Beware! GM food on your platter (29/3/2006)

see also the news on the 300 suicides by Bt cotton farmers in Vidharba:

incl. the chart produced by VIDARBHA JAN ANDOLAN SAMITI:


Beware! GM food on your platter
Sindhu Manjesh
CNN-IBN, March 29, 2006

New Delhi: While opposition to genetically-modified crops continues both at the policy-making level as well as mass level, there are chances that the trial crops of these fruits and vegetables may soon end up in your kitchen! And you wouldn't even know about it.

Several genetically-modified fruits and vegetables are currently under trial in the country awaiting Government approval before they can be commercially grown.

As part of CNN-IBN special series on genetically modified crops in India, the Special Investigation Team has uncovered how field trial crops are illegally finding their way to the market.

There are no measures in place to check them and there is no government supervision of these trial crops.

This is despite the fact that questions are still being raised over these GM crops world over.

There are many technical and ethical gray areas. But the most important factor is their implications on human health, especially when it comes to food crops.

In India, the government is still completely unaware that genetically-modified food crops have already entered the market. In Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district, a trial farmer for BT brinjal has consumed the crop and admits that it has been sold in the market as well.

Koteshwara Rao, a farmer, says: "My family ate the brinjals. I gave some to my neighbour. The company representative sold the rest in the local market."

This is not surprising. BT cotton, the first transgenic crop to be introduced in India, is a classic example of the government's failure to put a regulatory mechanism in place. Even after nearly a decade since BT cotton trials started, the loopholes remain unplugged.

Farmers cultivating BT cotton do not have requisite training to handle transgenic crops.


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