(Dr. krishan Bir Chaudhary)
The year 2010 began with a new note in India which may be remembered in the history as a turning point where the people for the first time came out in the open questioning the scientific fraud of the first approved genetically modified food crop, Bt brinjal
After the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) approved the Bt brinjal developed by Mahyco in collaboration with the US seed multinational Monsanto on October 14, 2009, the Union minister of state for environment and forests, Jairam Ramesh took the wise decision to withheld its release and go for public consultations.
The advocates of the GM technology thought they would win the race by tackling a handful of NGOs. But this did not happen. People on their own came out in the open opposing the introduction of Bt brinjal -- be it in Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Nagpur, Ahamedabad, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Bangalore. The protest turned violent in Kolkata. Farmers too joined in the protests.
The people have come to know the fraud committed by a handful of scientists in pushing the approval of Bt brinjal. A noted molecular biologist and a special invitee to the GEAC at the instance of the Supreme Court, Dr Pushpa M Bhargava has pointed out the flaws in the approval process and accused the regulator for skipping adequate biosafety tests.
Admittedly Bt is a toxin. Sheep and goats grazing over Bt cotton died and GEAC did not take any cognizance. Independent scientists across the globe have conducted several studies exposing the health and ecological hazards of GM crops. Now the Indian people have come to know that there are two classes of agriculture scientists one class who on the payrolls of seed multinationals like Monsanto and the others who are pursing science in public interest
The objective of the seed multinationals is clear. They want to control the entire food chain. The Monsanto charges heavy technology fees. The entire gameplan is backed by the US which is engaged in the geopolitics of capturing global food market through the introduction of GM crops.
Public protest against Bt Brinjal has drawn the attention of the political parties ranging from the right wing parties to the left wing parties.
(Editorial : Kisan Ki Awaaz Magazine)