marketed to monopolize food production and profits. Opponents challenge the safety of genetically modified seeds, claiming they also harm the environment, are more costly, and leave local farmers deep in debt as well as dependent on suppliers. Shiva, who founded a movement in India to promote native seeds, links genetic tinkering to problems in our ecology, economy, and humanity, and sees this as the latest battleground in the war on Planet Earth.

About the author

Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned physicist, activist, feminist and philosopher deeply committed to issues of sustainability and social justice. With traditional wisdom and fierce intellectualism, Shiva has become a global champion of movements in defense of the environment and those most harmed by globalization and the expansion of multinational corporations.

Shiva's background in physics informs her philosophy of development and sustainability. Her unique outlook on interconnectedness, which underpins her approach to advocacy, is inspired by her work on "hidden variables and non-locality in Quantum theory" during doctoral studies at the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

Armed with scientific expertise, Shiva went on to start the Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Natural Resource Policy in 1982 to raise awareness of the destructive nature of multinational development projects in India.

In 1987, Shiva founded Navdanya (which means "nine seeds"), a movement which aims to promote the use of native seeds, conserve biodiversity and support local farmers in India. Since founding Navdanya, Shiva has become a leading opponent of genetically modified seeds, arguing that that their infiltration into the international food system has come at a high cost to the environment and to local farmers. She is known for campaigning relentlessly against Monsanto, the world's largest seed producer, and their claim to intellectual property rights over GM seeds - what she views as an attempt to monopolize food production and profits.

A prolific writer, Shiva has authored over a dozen books covering subjects of ecology, biodiversity, globalization and feminism. In her latest book,
Making Peace With the Earth, she calls for a paradigm shift away from corporate control of natural resources to one of long-term respect for the environment and social justice.

Shiva's work has won her many awards, including the Global 500 Award of the U.N., the Earth Day International Award, the Right Livelihood Award, and the Sydney Peace Prize 2010.