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

 

Feeding a food crisis

Feature story | July 16, 2009 at 10:54

"In the context of the nation’s food security, the declining response of agricultural productivity to increased fertiliser usage in the country is a matter of concern… " emphasised Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister, as the Budget session came to...

Subsidising Food Crisis

Publication | July 6, 2009 at 16:22

After years of indiscriminate use, synthetic fertilisers are currently hampering the increase of food production in the country.

It’s anomaly reigning

Feature story | June 24, 2009 at 3:30

No doubt the monsoons are changing with the altering weather patterns. There is growing evidence suggesting that climate change is playing a significant role in altering the Indian monsoon patterns. What is not clear is how the precipitation...

Scarecrows planted by Greenpeace activists

Image | June 23, 2009 at 10:46

Scarecrows planted by Greenpeace activists are seen during a protest against genetically modified rice at a trial field of Bayer Crop Science company at Chinnakanjarla, about 45 kilometers from Hyderabad, India.

Scarecrows planted by Greenpeace activists

Image | June 23, 2009 at 10:46

Scarecrows planted by Greenpeace activists are seen during a protest against genetically modified rice at a trial field of Bayer Crop Science company at Chinnakanjarla, about 45 kilometers from Hyderabad, India.

Scarecrows planted by Greenpeace activists

Image | June 23, 2009 at 10:46

Scarecrows planted by Greenpeace activists are seen during a protest against genetically modified rice at a trial field of Bayer Crop Science company at Chinnakanjarla, about 45 kilometers from Hyderabad, India.

Haphazard approval of genetically modified

Image | June 4, 2009 at 14:12

Haphazard approval of genetically modified food leaves the consumer at risk.

Haphazard approval of genetically modified

Image | June 4, 2009 at 14:12

Haphazard approval of genetically modified food leaves the consumer at risk.

Haphazard approval of genetically modified

Image | June 4, 2009 at 14:12

Haphazard approval of genetically modified food leaves the consumer at risk.

Effects on health and environment of transgenic (or GM) Bt brinjal

Publication | April 17, 2009 at 15:00

A report by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, University of Caen France, shows the danger genetically modified Bt brinjal poses to the environment and our health.

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