Friday, November 2, 2012


 by Deborah Klughers
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about genetically modified foods, and included a link to a film, Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives. The Institute for Responsible Technology was showing it for free for one week. I just found out they have extended the viewing until Election day. If you did not get a chance to watch it, now is the time!
Click here to watch the video or follow this link;
There is allot of on line information regarding GMO's. I receive new information daily! The following info on "GMO Ticking Time Bomb" is from a series of emails I just received....
GMO Ticking Time Bomb,by Gary Null.
Part 1: This is the first part of Gary Null’s explosive documentary on GMOs.
Follow this link to watch;
Highlights: Rima E. Laibow, MD tell us "Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) pose unparalleled threats, nothing like them has ever existed in the entire course of the planet."
Scientific studies suggest that GMOs:

  • damage organs
  • cause infertility
  • damage the immune system
  • create holes in the gastrointestinal tract
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine recommends that doctors prescribe non-GMO diets for everyone. Find out why the FDA allows the bio-tech companies to self-regulate.
GMO Ticking Time Bomb, Part 2
Follow this link to watch;
The seeds of corruption are planted deep in our government. Are the FDA, USDA, EPA, or our elected officials doing anything to ensure our safety in the very food we eat? Why has every administration since Bush senior been marching lockstep with the bio-tech industry? Watch this video “GMO – Ticking Time Bomb, Part 2 – Corruption” by Gary Null, and see the apathy that exists in the government that is supposed to protect us.
Monsanto and other big bio-tech companies:

  • Dismiss scientifically proven, negative health aspects of GMOs or make them irrelevant.
  • Suppress the knowledge of the negative findings by controlling main stream media.
  • Thwart government’s attempts to regulate.

GMO – Ticking Time Bomb, Part 3 – The Risks
Follow this link to watch;
If you ask Monsanto if GMOs are natural, they have two answers…YES and NO.
Watch this video, “GMO-Ticking Time Bomb, Part 3 – The Risks” by Gary Null, and learn the risks of genetic modification and gene patenting. Monsanto’s answer depends on which side of Washington they are talking to:

  • GMOs are no different than the natural product
  • Doesn’t need to be tested
  • The public doesn’t need to know, it’s no different

Patent Office

  • GMOs are completely different than natural products
  • We’ve invented something brand new
  • GMOs are radically different
  • So inventive that we deserve dozens of patents

PART 4:  Ticking Time Bomb, Part 4 – Health Dangers
Click on the video or the link to watch
Watch this video, GMOs – Ticking Time Bomb, Part 4 – Health Dangers, by Gary Null to learn how GMOs can create the “perfect storm” for human disease.
Numerous veterinarians and farmers report that livestock fed GMO feed have resulted in illnesses and death. Biotech companies have refused to perform sufficient studies to satisfactorily determine that GMOs are safe for humans. These same biotech companies are dismissing the studies that have proven health dangers exist.
Vote Yes on Prop 37! WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW!
For an animated "History of Monsanto, by "Non-GMO Theater", follow this link;
And last, click here to watch Danny Devito, Glenn Howerton, Emily Deschanel, Kristin Bauer, Kaitlin Olson & KaDee Strickland, deliver a great parody of the big bio-tech companies in this 90 second video. They ask...."Trust Us, you can trust us..."
If you dont already know about genetically modified foods, the above videos may change the way you look at food... forever.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


The Free Online Showing of Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives is extended through Election Day, November 6th. (See allergy section excerpt and viewer comments below—including the inspiring words of an 11 year-old girl.)
The Prop 37 campaign for GMO labeling in California is extremely tight. The million dollars a day spent against labeling has narrowed the sizable lead for the measure down to only 2 points.  But people tell us when they see our movie Genetic Roulette, they not only become antidoted to the disinformation, they often get extremely active educating people about the truth on GMOs.
We’ve also included an excerpt of just the allergy section of the film. Please share with family members and friends who suffer from allergy related problems. We’ve heard from lots of people recently who say their allergies improve or disappear when they stop eating GMOs.
Link to excerpt:

For the fill length version of this life-changing documentary, including subtitle options in Spanish and English (for the hearing impaired) please visit
Click on the video or the link to watch
Some comments from viewers:
"As an integrative physician, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie. Excellent production. I see many patients who have multiple chronic illnesses and part of the healing process involves selecting organic, non-GMO foods. It is amazing to see how much better everyone feels.

 "I loved this movie! I have shared it on my Facebook page and will spread the word. As a registered nurse, part of my job is to educate people about health and wellness. Thank you for such an informative movie. We MUST take action and write to our government leaders about the dangers GMO’s are to ALL AMERICANS, and demand that all GMO products are labeled. Shame on Monsanto!!"

 "Wow! This is an excellent film which needs to be seen by as many people as possible. I rarely tell friends that they “have to” do something, but I will tell everyone I know that they must see this film. I intend to buy a couple of copies to loan out to them so they have no excuse!"

"My name is Allison. I am a 6th grader from Minnesota. I am 11 years old. I watched the entire video. I am inspired to do something about having no GMOs. This stuff is no doubt SCARY. I will probably create a petition and bring it to my middle school of average kids with an average modern day diet of GMO infested foods. My mom and I will definitely “clean our cupboards.” Even just being a kid this video made me so angry that the government is not really helping us stop GMOs. Thank you sooo much for informing the public about this."

 "The information in this documentary is powerful. I was not aware of how prevalent GMOs are in the world and that they affect so many aspects of life. Thank you for creating this wonderful film that helps spread the word about the damage that GMOs are creating. I’ve told family and friends to not only vote at the ballots, but to vote with their money, and this movie just amplifies that sentiment. Change can happen if we make it happen."
Thanks to our film sponsors:

We are deeply grateful to NutivaBragg Live Food ProductsKamut,Frey VineyardsOrganic Pastures Dairy, CAEO Products,  Berlin Natural Bakery and Sacramento Label GMOs Volunteer - Leo Youngerfor their generosity in sponsoring the online showing of Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives through the election!


GMOs, Seed Wars and Knowledge Wars
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 15:26 By Dr Vandana Shiva,  

The only reason crops have been genetically engineered is to take patents on seeds, and collect royalties. If during colonialism the concept of Terra Nullius, empty land, allowed the takeover of land and territories by the colonizer, a new concept of Bio Nullius, empty life, is being used to claim “intellectual property rights” on seeds, biodiversity and life forms. 
But life is not empty. Seeds are not an invention. They embody millions of years of biological evolution, and thousands of years of cultural evolution and farmers breeding. When corporations claim patents, they basically “pirate” traits that nature and farmers have evolved. They pirate and patent the aroma of basmati, the low gluten qualities of our native wheat, the salt tolerant, drought tolerant, flood tolerant traits of climate resilience our farmers have bred. This is not innovation and invention, it is Biopiracy. The only traits that the corporations have introduced into plants through genetic engineering are the toxic traits of Bt toxin and herbicide resistance. Besides being toxic, these traits have not reduced chemical use as has been repeatedly claimed. Our studies in Vidharba show a 13-fold increase in pesticide use since Bt cotton was introduced.
A report, published in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe, shows that genetically engineered crops have led to a 404 million pound increase in overall pesticide use from the time they were introduced in 1996 through 2011. This equates to an increase of about seven percent over the last 16 years.
The data on increased chemical use shows that the claim that Bt toxin crops will reduce pesticide use and herbicide resistant crops will reduce herbicide use, is false.
As the Navdanya report, “The GMO Emperor has no Clothes “shows, genetically modified crops have led to resistance, both in weeds and pests, demanding higher use of pesticides and herbicides. More than two dozen weed species are now resistant to glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Monsanto's broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup and farmers are being asked to spray Agent Orange, that was used in the Vietnam War.
The only way corporations can push GMO seeds on farmers is by destroying alternatives. They do this by blocking public breeding. India’s premier cotton research institute in Nagpur has not released a single variety in Vidharba since Monsanto entered the cotton seed market. The second strategy is to lock local companies into licensing arrangements. 60 Indian Seed companies only sell Monsanto’s Bt cotton. The third strategy is to make local seeds illegal through compulsory licensing and registration laws. This was attempted in 2004 with the Seed Act. It took a seed Satyagraha organized by us across the country, and a parliamentary committee to prevent it from coming into force. But in Europe Seed laws are already criminalizing biodiversity and farmers breeding. This is why we have joined together as a Global Citizen’s Alliance for Seed Freedom, to call for No Patents on Seeds, and No to Seed laws that promote industrial seeds and make local, open pollinated varieties illegal. The Global Citizens report on Seed Freedom ( written jointly by more than 120 groups and individuals was released on 1st October in Delhi. A fortnight of actions for Seed Freedom was across the world undertaken from Gandhi’s birth anniversary 2nd October, to World Food Day 16th October.
Seed is the first link in the food chain. And Seed Wars are leading to Food Wars. The California ballot initiative on labeling of GMO foods is the most current contest between citizen’s Right to Know and Choose and Corporate Rights to force feed GMOs.
As Alexis Baden-Mayer, Political Director for the Organic Consumers Association, pointed out at an Occupy Wall Street teach-in in Washington DC in early April: “The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act ballot initiative is a perfect example of how the grassroots 99% can mobilize to take back American democracy from the corporate bullies, the 1%.”
Seed Wars and Food wars are becoming knowledge wars. Just before the California initiative, an article was planted in the media across the world arguing that Organic Foods have no Health Benefit. It turns out that the so-called scientists from Stanford had done similar work for Big Tobacco during the debate on smoking.
While fraud science is used to promoting GMOs, independent public scientists who do high quality research on the Biosafety and health and environmental impact of GMOs, which is a legally binding obligation under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, are attacked by an organized mafia working for industry parading as scientists. Dr Arpad Putzai of the UK was driven out of his job when the results of his study commissioned by the UK Government showed that the brains of the rats in his feeding study had shrunk, the pancreas had expanded, and the immunity had collapsed. More recently a study published by Dr. Seralini in Food and Chemical Toxicology showed that:
·         Death rates in rats fed the Roundup-Ready GM maize were 2-5 times that of the control group.
·         Female rats had a shockingly high incidence of mammary tumours (80% by the time that they died)
·         Male rats suffered significant levels of liver and kidney damage.
·         Tumours were huge - and many animals had 3 tumours by the time they died.
The Indian Supreme Court set up a Technical Expert Committee to advise it on the gaps in the scientific Biosafety assessment of GMOs. The committee recommended a moratoriun on field trials of all GMO Bt crops, an assessment of the special problems of Herbicide tolerant crops, and a ban on all trials of GMO crops of which India is the Centre of Diversity. These include:
· Cereals and Legumes: rice, chickpea, pigeon pea, urd bean, mung bean, rice bean, cowpea,
· Vegetables and Tubers: eggplant, cucumber, radish, taro, yam
· Sugar, Oil, and Fiber Plants: sugar cane, coconut palm, sesame, safflower, tree cotton, oriental cotton, jute, crotalaria, kenaf
· Spices, Stimulants, Dyes, and Miscellaneous: hemp, black pepper, gum arabic, sandalwood, indigo, cinnamon tree, croton, bamboo.

The Supreme Court is supposed to ensure that the executive, the government functions constitutionally. The GMO lobby has written to the Prime Minister to try and undo the work of the Supreme Court and its Technical committee. This is a subversion of our constitution.
A report, “Cultivation of Genetically Modified Food Crops – Prospects and Effects”, was tabled by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture in August in Lok Sabha.

Releasing the report at a press conference, the chairperson of the committee, Mr Basudeb Acharia said, “The committee has come to the conclusion that since concerns on the potential and actual impacts of GM crops to our food, farming, health and environment are valid, GM crops are just not the right solution for our country.”
Again the GMO lobby writes to the Prime Minister to undo the recommendations of the Parliamentary committee.
Since GMOs can only spread through seed monopolies, the destruction of our democracy and the integrity of science and knowledge, we are better off without them.

Dr Vandana Shiva

Dr. Vandana Shiva is a philosopher, environmental activist and eco feminist. She has fought for changes in the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food, and assisted grassroots organizations of the Green movement in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Ireland, Switzerland, and Austria with campaigns against genetic engineering. In 1982, she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, which led to the creation of Navdanya in 1991, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, the promotion of organic farming and fair trade. She is author of numerous books including,Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis; Stolen Harvest: The hijacking of the Global food supply; Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace; and Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development. Shiva has also served as an adviser to governments in India and abroad as well as NGOs, including the International Forum on Globalization, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization and the Third World Network. She has received numerous awards, including 1993 Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize) and the 2010 Sydney Peace Prize.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Geoengineering: Testing the Waters
Published on Monday, October 29, 2012 by The New York Times

(Photo: Jacob Escobedo)For almost 20 years, I’ve been spending time on a craggy stretch of British Columbia’s shoreline called the Sunshine Coast. This summer, I had an experience that reminded me why I love this place, and why I chose to have a child in this sparsely populated part of the world.
It was 5 a.m. and my husband and I were up with our 3-week-old son. Looking out at the ocean, we spotted two towering, black dorsal fins: orcas, or killer whales. Then two more. We had never seen an orca on the coast, and never heard of their coming so close to shore. In our sleep-deprived state, it felt like a miracle, as if the baby had wakened us to make sure we didn’t miss this rare visit.
The possibility that the sighting may have resulted from something less serendipitous did not occur to me until two weeks ago, when I read reports of a bizarre ocean experiment off the islands of Haida Gwaii, several hundred miles from where we spotted the orcas swimming.
There, an American entrepreneur named Russ George dumped 120 tons of iron dust off the hull of a rented fishing boat; the plan was to create an algae bloom that would sequester carbon and thereby combat climate change.
Mr. George is one of a growing number of would-be geoengineers who advocate high-risk, large-scale technical interventions that would fundamentally change the oceans and skies in order to reduce the effects of global warming. In addition to Mr. George’s scheme to fertilize the ocean with iron, other geoengineering strategies under consideration include pumping sulfate aerosols into the upper atmosphere to imitate the cooling effects of a major volcanic eruption and “brightening” clouds so they reflect more of the sun’s rays back to space.
The risks are huge. Ocean fertilization could trigger dead zones and toxic tides. And multiple simulations have predicted that mimicking the effects of a volcano would interfere with monsoons in Asia and Africa, potentially threatening water and food security for billions of people.
So far, these proposals have mostly served as fodder for computer models and scientific papers. But with Mr. George’s ocean adventure, geoengineering has decisively escaped the laboratory. If Mr. George’s account of the mission is to be believed, his actions created an algae bloom in an area half of the size of Massachusetts that attracted a huge array of aquatic life, including whales that could be “counted by the score.”
When I read about the whales, I began to wonder: could it be that the orcas I saw were on their way to the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet that had descended on Mr. George’s bloom? The possibility, unlikely though it is, provides a glimpse into one of the disturbing repercussions of geoengineering: once we start deliberately interfering with the earth’s climate systems — whether by dimming the sun or fertilizing the seas — all natural events can begin to take on an unnatural tinge. An absence that might have seemed a cyclical change in migration patterns or a presence that felt like a miraculous gift suddenly feels sinister, as if all of nature were being manipulated behind the scenes.
Most news reports characterize Mr. George as a “rogue” geoengineer. But what concerns me, after researching the subject for two years for a forthcoming book on climate change, is that far more serious scientists, backed by far deeper pockets, appear poised to actively tamper with the complex and unpredictable natural systems that sustain life on earth — with huge potential for unintended consequences.
In 2010, the chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology recommended more research into geoengineering; the British government has begun to spend public money in the field.
Bill Gates has funneled millions of dollars into geoengineering research. And he has invested in a company, Intellectual Ventures, that is developing at least two geoengineering tools: the “StratoShield,” a 19-mile-long hose suspended by helium balloons that would spew sun-blocking sulfur dioxide particles into the sky and a tool that can supposedly blunt the force of hurricanes.
THE appeal is easy to understand. Geoengineering offers the tantalizing promise of a climate change fix that would allow us to continue our resource-exhausting way of life, indefinitely. And then there is the fear. Every week seems to bring more terrifying climate news, from reports of ice sheets melting ahead of schedule to oceans acidifying far faster than expected. At the same time, climate change has fallen so far off the political agenda that it wasn’t mentioned once during any of the three debates between the presidential candidates. Is it any wonder that many are pinning their hopes on a break-the-glass-in-case-of-emergency option that scientists have been cooking up in their labs?
But with rogue geoengineers on the loose, it is a good time to pause and ask, collectively, whether we want to go down the geoengineering road. Because the truth is that geoengineering is itself a rogue proposition. By definition, technologies that tamper with ocean and atmospheric chemistry affect everyone. Yet it is impossible to get anything like unanimous consent for these interventions. Nor could any such consent possibly be informed since we don’t — and can’t — know the full risks involved until these planet-altering technologies are actually deployed.
While the United Nations’ climate negotiations proceed from the premise that countries must agree to a joint response to an inherently communal problem, geoengineering raises a very different prospect. For well under a billion dollars, a “coalition of the willing,” a single country or even a wealthy individual could decide to take the climate into its own hands. Jim Thomas of the ETC Group, an environmental watchdog group, puts the problem like this: “Geoengineering says, ‘we’ll just do it, and you’ll live with the effects.’ ”
 The scariest thing about this proposition is that models suggest that many of the people who could well be most harmed by these technologies are already disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Imagine this: North America decides to send sulfur into the stratosphere to reduce the intensity of the sun, in the hopes of saving its corn crops — despite the real possibility of triggering droughts in Asia and Africa. In short, geoengineering would give us (or some of us) the power to exile huge swaths of humanity to sacrifice zones with a virtual flip of the switch.
The geopolitical ramifications are chilling. Climate change is already making it hard to know whether events previously understood as “acts of God” (a freak heat wave in March or a Frankenstorm on Halloween) still belong in that category. But if we start tinkering with the earth’s thermostat — deliberately turning our oceans murky green to soak up carbon and bleaching the skies hazy white to deflect the sun — we take our influence to a new level. A drought in India will come to be seen — accurately or not — as a result of a conscious decision by engineers on the other side of the planet. What was once bad luck could come to be seen as a malevolent plot or an imperialist attack.
There will be other visceral, life-changing consequences. A study published this spring in Geophysical Research Letters found that if we inject sulfur aerosols into the stratosphere in order to dial down the sun, the sky would not only become whiter and significantly brighter, but we would also be treated to more intense, “volcanic” sunsets. But what kind of relationships can we expect to have with those hyper-real skies? Would they fill us with awe — or with vague unease? Would we feel the same when beautiful wild creatures cross our paths unexpectedly, as happened to my family this summer? In a popular book on climate change, Bill McKibben warned that we face “The End of Nature.” In the age of geoengineering, we might find ourselves confronting the end of miracles, too.
Mr. George and his ocean-altering experiment provides an opportunity for public debate about an issue essentially absent during the election cycle: What are the real solutions to climate change? Wouldn’t it be better to change our behavior — to reduce our use of fossil fuels — before we begin fiddling with the planet’s basic life-support systems?
Unless we change course, we can expect to hear many more reports about sun-shielders and ocean fiddlers like Mr. George, whose iron dumping exploit did more than test a thesis about ocean fertilization: it also tested the waters for future geoengineering experiments. And judging by the muted response so far, the results of Mr. George’s test are clear: geoengineers proceed, caution be damned.
© 2012 The New York Times
Naomi Klein
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and syndicated columnist and the author of the international and New York Times bestseller The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, now out in paperback. Her earlier books include the international best-seller, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (which has just been re-published in a special 10th Anniversary Edition); and the collection Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate (2002). To read all her latest writing visit You can follow her on Twitter: @NaomiAKlein.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


India Puts GM Food Crops Under Microscope

by Ranjit Devraj
Published: Saturday 27 October 2012
“The court-appointed committee has called for specifically designated and certified field trial sites, adequate preliminary testing and the creation of an independent panel of scientists to evaluate biosafety data on each GM crop in the pipeline.”
Environmental activists are cautiously optimistic that a call by a court-appointed technical committee for a ten-year moratorium on open field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops will shelve plans to introduce bio-engineered foods in this largely agricultural country.
“We are now waiting to see whether the Supreme Court will accept the recommendations of its own committee at the next hearing on Oct. 29,” said Devinder Sharma, chairman of the Forum for Biotechnology and Food Security, a collective of agriculture scientists, economists, biotechnologists, farmers and environmentalists.
The committee – appointed in May to examine questions of safety raised in a petition filed by environmental activist Aruna Rodrigues – pointed to serious gaps in India’s present regulatory framework for GM crops in an interim report released on Oct. 18.
In particular, the committee was asked to look at open field trials of food crops spliced with genes taken from the soil bacterium Bacillus thurigiensis (Bt), an insecticide whose impact on human health is unknown.
Noting that there “have been several cases of ignoring problematic aspects of the data in the safety dossiers”, the committee suggested reexamination “by international experts who have the necessary experience”.
In February 2010, the then Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had ordered a moratorium on Bt brinjal (also called aubergine or eggplant), based on a series of public hearings on the issue – though this was not extended to field trials of other Bt food crops.
A parliamentary standing committee on GM crops appeared to reflect the public mood when it recommended in August that GM crop trials be banned and future research conducted only under tight regulation.
“The government should see the writing on the wall. It is now amply clear that this country of 1.2 billion people, 70 percent of whom are dependent on agriculture, is strongly against the introduction of GM crops,” said Sharma.
According to Sharma wide publicity given to a recent study by French scientists led by Gilles-Eric Seralini at the University of Caen, which showed rats fed with GM corn developing tumors, has had an impact on the Indian public as well as scientists and experts.
In fact, the court’s committee has recommended that long-term and inter-generational studies on rodents be added to tests to be performed on all GM crops in India, whether approved or pending approval.
Sharma said the Supreme Court’s decision is bound to have a bearing on resistance in Europe to GM food crops, because of safety concerns. Spain is currently the only country in the European Union that grows a GM food crop and this is limited to GM corn to be used as animal feed.
Kavita Kuruganti, a consultant with the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, a Hyderabad-based organization working on sustainable agriculture in partnership with non-government organizations, said it is significant that the court’s committee had called for reexamination of all biosafety data for approved and pipeline GM products.
The committee’s report contradicts advice from the prime minister’s scientific advisory council (SAC) on biotechnology and agriculture, which complained in an Oct. 9 release, “A science-informed, evidence-based approach is lacking in the current debate on biotechnologies for agriculture.”
But Kuruganti told IPS that the Supreme Court’s committee consisted entirely of distinguished scientists and that their opinions “cannot be dismissed as unscientific as they (have) rationalized each of their recommendations.”
Arguing in favor of introducing GM food crops in India, the SAC statement claimed:  “Land availability and quality, water, low productivity, drought and salinity, biotic stresses, post-harvest losses are all serious concerns that will endanger our food and nutrition security with potentially serious additional affects as a result of climate change.”
However, the SAC acknowledged, “There is concern about the costs at which seeds (from multinational companies that have patents on GM) are available to our farmers, particularly poor farmers.”
”The experience with non-food GM crops, particularly Bt cotton, has been that ordinary farmers do not benefit because of the high costs of seeds and inputs,” said Ramachandra Pillai, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha (All India Farmers Forum) that has 14 million members and is affiliated with the Marxist Communist Party of India.
Pillai told IPS that his party was not opposed to modern agricultural biotechnology, but wanted public-sector involvement because “right now the main driving force behind GM crops seems to be the profit motive, which may bypass such burning issues as food security, malnutrition, poverty alleviation and unemployment.”
Pillai said it was especially important to have government oversight in the case of GM food crops to dispel fears that the private sector was ignoring concerns around public safety.
The court-appointed committee has called for specifically designated and certified field trial sites, adequate preliminary testing and the creation of an independent panel of scientists to evaluate biosafety data on each GM crop in the pipeline.
Suman Sahai who leads Gene Campaign, a Delhi-based NGO, said the report has brought home the fact that the “existing regulatory system for introducing GM crops into the country was hugely compromised.”
Sahai told IPS that the regulatory authorities had, for example, ignored the interests of organic farmers who stand to be ruined if their crops are contaminated by GM crops, several of which are currently under development in India.
Based on India being a signatory to the Cartagena Protocol that recognizes biodiversity as a long-term resource, the committee recommended a complete ban on field trials of crops for which India is a center of origin or diversity, “as transgenics can contaminate and adversely affect biodiversity.”
“For the first time, there is potential legal backing to recommendations that other inquiries have thrown up, including those made by the parliamentary standing committee,” Kuruganti said.
“There is now a chance for monitoring to become a reality rather than just an existence on paper,” she said. “This will also make the deployment of technology into a credible, confidence-inspiring process – that is, once the Supreme Court accepts the recommendations of its committee and passes suitable orders.”