Resist the conspiracy to turn all Indians laboratory rats of the multinational corporations. Protect the food, the seeds and ecology.
A few months ago, a nation-wide campaign opposing Genetically Modified (GM) crops, under the banner of 'I am no lab rat', was launched. GM food is created by taking genes from organisms like bacteria, spiders, etc and forcibly inserting them into the genome of brinjals, potatoes, corn etc., so the vegetables develop certain new traits. Evidence linked GM with stunted growth, impaired immune systems and even inter-generational effects. Recent Australian government study reports [1 & 2] have also confirmed that GM foods affect fertility. Moreover, it's extremely difficult to honor the right of a farmer to stay away from GM. Segregation of a GM farm from (say) an organic one requires a good deal of spacing between them(due to cross-pollination), which is pretty hard to ensure in India. This directly translates to the breach of the consumer's right to choose the type of food they want (GM or non-GM).
The campaign's most pressing objective is to prevent the entry of Bt Brinjal in India, for which your help is indispensable. Bt-Brinjal, is the first ever Genetically modified food crop, available in the world for direct human consumption. Mind you, Bt Brinjal is not the only GM crop in the pipeline. In India, about 56 plants are being genetically modified including rice, potato, tuar, tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, bhindi etc. On October 14th 2009, the regulators1 of the Government of India have cleared Bt Brinjal, for commercial cultivation. The Government of India is to now decide on its commercial release after holding consultations with all stakeholders in January and February 2010. To begin with, please sign an online petition here or use this pdf file as petition to e-mail/fax it to PM & MoEF (address in the end). Those interested in participating in this campaign can leave a comment here or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The irony is that it is the same business players who have made and who continue to make profits out of chemical pesticides that talk about GM seeds today without closing down their chemical business which has already proved extremely damaging!!! Today, they again claim that GM seeds will not harm any organism apart from the target pest. Do you want to believe them, knowing that this is in fact an irreversible technology with seeds having their own life and self-propagating ways in nature? Do you want to believe them given the fact its adverse impacts, which now requires a precautionary approach to such foods?
The inexorable movement of GM foods towards our plates has been happening without resolving fundamental questions – do we need GM crops at all especially when safer, more affordable and sustainable farming practices are available; how and where has their safety been proven conclusively; how can we trust our regulators to be working in the best interests of ordinary citizens when it has been proven time and again that they are ridden with conflicting interests, are unscientific and non-transparent in their functioning; how can decision-making happen based on the crop developer’s data without any independent research; why are a majority of countries around the world (many of those that have excellent scientific expertise) rejecting the technology while a few who have adopted it without an informed debate (like the USA) are trying to push it on others; what is the liability and redressal mechanism that is in place when things go wrong; why is there such a monopolistic stronghold on this technology in the hands of a few companies like Monsanto and what are the agri-business interests that are pushing this technology on all of us.
It will be the end of choice for us – you and I, if GM crops are allowed into the country. It is time to stand up for what is right for us and our children. Don’t you think it is your basic right to know what you are eating, and to consume safe food?
If you believe so, join us.
- Assert that Indians are not lab rats. Assert your right to food choices & safe food
- Join thousands of other concerned Indians in saying “i am no lab rat” and
- Send a petition online to the prime minister of India (www.iamnolabrat.com).
Indiagminfo, AID India Wiki on GM foods, 10 reasons to say no to Bt-Brinjal, Devendar Sharma’s Blog, GM Watch
Videos : Poison on the Platter, Controlling our food