Stopping genetic junk

Never in the past have crops, cultivated by us, had to undergo such scrutiny. But the scrutiny is required especially in the case of genetically engineered [GE] or genetically modified [GM] crops.

GE crops are organisms created artificially in labs through a process known as recombinant DNA technology. The unpredictability and irreversibility of GE have raised a lot of questions about this technology. Moreover, studies have found that GE crops harm the environment and have a potential to risk human health. All this has resulted in a controversy across the world about the need to introduce this dangerous technology.

Greenpeace in India and in several other countries entered the agriculture scenario with the campaign against the environmental release of GE or GM organisms.  GE crops represent everything that is wrong with our agriculture. They perpetuate the destruction of our biodiversity and the increasing control of corporations over our food and farming.

Campaign story:

The anti GE campaign has contributed in ensuring a serious debate on the need for GE crops in the country. It has also ensured that India does not approve commercialisation of any GM food crop.

The campaign has brought together farmers, consumers, traders, scientists and other civil society organisations to put up a brave front against the entry of GM crops in our country. This resulted in the indefinite moratorium on Bt brinjal, the first GM food crop that was up for commercialisation.

While Bt brinjal has been stalled for now, 56 other crops are being genetically modified and are waiting for approval. Rice is the leader amongst these. If not stopped the entire country would become one big feeding experiment for GM seed companies.

The campaign is trying to plug the gaps in the existing regulatory system in the country to stop the release of any GM crops. We are also asking the government to come up with a bio-safety regime that will prioritise citizen’s health, environmental safety and the nation’s socio-economic fabric.

As the citizen is also a consumer and has a right to safe GM free food, we have been mobilizing consumers and engaging with food brands in the country to ensure that the food industry in the country remains GM free. For the first time in India there is a consumer campaign against GM food and food brands have started to notice this consumer opinion.

To summarise, our basic demands are:

1. A complete ban the release of any genetically modified organisms in the environment, either for commercial cultivation or for experiments.

2. Re-focus scientific research on ecological alternatives, to identify agro-ecological practices that ensure future food security under a changing climate.

The latest updates

 

GM Free India: A March Towards Progress

Blog entry by Paritish Mulay | June 1, 2016

What transcended at Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth in Rahuri in October of 2014 was a step closer towards achieving the dream of an organic India, an India rediscovering its deep-rooted agricultural history. A Monsanto...

One Year Since The NAQI Launch

Feature story | April 6, 2016 at 14:45

One year ago, when the Prime Minister of India launched the National Air Quality Index platform to monitor the air quality in major urban centers across the country on a real time basis, Greenpeace had welcomed the initiative with caution, and...

How we said NO to GMO!

Blog entry by Veera Chavan | December 24, 2014

It started about a month ago with a tiny idea of opposing the genetic modification of crops. The idea came from the trip to Rahuri, a small affected village on the Pune-Mumbai highway. Two members from Hou de Green, the Pune volunteer...

States Resist as the Centre Persists

Blog entry by Manvendra Singh Inaniya | October 29, 2014

Back in 2009, when a government tried to force Bt Brinjal on the public, voices from across the nation came out together to fight for their right to safe food and farmers’ right to seed sovereignty. The government finally accepted the...

"Smart" breeding, where science and farmers' knowledge meet

Publication | October 28, 2014 at 16:25

GE crops are very limited in sophistication, being almost completely dominated by herbicide tolerance and insect resistance traits. Could the numerous tools of biotechnology deliver better outcomes? This report tries to answer that question.

Pesticide-free farming is the future

Blog entry by Siddharth Sreenivas | August 18, 2014

"Fruits and vegetables that Delhiites consume everyday are practically unfit for human consumption," noted the Delhi High Court on March 5th, 2014. This was following the findings of the High Court appointed expert committee on the...

Bangalore join hands with the global movement against Monsanto and GMO’s

Feature story | October 15, 2013 at 17:57

On the eve of the World Food Day on October 15, Bangaloreans joined the global march against Monsanto for the cause of food safety and seed sovereignty in India. Almost 200 people including farmers, scientists, students and activists gathered in...

Food sovereignty, GMOs and the BRAI bill

Blog entry by Ananya Mehta | August 22, 2013

Understanding the history of GM crops in India, why the BRAI (The Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India) Bill fails and its current status and petition. Various organisations including Greenpeace India launched a...

Thousands of citizens demand that the BRAI bill be withdrawn and India be GMO free

Feature story | August 9, 2013 at 15:07

On the eve of Quit India Day, August 8, over 2,000 citizens from 20 states came together at Jantar Mantar, Delhi for a day-long protest and march demanding that GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and multinational seed giant, Monsanto quit...

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