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

 

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.”

Bt brinjal expert committee=foxes guarding the chicken coop

Blog entry by Kapil Mishra | April 29, 2011

When the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) expert group members met on Wednesday, April 27th, to discuss Bt brinjal, they were shocked to see Greenpeace activists standing right next to their meeting room with a "We Say No...

The milk of Chernobyl

Blog entry by Aslihan Tumer | March 11, 2011

As a child, I really did not like the milk no matter how much my mother tried to put sugar or chocolate in it. I still don’t  like it much. This was a little issue when I grew up between my mother and me. Today I am a Greenpeace...

A celebration of soils

Blog entry by Gopi Krishna | February 7, 2011

Indiscriminate use of chemi cal fertilizers over several decades has been sucking life out of Indian soils, and thereby putting the country’s food security at stake. But the government has continued to mindlessly promote chemical...

What's in there? They won't tell us

Blog entry by Shivani Shah | February 2, 2011

“I am not the right person to talk about the subject. I am not competent to speak on the subject,” insisted a core member of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) when I questioned him on his stance on labelling...

Secret GM rice field busted. Is our food safe?

Blog entry by Jai Krishna | November 19, 2010

Dr. Venkata Reddy is a physician and serves in a hospital in Doddaballapur near Bangalore. He is also proud to practice his family profession, agriculture.  Being a farmer and physician he probably knows the culprit behind the endless...

Safe Food Guide v 2.0

Publication | September 2, 2010 at 12:05

In this second version of the Safe Food Guide, Greenpeace reassesses the scenario in India with respect to the use of genetically modified organisms, consumer attitudes towards GMOs and behaviour of popular food brands.

Picking Cotton: The choice between organic and genetically-engineered cotton for...

Publication | June 14, 2010 at 18:29

There is widespread propaganda that genetically-engineered (GE) crops provide the silver bullet for poverty and hunger eradication. On the other hand, recent global analyses have concluded that ecological farming - using low-cost,...

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