The fighting over the environmental clearance for Bt brinjal inward Republic of Republic of India is hotting up. There is a tremendous uproar against the engineering that is visible, provided of course of teaching y’all wishing to encounter it. Many State governments cause got woken up, in addition to opposed the introduction of Bt brinjal crop. West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala are about of them. In the days to come, I am for sure to a greater extent than State governments volition oppose the technology.
It gives a clear pointer. At to the lowest degree the politicians are much amend than the agricultural scientists. Vice-Chancellors of agricultural universities are completely on the bandwagon of the GM industry. None of them tin muster courage to stand upwardly up in addition to hold upwardly counted. In a vitiated academic atmosphere where fifty-fifty the ship service of an Assistant Professor comes alongside a cost tag (not everywhere, but most of the universities cause got earned quite a scream for ‘money-for-job’ rackets operating for quite about time), y’all cannot await anything amend from these universities.
At the same time, the media is deliberately trying to downplay the resistance to GM foods, peculiarly Bt brinjal. As I cause got said earlier, they are counting their chicken, which comes inward the cast of advertisements from these biotech in addition to agribusiness companies. There are about exceptions, of course. At times, I create have a set of questions to hold upwardly answered. But I must acknowledge this is alone a miniscule department of the journalists who appear keen to residue their story. The ease aspect for an chance to move to the the States for an exposure trip/orientation course of teaching inward genetic engineering, in addition to to qualify for that they are eager to present their writing skills in addition to also ‘understanding’ most the technology.
Anyway, i such set of questions along alongside my answers is placed below.
Q: A Mahyco representative said that during the testing stage inward which environmental biosafety in addition to agronomic evaluation of Bt brinjal was carried out, an isolation distance of 300 metres was maintained equally mandated past times the regulators. And that this applies to the evaluation stage only.
Ans: The isolation distance betwixt ii plots is to ascertain how much is the cistron menses from a Bt brinjal champaign to a neighbouring brinjal field. In India, the vegetable fields are dorsum to back. The testing parameter should cause got genuinely set out the experiment to evaluate the cistron menses when fields are at a distance of i feet or so. In fact, in that location should hold upwardly 3 dissimilar distances — tin hold upwardly i feet, i meter in addition to 3 meters. By just setting a criterion (even if it is alone for evaluation phase) for 3 metres the scientists cause got genuinely ensured they learn the desired results. So, equally I said inward my blog, this is only to brand fool of the people who create non empathise what the isolation distance means. If the isolation distance was, tell i metre, the experiment would cause got failed.
Q: GM crops inward Republic of Republic of India is a realty, regardless of the oppositions in addition to reservations. Beginning from that premise, what form of a regulatory scheme would satisfy you? As in, what strikes y’all equally the obvious loopholes inward the electrical flow trials in addition to how tin they hold upwardly fixed?
Ans: First, I create non concord alongside your premise. Nuclear reactors were a reality 50 years back, in addition to aspect what is happening now. All over the due west the love-affair alongside nuclear reactors has disappeared. It is alone inward Republic of Republic of India that nosotros are willing to choose fifty-fifty shit from the western countries. Some years back, I had exposed a programme to export moo-cow dung in addition to piggery droppings from Kingdom of the Netherlands to India. It was dropped afterward people reacted in addition to showed their anger next the exposure.
The acquaint regulatory scheme is a consummate sham. It has been designed past times the pro-industry scientists (who are the beneficiary of the GM technology) for the industry. There is a postulate for 29 tests to hold upwardly done before a GM nutrient crop is allowed. In India, nosotros bear hardly four tests in addition to that besides just to satisfy the ignorant media. For instance, I don’t empathise how could wellness risks hold upwardly ascertained afterward xc days tests. It should hold upwardly for a lifetime. At least, for the lifetime of a rat, which is 2 years.
Interestingly, GM foods are for the masses. GM drugs, which are for a a target population in that location are several stages of trials in addition to fifty-fifty that is non foolproof. Why can’t nosotros follow at to the lowest degree the same regulatory machinery for GM foods? We create non postulate the FDA form of rule for GM foods. We genuinely postulate RDA regulatory scheme that exists for genetically modified drugs inward the US. Under the RDA, y’all are supposed to tell the regulators the negative impacts of the drug. This is just what nosotros postulate to create inward the representative of GM foods.
And also, in that location is a dire postulate to choose inward a clause for accountability. The Chairman of GEAC should hold upwardly set behind bars if anything goes wrong. In fact, the one-time chairman in addition to members of the GEAC should hold upwardly already behind bars for the harm done to cotton wool farmers through the introduction of Bt cotton. Thousands of cotton wool farmers who grew Bt cotton wool inward Vidharba for instance cause got been forced to commit suicide. Scientists cause got blood on their hands.
The EC-II study for instance says that the wellness risks from Mahyco’s ain feeding studies are ‘statistical significant’ but ‘biologically insignificant’. How tin this hold upwardly possible? Who volition questions the fraudulent cover-up provided past times EC-II? Why can’t the study hold upwardly publicly discussed, why can’t a squad of respectable citizens from all walks of life, aspect into the claims? After all, GM nutrient is non beingness consumed past times scientists in addition to companionship officials, it is to hold upwardly eaten past times the masses. So why shouldn’t they decide? And if the EC-II study is proved to hold upwardly fraudulent, shouldn’t the members of the commission hold upwardly punished, in addition to that besides inward a mode that it becomes a deterrent for others?
Q: According to IFPRI, Washington DC, the regulatory procedure inward Republic of Republic of India involves non alone environmental jeopardy assessment but also nutrient security assessment. Republic of Republic of India is known to hold upwardly the province alongside a that has the largest biosafety requirements inward damage of creature feeding tests. Do y’all agree?
Ans: Please don’t handgrip IFPRI inward such high esteem. It is a an manufacture think-tank in addition to if y’all cause got read my views, I cause got been demanding closure of IFPRI. Just to give y’all an instance. The FAO is calling the land-grab past times companies inward Africa, Latin America in addition to Asia equally ‘neo-colonism’. IFPRI is calling for a code of conduct. So y’all should know who IFPRI represents. I cause got known their present/past DGs (and I cause got shared the platform alongside about of them). They openly speak the linguistic communication of biotech industry.
If India’s regulatory scheme is in addition to so good, I recollect the the States should unopen downward FDA in addition to aspect at the tests beingness done inward India. If this was true, they wouldn’t cause got opened several offices of FDA inward India.
The way environmental clearance has been given to Bt brinjal, it alone shows the scandalous mode inward which the GEAC in addition to the RCGM operates. Let me tell you, the Ministry of Environment & Forests has no courage to set the GEAC inward order. The Department of Biotechnology on the other mitt is stuffed alongside people (most of them are advisors) whose alone qualification for the chore is their proximity to the biotech companies.
Q: What are the implications of the 2006 CD Mayee report, that paved way for lawsuit based testing? Could you, in i lawsuit again, elaborate the pros in addition to cons of an event-based regime for the mainstream audience?
Ans: This is over again flawed. Many a times nosotros cause got seen that the same lawsuit or the cistron tin human activeness differently inward dissimilar crops. MON810 corn diversity which stands banned inward most of Europe is i such classic example. If y’all were to hand the event-based regime than MON810 corn should non cause got posed whatsoever problems. Each transgenic thus needs a fresh circular of biosafety studies. Moreover, when y’all appoint a squad nether someone similar C D Mayee, y’all know the final result fifty-fifty before the study is submitted. Why can’t nosotros cause got a squad permit us tell headed past times someone who has no stake inward the technology.
Q: Mayee quit GEAC next his appointment to ISAAA board. Just what form of an organisation is ISAA —the organisation counts amid its donors, non just Monsanto, but also our ministry building of scientific discipline in addition to environment. ..
Ans: ISAAA is an manufacture outfit. They telephone telephone themselves NGO, but are inward reality funded past times the GM industry, in addition to has allies similar the Ministry of Science & Environment. Interestingly, the Dept of Biotechnology in addition to ICAR ever swear past times the reports/studies of ISAAA in addition to at the same fourth dimension utter of taking all stake-holders views/opinions into account. I cause got oft challenged the DBT Advisors to delight tel who they correspond if all their slides inward presentations are past times in addition to large based on ISAAA.
ICAR is much worse. You canot go the manager of whatsoever ICAR found till y’all demonstrate your blind back upwardly for GM technology. CD Mayee has already managed to set a biotech manufacture individual equally a deputy manager general. Even the adjacent Director General of ICAR will be a biotech supporter (and perchance a GM practitioner himself). I tin fifty-fifty scream him straightaway before the choice commission provides us the name.
Don’t forget, CD Mayee did non quit GEAC on his own. He was forced to quit GEAC next pressure level from NGOs. In add-on to continuing on GEAC in addition to ISAAA board, he was also chairperson of the agriculture scientists recruitment board. It is hither that his purpose has to hold upwardly examined. he has recruited many scientists to the top slots in ICAR who are known to hold upwardly GM supporters/beneficiaries in addition to there are question marks over their merit in addition to credibility. #