Indian Oil and Environment Minister Veerappa Moily has added fuel to the debate about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by approving field trials of 200 GM food crops on behalf of companies like Monsanto, Mahyco, Bayer and BASF. This is despite Supreme Court appointed Technical Expert Committee (TEC) recommending a ten-year moratorium on GM organism approvals until scientifically robust protocols, independent and competent institutions to assess risks and a strong regulatory system are developed. This will involve a deliberate release of GM organisms in the open environment and a potential contamination of non-GM crops, as has been the case in the
With their compliance, the result has been that over the past 50 to 60 years, thanks to chemical fertilisers and pesticides, agriculture has changed more than it did during the previous 12,000 years. We need look no further than
It all begs the question, what was wrong with agriculture in the first place that warranted this disastrous shift towards chemical agriculture and now GMOs? The answer to that is, by comparison, probably not a lot. In 2013, researchers at the
Led by Professor Jack Heinemann, the study’s findings were published in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. The study found that
Moreover, a September 2013 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) states that farming in rich and poor nations alike should shift from monoculture towards a greater varieties of crops, reduce the use of fertilisers and other inputs, provide greater support for small-scale farmers and move towards more locally focused production and consumption of food. More than 60 international experts contributed to the report (19). The report states that monoculture and industrial farming methods are not providing sufficient affordable food where it is needed, while causing mounting and unsustainable environmental damage. The system actually causes food poverty, not addresses it.
As for India, Arun Shrivastava notes that the world does not need modern technology of poisonous pesticides, destructive fertilisers and patented GM seeds that cannot match 1890 AD or even 1760 AD yields in India (12). But even if we discard the debate over yields, Shrivastava (and others) assert that modern technology has actually destroyed the nutrition in common foods and that, failing to set any yield or nutrition standard in any food crop, it is part of an insane industry that has muddled through. So, how did we arrive at this stage, whereby 12,000 years of conventional farming were swept aside in favour of chemical/oil-based agriculture?
As William F Engdahl argues, the Green Revolution was a Rockefeller family plan to monopolise global agriculture as it had done with oil. It was aimed at removing traditional agriculture from farmers and placing it in the hands of corporate agribusiness. As a result, large multinational seed companies were able to control seed supplies. Moreover, the introduction of modern
Ordinary people, if they are not to be what Vandana Shiva calls ‘ignorant links’ in a malicious corporate-controlled food chain, therefore need to question why governments have kowtowed to a US-driven agenda of chemical and now GMO agriculture.
This is in addition to the fact that wider ‘corporate
It is not just Americans that do not know about this, but most ordinary Indians too! But even with the upcoming national elections, no one should expect self-proclaimed Hindu-nationalist party BJP to protect the country from the foreign jackals if it gains power. BJP candidate for PM Narendra Modi is fully backed by Wall Street (25). What future for Indian agriculture? What future for
This article first appeared on Global Research
Notes 1) http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/30/us-wheat-asia-idUSL3N0EB1JC20130530 2) http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/10/argentina-cancer-cluster-pesticide 3) http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416 4) http://nhrighttoknowgmo.org/BreakingNews/Glyphosate_II_Samsel-Seneff.pdf
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This post was written by Colin Todhunter