Feb 8, 2010

GM Contamination: Turning a blind eye to bio-terrorism

This is the real bio-terrorism. Allowing genetically modified crops to contaminate the non-GM varieties, besides the traditional native strains, is nothing short of a crime against humanity. Yet, the international scientific community and policy planners remain quite oblivious to the grave threat. In fact, it is the other way around. Agricultural scientists and the agricultural bodies (and that includes the US Department of Agriculture and the Indian Council for Agricultural Research) are actually trying their best to promote genetic pollution.

Ten year later, when the world leaders meet in 2020 to combat genetic pollution, they would realise the folly of turning a blind eye to GM contamination. There is no way the international community can then work towards reversing the trend, or to come up with 'emission' cuts. It will be too late then.

And that is what the GM industry wants.

The growing menace of superweeds hasn't yet shaken up the scientific community. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) would however treat this as an excellent example of boosting agricultural growth. Even the USDA, which is implementing a Bio-terrorism Act, remains a mute spectator to the devastation superweeds have brought to their farm landscape. To know how and why the superweeds are emerging as a major threat to farming, I draw your attention to my recent article on GM contamination. To read, click on the link
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/49632/gm-contamination.html

Meanwhile, GM contamination is already playing havoc with the fortunes of organic foods and agriculture. I remember sometimes back a Japanese company had detected DNA of the organic cotton imported from India to be contaminated. It was primarily for the reasons of GM contamination and the harm it would do to the soyameal exports that India did not allow the GM soya to be imported despite tremendous pressure from the USDA.

The Indian rice millers however were smart enough to use the NGOs to stop GM research and field trials on the premium scented basmati rice grains. Pressure built by NGOs helped the rice millers and exporters to extract a ban on GM basmati rice research on the plea that it hits exports. But the fact remains that rice millers are not concerned about GM contamination but only their export revenues. You don't hear them anymore extending support to the campaign against Bt brinjal.

I think it is unfair to stop GM research on basmati rice. If GM rice is good for the Indians (as the scientists and government officials believe), why should we stop research on GM basmati rice? So what if the rice exporters suffer? If they are not concerned of the health of the people back home, why should we bother about their export revenues?

Meanwhile, an interesting controversy has broken out on a report produced by a German company FT Deustchland alleging that some popular organic cotton brands worldwide have been selling GM contaminated clothes, the source of the organic cotton raw material of which has been traced to India. You can read about the controversy in a detailed analysis GM Fly in the Organic Soup published in the DNA newspaper. Here is the link: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_gm-fly-in-the-organic-soup_1344343-all

In the days to come, you will read more about such cases of GM contamination. So far it is clothes, but let me warn you the day is not far away when your food too would be contaminated by alien genes. We already have had some cases of GM food contamination, but in a country like India where almost all kinds of foods being sold in market are adulterated, the industry will respond by saying that if you can eat the adulterated stuff why can't you take in a few alien genes that produce poison in your body.

IFPRI will tell us that food contaminated with alien genes (from other GM crops/foods) only help to reduce prices. The IFPRI orchestra is already in full form, trying to build up an economic justification for the unwanted and poisonous Bt brinjal. You can read this report Bt brinjal's acceptance hinges on price in the Economic Times today. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/commodities/Bt-brinjals-acceptance-hinges-on-price/articleshow/5546692.cms

1 comment:

Mak Counter said...

I agree with your article. Even the food regulation authorities are allowing us to eat unregulated GMO contaminated foods, no wonder so many people are mentally and physically ill. Leaky gut, inflammation and allergies have all been affected. Even the meat that we eat is fed with GMO contaminated foods and it's incredibly detrimental to the whole system. These problems affect everyone and everything. Here are some more shocking facts on GMO corn & other problems with GMO foods.