On the 11th anniversary of the official approval of Bt Cotton in India, Coalition for a GM Free India releases a compilation of more than 400 published papers showing adverse impacts of genetically modified crops / food
New Delhi 26/03/2013: On the 11th anniversary of the official approval of Bt cotton in India, the Coalition for a GM-Free India released a compilation of scientific papers titled “ADVERSE IMPACTS OF TRANSGENIC CROPS/FOODS: A Compilation of Scientific References and Abstracts” which showcase the mounting evidence on the adverse impacts of transgenic crops and foods on various fronts. “While the government does not hesitate to announce even on the floor of the Parliament that there are no adverse impacts from transgenic crops/foods, with this compilation that we are releasing today, we hope that fooling of the public by the proponents would stop. This is by no means an exhaustive compilation but only illustrative”, said the Coalition in a statement accompanying the release of this compilation. “The implications of this living, irreversible technology have to be understood on different fronts (as much as possible, because there is still a severe dearth of research, that too on long term implications and from independent sources) by policy makers and citizens before GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are released into the environment, particularly on a large scale”. The full compilation is available at this link: http://indiagminfo.org/?attachment_id=557.
“The debate on GM crops is always peppered with statements that opposition to GM crops stems out of “misguided emotion” or “ignorance” and that there is no “scientific evidence” for the negative effects of the technology. But the reality is that there is significant amount of scientific evidence that shows the problems with GM crops. Several studies also point out to the need for further, detailed investigations. It is ironical that the scientists promoting GMOs in India do not want to look at such research and deliberately try to avoid discussions on scientific footing. They should understand that they would drive the nation into a deep and irreversible crisis related to food and farming if they continue this blinkered approach. At this juncture we would also like to reiterate that 150 scientists of repute had recently sent a letter to the Minister for Environment & Forests that GM crops have no connection to food security.
“However, we would like to reiterate, as we have always done, that GM crops is not about technical issues alone. It is a much broader and deeper issue which the industry and GM proponents want to circumscribe in the name of science. In that context we want to showcase that there is enough evidence against this technology even on that front”, said a statement of the Coalition.
We would like to point out, “these studies exist despite vehement opposition to independent research (not allowing access to GM seed, not allowing publication of adverse results, attacking unfavourable papers) on GM crops due to intellectual property right barriers, opposition from the companies that own the technology and merciless attacks on, vilification of and threats to independent scientists who have found negative impacts of this technology. This effectively means that if free and independent research were allowed on GM crops many more such studies will come to light, said Sridhar Radhakrishnan, Convener of the Coalition for a GM-Free India.
“This compilation tries to present a picture of the evidence available on specific fronts like molecular level instability and unpredictability induced by the process of genetic engineering; 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, pests and diseases, impacts on non-target organisms, creation of “super weeds” etc”, said Kavitha Kuruganti, a member of the Coalition for a GM-Free India, who compiled these studies.
Besides the impact on health and environment the compilation also has studies which have looked at yield myths related to GM crops, regulation and suggested improvements in biosafety assessment regimes, ethical and socio-economic implications of GMOs including building up of seed monopolies into the hands of a few multinational corporations.
The Coalition for a GM-Free India hopes that this compilation will compel sceptics to appreciate the overwhelming evidence that already exists against this technology. It urged scientists and regulators to undertake assessments that consist of sound protocols and designs so that early warnings can be captured for appropriate decision-making. The Coalition demanded that the Minister for Environment & Forests, the Ministry of Agriculture as well as the Ministry of Science and Technology to consider these studies and other emerging evidence and to not allow open air releases of GM crops in our country, in the interests of biosafety and socio-economic and human health considerations.
The full compilation can be accessed at this link: http://indiagminfo.org/?attachment_id=557
For more details contact:
Kavitha Kuruganti – 09393001550
Kapil Shah – 09427054132
Sridhar Radhakrishnan – 09995358205
Coalition for a GM-Free India is a broad national network of organizations, scientists, farmer unions, consumer groups and individuals committed to keep the food and farms in India free of Genetically Modified Organisms and to protecting India’s food security and sovereignty.
Coalition for a GM-free India
A-124/6, First Floor, Katwaria Sarai, New Delhi 110 016, Phone/Fax: 011-26517814