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

 

States Resist as the Centre Persists

Blog entry by Manvendra Singh Inaniya | October 29, 2014

Back in 2009, when a government tried to force Bt Brinjal on the public, voices from across the nation came out together to fight for their right to safe food and farmers’ right to seed sovereignty. The government finally accepted the...

"Smart" breeding, where science and farmers' knowledge meet

Publication | October 28, 2014 at 16:25

GE crops are very limited in sophistication, being almost completely dominated by herbicide tolerance and insect resistance traits. Could the numerous tools of biotechnology deliver better outcomes? This report tries to answer that question.

Pesticide-free farming is the future

Blog entry by Siddharth Sreenivas | August 18, 2014

"Fruits and vegetables that Delhiites consume everyday are practically unfit for human consumption," noted the Delhi High Court on March 5th, 2014. This was following the findings of the High Court appointed expert committee on the...

Bangalore join hands with the global movement against Monsanto and GMO’s

Feature story | October 15, 2013 at 17:57

On the eve of the World Food Day on October 15, Bangaloreans joined the global march against Monsanto for the cause of food safety and seed sovereignty in India. Almost 200 people including farmers, scientists, students and activists gathered in...

Food sovereignty, GMOs and the BRAI bill

Blog entry by Ananya Mehta | August 22, 2013

Understanding the history of GM crops in India, why the BRAI (The Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India) Bill fails and its current status and petition. Various organisations including Greenpeace India launched a...

Thousands of citizens demand that the BRAI bill be withdrawn and India be GMO free

Feature story | August 9, 2013 at 15:07

On the eve of Quit India Day, August 8, over 2,000 citizens from 20 states came together at Jantar Mantar, Delhi for a day-long protest and march demanding that GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and multinational seed giant, Monsanto quit...

The struggle for water continues in Maharashtra

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | June 13, 2013

A half constructed catchment pond. Considering the severity of the drought situation in Maharashtra, one would think farmers and people living without water would be given top priority. But in a strange turn of events, water has...

In Maharashtra, drought is causing migration to cities in large scale

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | June 7, 2013

A child plays in front of a locked house whose residents have migrated. An old man was sitting on his front porch in the afternoon. The fields were barren and empty and so was the village. We were in a small village of Chandrod...

When will governments learn that GE crops are uncontrollable?

Blog entry by Janet Cotter | June 3, 2013

Shockwaves are being felt across the world's wheat markets following the first-ever discovery of unauthorised genetically engineered wheat growing on a US farm – a development that gives further proof that GE crops cannot be...

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