All GM Field Trials in India to be Stopped
By Dr. Mercola
One week from today California voters will vote on Prop 37 and we will see if truth will win out over corporate greed, and hopefully people will finally be given the right to know what is in their food.
The state of affairs in India with respect to GM foods is further validation of the importance of labeling GM foods with Prop 37 in California.
Over the past 16 years, it’s estimated that more than a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide after being convinced to plant Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) seeds (especially Bt cotton), then having their crops fail, leaving them in financial ruin.
Earlier this year, India’s National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), a government agency, sued Monsanto, the world leader in GM crops and seeds, and their collaborators, the Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company, for biopiracy, accusing them of stealing local varieties of eggplant to develop a genetically modified version.
It seems now that the country may have had enough, and is citing the precautionary principle in their announcement that all GM field trials should be stopped until certain conditions have been met.
India to Ban Field Trials of GM Crops
In October 2012, a five-member Technical Expert Committee (TEC) appointed by the Supreme Court of India unanimously recommended that all GM field trials in India should be stopped until the following conditions have been met:1
•Specific sites for conducting field trials have been designated and certified and sufficient mechanisms for monitoring the trials put in place.
•A panel of scientists, qualified in evaluation of the biosafety data of GM crops, has been engaged for scrutiny and analyses of the safety data.
•Conflict of interest in the regulatory body has been removed.
•The requirement for preliminary biosafety tests prior to field trials including sub-chronic toxicity in small animals has been included.
Two other noteworthy recommendations were also included in the TEC report:
•A 10-year moratorium on field trials of all Bt food crops, based on the overall status of current food safety evaluations for these crops (including data on Bt cotton and Bt eggplant)
•A moratorium on field trials of herbicide-tolerant crops until an independent assessment has evaluated its “impact” and “suitability”
It seems India is poised to join the ranks of those countries who do not want to use their population and land as guinea pigs to test out GM crops… others who have said “no” to GMOs (genetically modified organisms) include:2