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

 

Make this year count and withdraw the BRAI bill

Blog entry by Neha Saigal | December 23, 2011

Open letter to Hon. Prime Minister of India Dear Mr. Manmohan Singh, A contentious bill labeled by some as the wrong bill, drafted by the wrong people, for the wrong reasons. This could be any of the numerous bills, listed to...

Zero demand for genetically modified crops!

Blog entry by Shivani Shah | December 1, 2011

This is not new, as a matter of fact there has been no demand for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from anywhere in the world, ever. On the contrary, ever since foods containing GMOs were introduced in the nineties, they have...

Celebrating safe food on World Food day

Feature story | October 28, 2011 at 13:16

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food,” George Bernard Shaw.

Arts, crafts, colour and people say no to the BRAI bill on World Food day in Delhi

Blog entry by Neha Saigal | October 20, 2011

The street play spread awareness about the ill-affects of genetically modified food on World Food in Delhi. © Greenpeace/Anshuman Akash “Khidki ke peeche kya hai, Khidki ke aage kya hai: Mon-san-to!” These were...

Brinjals take over the roads in Goa

Blog entry by Boboton Singh | September 23, 2011

On Monday, September 5th, the Osia-Multiplex in Goa saw a lot of brinjals walking around the place. Greenpeace activists in Goa dressed up as brinjals and spoke to people about the dangers of genetically modified food. The idea was...

The journey to the World’s Biggest Baingan Bharta: A public movement

Blog entry by Neha Saigal | September 16, 2011

On September 6, Greenpeace along with citizens for a GM free India prepared the World’s Biggest GM-Free Baingan Bharta. The whole exercise was fun and saw an audience of around 200 people which included farmer leaders like Yudhvir...

Monsanto it’s time to Quit India

Blog entry by Neha Saigal | August 22, 2011

Candles in the wind and the voices of many Delhi residents, echoed at India Gate, chanting ‘Monsanto Quit India’. It was a solemn evening on a day that marked an important milestone in India’s struggle for freedom. It was the day...

Karnataka pulls the plug on GM trials

Blog entry by Shivani Shah | August 12, 2011

In a landmark decision, the Karnataka government decided to pull the plug on all field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops across the state, securing the environment, farmers and health of people in the state from...

Thailand to maintain GM-free position, India continues to approve field trials

Blog entry by Shivani Shah | July 7, 2011

Recently, the Thailand government came up with a Rice Master Plan. The plan outlines a policy that aims to keep Thai rice free of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). Back home, our government continues to approve field trials of...

Risky potato plan mashed by activists

Feature story | May 19, 2011 at 20:15

It’s potato planting time again in the north of Sweden where activists are occupying BASF’s potato warehouse and are blocking the exit in order to hinder the German chemical company from planting the risky GMO potato “Amflora.”

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