Issuu on Google+

Monsanto's genetic engineering trials in India are dangerous and anti-democratic. The US transnational, Monsanto, is currently carrying out field tests of its genetically engineered crops in forty locations in India. The manner in which these tests are being conducted violates all democratic and ecological norms. The absence of a proper regulatory framework and a proper regulating agency both nationally and internationally to deal with ecological risks associated with the new technology only serves

to reinforce the call made by citizens worldwide for a fiveyear moratorium on genetic engineering in agriculture. ________________________________________ MONSANTO is establishing its empire in the agricultural sector in India at the cost of democracy and ecology. This has once again been proven by the manner in which Monsanto began trials of its genetically engineered crops in India. Even the governments of the


ONE OF MILLIONS states where the trials were being carried out were kept in the dark by Monsanto and the Department of Biotechnology. Public participation in decisions about whether trials can be carried out has not even been considered, although all environmentally destructive activity is supposed to be notified and cleared only after a public hearing. Genetic engineering has serious ecological risks. It is the reason article 19.3 of the Convention on Biological Diversity called for a Biosafety Protocol, which is currently being developed through international negotiations. This is also the reason France has banned all genetically engineered crops and the UK has responded to the call of citizens by having a one-year moratorium on release of genetically engineered crops. Most recently, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the world's largest body for organic agriculture called for a ban on genetic engineering from agriculture, because it poses hazards without being necessary for the development of agriculture. Risks of Monsanto's toxic plants. Monsanto's present trials in India are being carried out on its genetically engineered 'Bollgard' Cotton or Bt-Cotton which has genes from a bacterium engineered into it so the plant produces its own pesticide, contrary to Monsanto's claim. Bt-Cotton is not 'pest-resistant' but a pesticide-producing plant. The severe ecological risks of crops genetically engineered to produce toxins include the threat posed to beneficial species such as birds, bees, butterflies and beetles which are necessary for pollination and for pest control though pest-


continued on page 24

Monsanto Tumbles Down