GMO news related to India

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.

(.....)

“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.

12.05.2019 |

Seeds from Bt brinjal trials not deposited with govt body

The use of GM crops is contentious, with arguments existing on both sides. Still, with India not allowing the use of genetically modified brinjal, the developments in Haryana are a clear violation of the law.

(.....)

The “biotech industry’s strategy of ‘leak illegal seeds first, contaminate and spread the cultivation and present a fait accompli’ for obtaining approval is well known. It did this with Bt cotton in India,” said Kavitha Kuruganti, convener of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture.

11.05.2019 |

2,000-kg HT cotton seeds seized, company MD held

HYDERABAD: Confirming the worst fears of Telangana government that unapproved herbicide tolerant (HT) cotton seed is making its way into the state and farmers are using HT seed on a large scale, a whopping 2,005 kilos of HT cotton seed was seized near Secunderabad railway station on Friday.

Managing director of a seed company and a driver were arrested in a joint operation conducted by Task Force police and agriculture department officials.

09.03.2019 |

Monsanto loses millions of dollars after Indian farmers switch to indigenous seeds

Monsanto claims that the genetically modified cotton seeds they sell are superior. So why are so many people trying to switch?

Monsanto is losing millions of dollars now that farmers in India are switching to indigenous cotton seeds rather than Bt cotton.

The agrochemical company is known for pushing a form of Bt cotton in India for the last decade. They have been accused of manipulating laws in order to enter the Indian market.

Monsanto’s manipulation and greed in India has caused hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers to commit suicide. Between the years of 1995 and 2013, more than 300,000 farmer suicides occurred, many of which were linked to Monsanto. Farmers are forced to pay for Monsanto’s costly seeds, which then force them to pay for the expensive pesticides to effectively grow them, as Bt cotton’s pest resistant quality fades over time.

25.02.2019 |

Sign-on letter from India against IPR on seed

Shri Modiji,

The undersigned signatories representing agricultural and farmer groups from all over India are deeply concerned and writing to you to emphasise that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations must not place any obligation on India or any other developing country with respect to intellectual property (IP) on seed and planting materials.

RCEP IS ‘WTO-PLUS’

The demand for tighter IPR comes in the form of insistence on provisions on rights in plant varieties. It is demanded by some RCEP-participating countries (RPCs) that such plant variety protection (PVP) shall provide for the IP protection of all plant genera and species by an effective PVP system, which is consistent with the 1991 Act of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 1991 Convention). This demand makes RCEP go beyond the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and is thus ‘WTO- plus’.

It is important to recall that Article 27.3(b) of the WTO TRIPS Agreement only requires WTO member countries to make available an effective sui generis system for the protection of plant varieties. Countries have complete freedom to adopt a system suitable to their agricultural condition and needs. Nothing in the RCEP negotiations should affect and limit this freedom.

02.01.2019 |

GM Cotton – Reckless Gamble

The Profit Driven Move that Placed Indian Cotton Farmers in Corporate Noose

The dubious performance (failure) of genetically engineered Bt cotton, officially India’s only GM crop, should serve as a warning as the push within the country to adopt GM across a wide range of food crops continues. This article provides an outline of some key reports and papers that have appeared in the last few years on Bt cotton in India.

In a paper that appeared in December 2018 in the journal Current Science, P.C. Kesavan and M.S. Swaminathan cited research findings to support the view that Bt insecticidal cotton has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers. This paper was not just important because of its content but also because M.S. Swaminathan is considered to be the father of the Green Revolution in India.

The two authors provided evidence that indicates Bt crops are unsustainable and have not decreased the need for toxic chemical pesticides, the reason for these GM crops in the first place.

EnglishFranceDeutsch