The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is ignoring strong scientific evidence against genetically modified crops. Indications are that the NDA government is moving forward with their plans to use genetically modified crops and the multinational companies that control these crops.
Leaders in India’s political parties, the Sangh Parivar and Bharatiya Janata Party told Mainstream Weekly they believe genetically modified crops will be a disaster; however, the viewpoints of these leaders are being ignored.
Genetically Modified Crops Allowed Field Trials
October 27, Hindustan Times reported the following comment.
“The Environment Ministry has allowed field trials of two varieties of genetically modified brinjal and mustard; almost 18 months after the previous government ordered a freeze on such tests.”
A month later, Times of India reported this statement.
“Certain States may have reservations against genetically modified crops, but the Centre has backed field trials of such varieties in national interest and even asked investors to look at the potential of transgenic seeds-driven business opportunities in India.”
Founder of the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, and world renowned biologist, Dr. Pushpa M. Bhargava, suggests that genetically modified crops are a major contributor to the sharply deteriorating health of North America. Dr Bhargava offered a noteworthy assessment of genetically modified crops to Hindustan Times.
“In the United States, where genetically modified food, such as corn and soya has been consumed for over 15 years, there has been a continuous rise in the incidence of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. While this does not establish a cause and effect relationship, it does not rule out this possibility.”
He added the following.
“There are over 500 research publications by scientists of indisputable integrity, who have no conflict of interest, that establish the harmful effects of the genetically modified crops on human, animal and plant health, and on environment and biodiversity.”
So far, the only genetically modified crops grown in India are Bt cotton. Professor Bhargava provides further insight on experiences and health outcomes of genetically modified crops for Bt cotton farmers.
“Out of over 270,000 farmers’ suicides, a substantial number has been of Bt cotton farmers. In Andhra Pradesh, there have been deaths of thousands of cattle that grazed on the remnants of Bt cotton plants after harvesting of cotton. Resistance to pests in Bt cotton has developed over the years. There has been a marked increase in the number of secondary pests such as mealy bug. The soil where Bt cotton has been grown over a prolonged period has become incapable of sustaining any other crop.”
Scientific Review By Leading Experts
Review of the health hazards and risks associated with genetically modified crops by foremost experts appointed by the Supreme Court of India in the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee to protect safety concerns supports the opinion of many leading scientists.
After examining all aspect of genetically modified crops, a distinguished group of scientists from various countries, representing the Independent Science Panel provided their conclusion.
“Genetically modified crops have failed to deliver the promised benefits and are posing escalating problems on the farm. Transgenic contamination is now widely acknowledged unavoidable, and hence there can be no co-existence of genetically modified and non-genetically modified agriculture. Most important of all, genetically modified crops have not been proven safe. On the contrary, sufficient evidence has emerged to raise serious safety concerns that, if ignored, could result in irreversible damage to health and the environment. Genetically modified crops should be firmly rejected now.”
This statement clearly states genetically modified crops are unsafe. In addition, they can contaminate all other normal crops. These hazardous crops will expose all farmers to dangerous conditions; including farmers who reject genetically modified crops.
Moreover, human consumptions of genetically modified crops pose additional health risks. Nonetheless, governments continue to ignore clear and succinct, scientific judgment provided by a group of prominent international scientists on the dangers of genetically modified crops.