The Bigger picture behind opposition to GM crops in India

about-gmos-food-farm-fieldConstitution of India mentions that state should work for promoting scientific temper amongst its citizens, but being a country of contradiction, or if I say in more vitriolic way ,then, being a country of hypocrisy, India once again proved that it still has to go a long way to get a tag of scientific nation. Supreme Court of India has recently stayed the release of indigenously developed GM Mustard based on petition which claimed about its harmful impacts on human health & environment despite all the prior tests which contradicted any such allegations. Opposition to GM Mustard is actually illogical, irrational, ignorant & unscientific act because of the following reasons:
1. So called well wishers of human health claim that consuming GM Mustard is harmful to health, its like saying that if you eat chicken then you will become chicken. Thus, highly irrational argument to put against GM Mustard, yes its true that it contains a bacterial gene but that doesn’t mean that this gene would integrate into human genome only by eating, evolution doesn’t take place like this.
2. Indians are already consuming GM products, India imports majority of its oil needs, and these oil are actually from GM crops, so any opposition to indigenous GM Mustard would actually hamper India’s scientific climate.
3. India is growing Bt-Cotton, a GM crop since early 2000 and it is not just for producing cotton fibers but the fact is India is one of the largest producer of cotton oil and cotton oil cake in the world and Indians are already using them. In fact cotton oil cake are being used to feed cattle and Indians are consuming milk from these cattle since more than a decade.
4. India’s population is growing at an alarming rate and as per reports India will be the most populated country by 2030 and for feeding this population India needs more productive and cost-effective crops, and this could only be done by using latest technology, in fact there is no other option. Because of green revolution, a technology based revolution, India became self-sufficient in food production during early 1970’s and then it went forward to become a nuclear state, employed truly independent foreign and economy policy. In order to protect sovereignty of a country the first requirement is independently feeding own people or else country will face an existential threat in a highly volatile global world.
5. All other nations, even Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and other nations are adopting cost-effective, more productive, more nutritional, easy to grow GM crops, and any negative decision from India’s part could only worse the problems of its farmers, its economy, its security and its sovereignty.
There are reports that these petitions against indigenous GM Crops are being financed by MNCs in order to promote their interests as local GM crops are far cheaper than what they offer and that too without the transfer of technology. Moreover, these MNCs receive support from anti-India lobby to belittle India’s position at the global level and unfortunately some section of Indian media support their views for petty interests. It’s all part of the bigger game and Indians need to look at the broader picture now, than to get swayed away by fabricated news stories. It would be more practical & logical for Indians to believe its elected government than to believe some third-party.
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10 comments

  1. As far as I know, GM foods aren’t as healthy for human consumption as they appear to be. It’s unfortunate that capitalism has created a system where people aren’t as self-sufficient as they should be. It sounds like India is experiencing the same agricultural and food issues as most parts in Africa.

    • there is nothing called pure breed of any living species..things evolve either naturally or artificially that’s the law…all scientific tests regarding GM crops by both govt. & independent agencies show no evidence of any harmful effects on human health and the way climate change is happening we need to go for some better solution and GM is among one of them I believe that capitalism is not the end but for time being it’s a necessary evil..

  2. Many people here in the states are against GMO’s. They seem to suck the nutrition *out of many foods. The ear of corn today is not healthy – 50 years ago, it was.

    • I would say main purpose of any technology is to make life more comfortable and easy. Ideally sucking nutrition out of food shouldn’t happen, in such case it would be failure of science..I think this allegation on GM would not be based on any scientific basis..

      • From what I have read it is based on testing. The fruit and vegetables we eat here now in the US are no where near as nutritious as they were in our fifty years ago. Animals are factory farmed in deplorable conditions. It is difficult and expensive to find natural, organic foods (even they have to be washed with chemicals per the government). Scary, sad truth.

      • yes, chemicals are everywhere and GM could prove to be beneficial here, by developing varieties which don’t depend on chemicals..by the way there is a popular saying that..”If you could drive in India then you could drive anywhere and If you could sell in the US then you could sell anywhere”..quality standard requirement at the US is far superior than elsewhere..

      • Yes but it is the government who states it is okay – not the general public who are aware – if you know what I mean. ~ We don’t necessarily trust our government when they say it’s safe.

      • It would however be fair to say I am not aware of what you are up against as far as farming goes in India. My youngest son has been working with local farms, hydroponic greenhouses etc. So I hear a bit more here and there than many. What would GM products offer to you -that normal, organic seeds cannot?

      • Worldwide governments are facing trust deficit, though nothing new but still…by the way..if you see the case of India then we have around 21% of population living below poverty line..they hardly earn $2/day…so ensuring food security for them is the main objective which constitutes accessibility and affordability… for this we need more production at the cheapest rate and here GM fills the gap..as they produce more, at cheap rate (indigenous one). require less fertilizer and other inputs, and more nutritious (scientific proven)…though here we also do organic farming..but it is less productive and requires big acres of land which we don’t have..so cost of production is a bit higher which marginalized farmers (producer)& citizens (consumers)couldn’t afford…I believe GM is quite practical and sustainable if done in scientifically holistic way…

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