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

 

"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.

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

Impact of Water Resources Projects-Case Study Wardha

Publication | August 8, 2012 at 16:30

Vidarbha region in Maharastra has a long history of under development. Many measures to offset the agrarian crisis in the region like the Prime Minister's debt relief assistance in 2006 has focussed extensively on developing assured irrigation...

Genetically engineered Bt brinjal and the implications for plant biodiversity - revisited

Publication | May 3, 2012 at 9:00

Concerns over the commercial release of genetically modified (GM), Bt brinjal, also called aubergine or talong, relate to biosafety. One major concern is the potential for transgene flow from Bt brinjal to wild, weedy and cultivated relatives. As...

BRAI bill: A threat to our food and farming

Publication | February 9, 2012 at 16:30

The Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill, 2011, has been proposed by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. If cleared, this bill will ease the entry of genetically modified crops into our country.

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,...

BT Brinjal opinion poll

Publication | April 16, 2010 at 18:28

BT Brinjal opinion poll

City wise poll results

Publication | April 16, 2010 at 18:07

City wise GE poll results

Public opinion survey on GE foods

Publication | April 15, 2010 at 19:39

Public opinion survey on GE foods

1 - 10 of 40 results.