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

 

GE AXN YouTube video screengrab

Image | February 1, 2008 at 4:30

GE AXN YouTube video screengrab

Greenpeace activists bearing witness to open

Image | January 15, 2008 at 4:30

Greenpeace activists bearing witness to open-air field trials of genetically engineered Brinjal (aubergine) at Hamidpur, near Delhi. This was to highlight that GE field trials are risky and can be a threat to public health.

In a paddy field close to Lucknow

Image | November 6, 2007 at 4:30

In a paddy field close to Lucknow, Greenpeace activists and Bharatiya Kisan Union farmers send out a message to the government that they will not allow any GE rice in this region. By allowing large-scale open-air field trials in a dozen locations...

The minutes of the 79th meeting of GEAC

Publication | September 20, 2007 at 3:30

Section 9 of this document permits the large scale trials of Bt Brinjal of Monsanto- Mahyco

The Bt Brinjal story

Publication | September 20, 2007 at 3:30

The Bt Brinjal story - a chronology of events following the Mahyco - Monsanto's attempt to introduce Bt Brinjal in India.

More heavy rain, predicted

Feature story | July 30, 2007 at 12:10

Computer models of how our world will react to climate change have long predicted extreme and shifting weather patterns. More heavy rains in some areas, crippling drought in others. A new study, published this week in the journal Nature,...

One for the record books

Feature story | March 16, 2007 at 14:10

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia destroys about 51 square kilometers of forests every day, equivalent to 300 football fields every hour -- a figure, which should earn the country a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's...

Bayer defends genetic contamination as "Act of God"

Feature story | February 9, 2007 at 14:12

You might blame the dog for eating your homework, or a traffic jam for being late to work. But if you ever find yourself facing a multimillion-dollar class action lawsuit for contaminating the world's number one food crop with an unapproved...

Keep our rice GMO free!

Feature story | February 7, 2007 at 4:30

MANILA, Philippines — Greenpeace slapped the National Food Authority (NFA) with a Notice of Violation for allowing the importation and continued sale of genetically-modified rice which, by law, cannot be legally distributed and marketed for human...

Revealed: Icelandic whale in storage, landfill

Feature story | January 28, 2007 at 4:30

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — In Iceland we have discovered an unprecedented amount of the whale meat from the recent hunt has not been used. Even whaling captain Sigurður Njálsson has said the meat is unfit for domestic consumption. 200 tonnes of the...

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