Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bt Crops - Do we need it?

For over the entire last month, the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the GEAC (Genetic Engineering Approval Committee was on loggerheads regarding the Govt of India’s Decision on a Moratorium on the commercial release of the Bt Brinjal.

Now, yesterday, the pioneers of the Crop Bio-tech and Pesticide giant Monsanto has admitted that the pests have developed a resistence to its variety of Bt Cotton (Its version 1, which is a single seed variety) in field trials. The company further advocated the farmers to switch to its second generation (two-seed variety) to ‘delay’ resistence further. The company went on to advocate the farmers to plant ‘refuges’ or non Bt Varieties as a buffer, which would then attract the pests thus leaving the GM crops safe.

Indian farmers for the most part have small land holdings and it is not viable for them to switch to a new variety of Bt crops every year, not it is practically feasible for them to have buffer crops to protect the Bt varieties, when the company cannot guarantee of pest resistance.

The conduct of the company has been ridiculous to say the least. stake. The admission of the company about the failure of the field trials is more of a business strategy than a real failure of its research more so it seems. On the very first look it appears that the admission of failure of field trials is a business strategy to take out the first generation seeds from the Indian market and compel the farmers to buy and use its second generation Bt Crops.

The country is at a threshold on taking a decision on the GM Crops. Should we need it or shud we reject it? The first Green revolution has over the years proved to be a failure in that it has only resulted in our soil loosing its sheen leaving us with a pesticide ridden, water guzzling earth and a people with a whole lot of allergic and cancerous ailments. It’s time the Govt of India take a decision right away on the moratorium and reject Bt Crops and close the issue for now, or else, it will only be putting the economic, strategic and national security at stake.

1 Bouquets And Brickbats:

Prodigious Woman said...

Glad to see something after a long gap.

 
Twitter Bird Gadget