GMO news related to India

01.04.2021 |

Techno Fixes will not Save our Planet

In his latest book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates lays out a plan to stop global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero. A fact that seems a little ironic coming from one of the world’s largest emitters[1], whose “guilty pleasure” is flying on private jets and who just joined a bid to acquire the world’s largest private jet services company[2]. Though he attempts to waves this fact away by claiming to make sure that his miles are offset, and his jet uses only “sustainable fuel”. But this sort of contradiction, of placating a severe root problem with a superficial or false solution, is nothing strange for Gates, as a closer look into his million-dollar investments, billionaire and private company partnerships, and his political agenda show little alignment with the goal of truly curving climate change, helping alleviate world hunger, or lifting the poor out of poverty.

24.03.2021 |

India: Nations comply with FSSAI regulations on GM food imports

Several countries have started issuing genetically modified (GM)-free certificates for imported food crop consignments, after initial resistance to India’s regulation seeking such certificates that became effective on 1 March.

The US, Brazil, Russia, and Japan, among other countries, had raised objections to the regulation, contending that it would create a trade barrier and add to the cost borne by exporters.

On 21 August 2020, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued an order requiring a “non-GM origin and GM-free certificate", issued by the competent national authority of the exporting country, to accompany all imports of 24 listed food products to India, to become effective beginning 1 January. The date was later revised to 1 March.

24.03.2021 |

Govt junks plan to allow trials of Bt brinjal, other transgenic crops

NEW DELHI: Bowing to the pressure of RSS-linked farm outfit Bhartiya Kisan Sangh and heeding to the unwillingness of some states, the Centre has junked its decision of allowing scientific field trials of transgenic crops including indigenously developed Bt brinjal.

28.01.2021 |

Vandana Shiva on why the food we eat matters

She's been called the "Gandhi of grain", the "rock star" of the anti-GMO movement and an "eco-warrior goddess". For more than 40 years, the Indian physicist turned ecologist and food rights advocate Vandana Shiva has taken on big agriculture, arguing that we can end world hunger and help save the planet while also preserving the unique cultural and culinary traditions that make our world so wonderfully diverse.

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Colonialism and industrialism have destroyed the Earth and indigenous cultures through four false assumptions.

First, that we are separate from nature and not a part of nature. Second, that nature is dead matter, mere raw material for industrial exploitation. Third, that indigenous cultures are inferior and primitive, and need to be “civilised” through civilising missions of permanent colonization. Fourth, that nature and cultures need improvement through manipulation and external inputs. Green Revolution, GMOs, gene editing are rooted in this false assumption.

I wrote Earth Democracy to show that globalisation had created deregulated commerce and unleashed limitless greed, which was leading to economies of ecocide and genocide.

05.11.2020 |

GM Bt cotton has failed in India – new study

Researchers find GM Bt cotton leads to stagnant yields, high costs, increased insecticide use, low farmer incomes and farmer suicides

The conclusion of this study on GM Bt cotton in India speaks for itself: "The hybrid long-season Bt technology for rainfed and irrigated cotton is unique to India, and is a value capture mechanism. This technology is suboptimal, leading to stagnant yields, high input costs, increased insecticide use, and low farmer incomes that increase economic distress that is a proximate cause of cotton farmer suicides. The current GM Bt technology adds costs in rainfed cotton without commensurate increases in yield. Non-GM pure-line high-density short-season varieties could double rainfed cotton yield, reduce costs, decrease insecticide use, and help ameliorate suicides. The GM hybrid technology is inappropriate for incorporation in short-season high-density varieties."

14.10.2020 |

Gates to a Global Empire – over Seed, Food, Health, Knowledge…and the Earth

The report gathers evidence and throws light on the dangers of philanthrocapitalism, which is boosting the corporate takeover of our seed, agriculture, food, knowledge and global health systems, manipulating information and eroding our democracies. Over the last 30 years it has emerged as a major force, able to derail the international agenda and push our future and the future of our planet towards extinction and ecological collapse.

09.08.2020 |

Experts debunk false claims that GM Bt cotton in India has been a grand success

By nearly all measures, hybrid GM Bt cotton in India is a failure.

Three eminent experts have joined forces to debunk claims by members of two influential think tanks that GM Bt cotton in India has been a resounding success.

The claims were made by Dr Ramesh Chand, a member of the Indian Government think tank Niti Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), in an interview published by BloombergQuint in July 2020. Dr Chand said that India has three pressing needs: improving farm efficiency, sustainability, and food security. He claimed that a “positive environment" for GM crops was developing in India “as there is no credible study to show any adverse impact of growing Bt cotton in the last 18 years in the country”.

24.07.2020 |

HTBT issue: We should embrace seed technology, but not through illegal means

Still reeling from the Covid-19 crisis, the Indian seed sector is being challenged by another deadly contamination: from Herbicide Tolerant (HT) Bt cotton. Reports from Maharashtra confirm that motivated agents are duping farmers and trying to sabotage the legal cottonseed business by channelling an illegal ₹300-crore trade.

HT cotton is a third-generation GMO developed by Monsanto/Bayer, with a Round-Up (Glyphosate-based herbicides) resistant trait. Today, with 50 lakh (of 450 gm each) packets in circulation, it is believed that 10-15 per cent of cotton area has been contaminated with illegal seeds.

04.10.2019 |

Sowing the seeds of climate crisis in Odisha

In Rayagada, Bt cotton acreage has risen by 5,200 per cent in 16 years. The result: this biodiversity hotspot, rich in indigenous millets, rice varieties and forest foods, is seeing an alarming ecological shift

“Everybody is doing it. So we are too,” said Rupa Pirikaka, somewhat uncertainly.

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“Southern Odisha was never a traditional cotton-growing area. Its strength lay in multiple cropping,” said Debal Deb “This commercial cotton monoculture has altered the crop diversity, soil structure, household income stability, farmers' independence, and ultimately, food security.” It sounds like an infallible recipe for agrarian distress.

But these factors, especially those relating to changes in land use, plus what all this implies for water and the rivers, and loss of biodiversity – could also be playing themselves into another long-term, large-scale process. We are witnessing the sowing of the seeds of climate change in this region.

06.06.2019 |

GM golden rice must be vacuum packed to retain beta-carotene

Rapid degradation of beta-carotene in the rice during storage and cooking means it's not a solution to vitamin A deficiency in the developing world. Report: Claire Robinson

The vitamin A precursor beta-carotene is only present at low levels in GM golden rice, when compared to carrots and green leafy vegetables. But it rapidly degrades to even lower levels when the rice is stored after harvest, a new study by Indian scientists has found. After just 6 months of storage in the presence of air, even at the low refrigerated temperature of 4 degrees C, the beta-carotene degraded by around 68–79%.

The lowest degradation rate was seen in paddy rice (unprocessed rice complete with the hull), the middle rate in brown rice (with the hull removed), and the highest in polished rice (with the hull removed and the bran mostly polished off). Polishing is the standard treatment given to rice throughout Asia. Brown rice is hardly ever eaten and paddy rice is never eaten.

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