SUBSTANTIAL EQUIVALENCE, 2018

Single-channel video installation
Found footage
07’47”
[pre-selected for the LOOP Discover Award 2018]
LOOP Discover Online channel

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Based on the concept of Substantial Equivalence* this project creates a parallelism between the life cycle of a genetically modified tomato crop and the life cycle of the human being gestated in vitro. Both cycles begin in the laboratory and each stage of their lives respond to the laws of a system of artificial selection that creates organisms adjustable to the requirements of the capitalist market. This video uses documentary and institutional footage to denounce the dictatorship of the monopolistic biotech companies that threaten food sovereignty, our health and, above all, the life of nature. Greedy for power, these companies manipulate natural life cycles by creating sterile seeds as immune to their dangerous products as to nature itself. Thus, we become consumers of harmful food that makes us mentally and physically sick. As a result, we also become consumers of the medicines that these same companies manufacture. Acting with the impunity of the dollar policy and indifferent to sustainability, biotech companies subject both nature and human beings to stock market transactions destroying, under their own license and legislation, natural life cycles in a ruthless, alarming and irreversible way.

*The concept of Substantial Equivalence holds that the safety of a new food, particularly one that has been genetically modified (GM), can be evaluated by comparing it with a similar traditional food that has proven to be safe to consume over time. This principle was formulated for the first time as a food security policy in 1993 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) who authorized the commercialization of the genetically modified tomatoes Flavr Savr created by the company Calgene, later acquired by Montsanto, nowadays part of Bayer.

Only 25 years after the principle of Substantial Equivalence was approved, the genetically modified acreage increased from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to 185.1 million hectares in 2016, representing more tan 12% of the global cropland today.