Assessment on Bt Brinjal wrong, hold its release: biosafety expertJanuary 12th, 2010 - 8:55 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) A day before the government initiates a series of consultations and public hearings on the release of genetically modified brinjal, biosafety expert Vandana Shiva Tuesday said the “rationale behind the government regulatory body’s approval was wrong”.
“It (regulatory authority Genetic Engineering Approval Committee) has totally ignored organic agriculture as the sustainable system for controlling pests. We neither need toxic pesticides nor toxic Bt Brinjal,” Shiva told reporters here.
The government body has so far presented Bt Brinjal as an economically sustainable solution to crop losses resulting from infestation.
However Navdanya, an NGO founded by Shiva that promotes organic farming, in its survey in Vidarbha, Maharastra found that pesticide use “had increased thirteen fold since Bt. Cotton (genetically modified version of the crop) was introduced”.
Shiva said at a press conference that she had written to Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, giving her assessment of the BT Brinjal situation and future threats.
Calling for a postponement on commercial approvals of genetically modified (GM) foods, she said: “Bt Brinjal is a test case for the future of our food, our democracy, our science. That is why it should not be introduced in our farms and our kitchens without a proper reassessment, especially since false assumptions were made to consider it as the only alternative to pest control.”
“The genetic contamination risks also need reassessment. There is no GM liability framework. This must be put in place to protect organic farmers,” she added.
Shiva maintained that to avoid conflict of interest, developers of GM crops should not be engaged in the biosafety testing.
Member farmers of Navdanya organised in groups called ‘jaiv panchayats’ at the village level have rejected the approval of Bt Brinjal.
“The first set of letters from 126 panchayats signed by 4,365 farmers have been sent to the environment minister. More will be forwarded to him as we receive them from our farming communities,” Shiva said.
Public hearings on the Bt Brinjal issue have been organised by the environment ministry in seven cities — namely Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Nagpur, and Chandigarh. The interactions with scientists, agriculture experts, farmers’ organisations, consumer groups and NGOs start Wednesday.
- Parliamentary panel seeks probe into Bt Brinjal (Second Lead) - Aug 09, 2012
- Parliamentary panel seeks probe into Bt Brinjal (Lead) - Aug 09, 2012
- Herbicide tolerant GM crops pose serious health threat: Greenpeace - Aug 04, 2011
- Stop bill on genetically modified crops, NGOs tells PM - Sep 05, 2011
- Bt brinjal is safe, declare scientists - Dec 14, 2009
- No GM crop trials without states' consent: Jairam Ramesh - Mar 09, 2011
- Experts have supported genetically modified brinjal: Minister - Nov 24, 2009
- 500 kg of baingan ka bharta to protest BT Brinjal! - Sep 04, 2011
- GM crops no longer safe from pests - Jun 21, 2012
- 350-kg 'bharta' to oppose Bt brinjal - Sep 06, 2011
- 'Ban on Bt brinjal hurting Indian scientists' - Jan 26, 2011
- Organic cotton farming more profitable: Report (Lead) - Jun 15, 2010
- Ban genetically modified crops: Greenpeace India - Oct 19, 2010
- Lift curbs on research in biotech crops: Scientists - Feb 28, 2012
- Organic cotton farming more profitable, says report - Jun 15, 2010
Tags: bt cotton, conflict of interest, contamination risks, crop losses, false assumptions, genetic contamination, gm crops, gm foods, government regulatory body, jairam ramesh, maharastra, organic agriculture, organic farmers, organic farming, panchayats, pesticide use, series of consultations, sustainable solution, sustainable system, toxic pesticides