Globally, GM crops and foods containing genetically modified organisms have been the subject of a fierce debate. Advocates argue GM foods pose no more harm or risk than ordinary foods — frequently citing the case of American consumers who have been eating GM food for decades.
Anti-GM activists however have argued such technologies carry potential long-term hazards, citing their own body of research. “It’s a blatant lie to say there are no adverse impact,” Kavitha Kuruganti, an anti-GM activist associated with the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA).
HT Analysis: India should not shut itself to GM crops
In India, those opposing GMOs have prepared their own dossier of “peer-reviewed” papers that have demonstrated unintended behaviour of GMOs. One such study caused a major controversy when renowned academic publisher Elsevier withdrew a widely discussed November 2012 study suggesting that genetically modified corn caused tumours in rats, after a year-long examination of data found the paper did not meet scientific standards. It was republished after the author Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini supplied extra material to support his arguments.
“Most of their studies are poorly designed and don’t fulfil mainstream scientific requirements. The US FDA, The European Commission, after a 20-year assessment, and Canadian Food Safety Agency have all found no evidence of any risk,” said Shanthu Shantaram, professor at the Iowa State University and former US biotech regulator.