Code of Survival
The film opens with farmers in the USA. Here, every year, the fields are sprayed with millions of tonnes of Roundup, a pesticide whose main active ingredient is the chemical glyphosate. Multinational chemical companies market Roundup for use with plants which are genetically modified to be resistant to it. The idea is that farmers can apply the poison to large swathes of farmland, killing everything except their crop. But this weapon is losing its power. Nature is creating glyphosate-resistant weeds which spread at a biblical rate and grow incredibly fast – allowing them to quickly overpower and kill the crops. We meet farmers who’ve been driven to desperation. No longer able to control these “superweeds”, they have no choice but to abandon huge areas of good-quality farmland – losing their livelihoods in the process.
The film explores poisons such as Roundup and the ways in which they have seeped into our lives: although Germany is virtually GM-free, glyphosate can now be detected in all of our bodies. Using powerful images, the film explains how the large-scale application of poison is destroying soil biology, causing a global drop in soil fertility.