Publicly funded GMO research in India exposed as fraud to secretly sneak in Monsanto seeds
January 09, 2012 – Jonathan Benson
The nation of India is currently embroiled in a massive scandal involving the use of taxpayer dollars to fund research into genetically-modified organisms (GMO). The Coalition for a GM-Free India (CGMFI) is demanding an immediate end to public sector funding of GMO research after the Indian government and several research institutions were caught using Monsanto’s genetic traits in supposedly “indigenous” GM crops.
From all sides, India, the world’s ninth largest economy, has been continually bombarded by foreign interests pushing it to adopt GMO technologies. The World Bank, for example, set the stage for the hijacking of India’s agricultural system back in the late 1990s when it forced the country to globalize its seed economy. More recently, Monsanto and other key players in biotechnology have repeatedly pushed Indian farmers to adopt GMO technologies by lying to them about its alleged, but unfounded, agricultural benefits
Rather than fully capitulate to this political pressure, India decided to develop its own publicly-funded GMO research arm that would be tasked with developing indigenous GMOs not connected to any multinational corporation. But now it turns out that this program is a failure as well, as these so-called indigenous GMOs were exposed as containing patented Monsanto traits.
“The current fiasco proves once again that the Indian scientific community is not averse to scientific frauds, misleading the nation and the people,” said CGMFI. “We do not need this (GMO) technology force-fed to our farmers and consumers, we have sufficient workable and viable solutions for the agrarian crisis. We demand that the government and public sector institutions work on these solutions rather than fraudulently promote GM technology.”
CGMFI refers, of course, to methods that have already been proven to safely and effectively improve agriculture, such as non-GM hybridization, and various chemical- and pesticide-free crop management practices like crop rotation and polyculture. GMO crops have never been proven to improve crop yields, and have actually been shown time and time again to increasing reliance upon and use of toxic herbicides and pesticides
“All of this is ultimately experimentation happening at the expense of hapless Indian farmers and this is unconscionable,” added CGMFI about government-funded biotechnology research. “These scarce and valuable resources should be utilized for taking proven, safe, farmer-controlled technologies to the farmers.”
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