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

 

Greenpeace Jaguars Caged

Feature story | August 31, 2004 at 3:30

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Our team of Greenpeace Jaguars, who have been protecting the ancient forests of Argentina from the expansion of Genetically Engineered soya, have been arrested while documenting the deforestation in northern Argentina...

Theni Farmers Join Greenpeace in Fighting Pesticides

Feature story | August 28, 2004 at 3:30

CHENNAI, India — 28th August 2004: About one hundred and seventy farmers from seven villages in Theni, Tamil Nadu attended the third public hearing of ‘pesticides and its effects on health’ conducted by Greenpeace and SIRPI (our project partner...

Greenpeace welcomes the SCMC's directives on Eloor

Feature story | August 25, 2004 at 3:30

KOCHI, India — Greenpeace welcomes the stringent directives of the 'Supreme Court Monitoring Committee on Hazardous wastes' (SCMC) that will help arrest and mitigate the impacts of industrial pollution in Kerala. Implementation of these order...

International Conference Delegates Confirm Greenpeace Stand: GMOs Out of Control

Feature story | August 13, 2004 at 3:30

NEW DELHI, India — A three-day conference on ‘Ushering in the Second Green Revolution’ co-organized by FICCI, ISAAA and MSSRF, ends in the capital today. Greenpeace, in its role as environmental watchdog, has kept a finger on the pulse of the...

Gene Revolution No Laughing Matter

Feature story | August 10, 2004 at 3:30

NEW DELHI, India — 10th August 2004, New Delhi: Greenpeace activists were the first to greet delegates arriving at the FICCI auditorium this morning for the inauguration of the three-day conference 'Agricultural Bio-technology - Ushering in the...

How safe is your food?

Feature story | July 29, 2004 at 3:30

BANGALORE, India — · The fresh vegetables that you pick off the shelf in any supermarket store or elsewhere also contain pesticides like DDT, Endosulphan, Methyl Parathion, Phorate (to mention just a few) · Toxic pesticides like DDT and...

GE papaya scandal in Thailand

Feature story | July 27, 2004 at 3:30

KHON KAEN, Thailand — We warned the Thai government over a year ago not to play with genetically engineered (GE) papaya but they didn't listen. Although trials of the engineered food crop are banned, it seems they couldn't resist having a go...

Greenpeace Thai activists seal off the GE

Image | July 27, 2004 at 3:30

Greenpeace Thai activists seal off the GE papaya at the Khon Kaen agricultural research station of the Department of Agriculture.

Saving Argentine forests from destruction

Feature story | July 26, 2004 at 3:30

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The Greenpeace Jaguars are leaping into action: activists on motorbikes are stopping bulldozers from destroying forest lands in Salta, Argentina. Cyberactivists around the world are picking up the phone and calling the...

Samsung cleans up

Feature story | June 17, 2004 at 3:30

Consumer power scored another victory recently with the announcement from electronics giant Samsung that it plans to phase out hazardous chemicals in its products. Seeing its brand-name products graded red - as containing hazardous chemicals - on...

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