Zee News The most recent estimation suggests that every 30 minutes a cotton farmer in India commits suicide. That’s over 20,000 suicides a year or over 250,000 in the past decade. Cotton farmers in India typically commit suicide as a result of being crushed by debt, moneylenders and the oppressive policies around expensive genetically modified cotton seed. Seeds from genetically modified conventional cotton plants are termed “terminator seeds” and cannot be re-planted. Farmers need to purchase new seeds every season. Conventional cotton occupies 5% of cultivated land but consumes 55% of the pesticides and fertilizers used in India. Organic cotton by definition does not use any genetically modified seeds, synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Where conventional cotton is destructive, organic cotton is restorative. Organic farming safeguards farm workers’ health, provides a fair livelihood for people in disadvantaged communities and preserves the quality of our environment for future generations. The number of child laborers in India is estimated to be as high as 60 million. Child labor deprives children of their childhood, and is harmful to their physical and mental development. Fair Trade means a rejection of child labor and a commitment to gender equality. Fair Trade means paying farmers the right prices for their goods, adhering to safety standards and reasonable working hours. Fair Trade importers seek a position of equality with their producers; in the case of textiles and clothing, this fair trade relationship includes everyone involved, from seed to finished product. Fair Trade includes paying a premium for community development, thus supporting and encouraging communities who are striving for fair and equitable relationships in all parts of their society. Farmers that adhere to organic & fair trade principles do not commit suicide. Organic & fair trade is truly a “life” choice, on many levels and for all affected. It is black and white. It is zees simple.