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

 

Life changes when water dries-up

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | May 27, 2013

Image: © Neelima Vallangi/Greenpeace Dark clouds were looming in the sky. I could see the fields were all tilled and ready, waiting for the heavens to open up anytime now, many in hope of harvesting their first crop in an entire...

Grim reality of drought-hit Maharashtra

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | May 15, 2013

As the train chugged from Pune to Solapur, we passed by Ujani dam. I saw flocks of flamingos flying over the water.  It was a precious sight, a sight I wouldn’t see for the next few days as I travelled in the drought hit districts of...

Dear Minister, hope you are listening

Blog entry by Neha Saigal | May 3, 2013

Greenpeace volunteers protest outside the Parliament in 2011 against the same BRAI bill. © Greenpeace / Sudhanshu Malhotra The list of opposition is only going to get longer. I have a question to ask off our Minister of Science...

Twitter debate on genetically modified food

Blog entry by Rachita Taneja | February 26, 2013

One hundred and forty characters seem like nothing- but on Twitter, they can mean a lot. Being able to reach out to thousands of individuals (and maybe some bots) within a couple of minutes is a boon. If you can use this concept for...

Support for food security

Image gallery | February 26, 2013

NO PANACEA TO FOOD SECURITY

Publication | February 21, 2013 at 10:00

A briefing paper on the MYTH that GM crops are necessary to feed India’s growing population

Genetic Modification: not the route to food security

Blog entry by Neha Saigal | February 20, 2013

Hunger and malnutrition is an issue that governments around the world are grappling with and its manifestations can be felt more severely in the developing and under-developed nations. India is no different in this regard; we stand way...

No to GM, yes to food security

Image | February 20, 2013 at 15:39

Greenpeace urges the Minister of Environment, Jayanthi Natarajan, who is the decision maker on the environmental release of GMOs to intervene so that the MoA does not mislead the debate of food security.

GM corn: a looming threat to our food and farming

Blog entry by Shivani Shah | February 8, 2013

Monsanto's Bt corn is the new Bt brinjal. No, it is not up for approval to be authorised for the market. Yet it has reached the stage of large-scale open field trials at six locations across the country from early 2010 until late 2012.

2013: a year for bio-safety of our food

Blog entry by Neha Saigal and Rajesh Krishnan | December 24, 2012

It has been a long and eventful year of environmental struggles but we can surely be proud of the achievements we have made as citizens to keep our country GM Free. The year 2012 marked a decade of introduction of Genetically Modified...

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