The debate around GMOs in our food, farming and environment has only
been increasing over time, whether it is in policy circles or in the scientific world, or
as a public debate. The “Coalition for a GM-Free India” has been actively involved
in generating an informed debate in India on the various facets of GM crops. Very
often, there are questions on whether the debate is based on scientific evidence or
not. This prompted us to create a compilation of hundreds of references of published
scientific papers that point to various adverse impacts of Genetically Modified (GM)
crops and foods in April 2013. As expected, this pioneering initiative has helped in
furthering the evidence-based debate in India with stakeholders across various
sectors getting an opportunity to see the availability of scientific evidence on
numerous fronts.

Needless to say, the implications of this living, irreversible technology have to
be understood on different fronts (as much as possible, because there is also a
severe dearth of research, that too on long term implications and from independent
sources) by policy makers and individual citizens before GMOs (Genetically Modified
Organisms) are released into the environment, given that such deployment would
take place on a large scale in agriculture. The need to be cautious about agricultural
technologies cannot be over-emphasised given that most land is put under
agriculture, most people in India are linked to agriculture for their main livelihood
and that all of us consume food from agriculture to keep ourselves alive and healthy.
This Second Edition of the compilation has more studies added to the
collection. The compilation presents evidence available on specific fronts like
molecular level instability and unpredictability induced by the process of GE; health
implications flowing out of individual genes used as well as the GMO and also
because of the chemicals used along with particular GMOs; environmental
implications in terms of impacts on biodiversity, soil, on pests and diseases, impacts
on non-target organisms, creation of “super weeds” etc. Some of the studies which
have looked at yield myths related to GM crops have also been included. Further,
studies that have looked at regulation and suggested improvements in biosafety
assessment regimes are part of this compilation. Ethical and Socio-Economic
implications of GMOs including strengthening of seed monopolies into the hands
of a few multinational corporations are also covered in a few studies presented
here. This is by no means an exhaustive compilation, but is only illustrative.
We hope that this compilation compels sceptics to appreciate the overwhelming
evidence that already exists against this technology. We also hope that our scientists
and regulators will undertake assessments that consist of sound protocols and
designs so that early warnings can be captured for appropriate decision-making.

– Coalition for a GM-Free India
November, 2013