India needs changes in existing policies and a political will to stop the invasion of genetically modified (GM) products, said Fellow from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Canada in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.
Dr Shiv Chopra, former scientific advisor to the Candian Ministry of Health said that the option of not to utilize GM products cannot be left solely with the farmers, with multi national companies knocking at their doors with lucrative profit-making offers.
"There has to be critical introspection of the safety of using GM products. Particularly, it needs change in the present policies, legislations and its enforcement," Chopra said while delivering the 23rd Kamalnayan Bajaj Memorial Lecture at the Gujarat Vidhyapeeth in Ahmedabad.
Chopra said use of GM products by the farmers in the US and Canada have affected the natural food cycle and led to degradation of land, under ground water levels, reproductive cycles of birds, animals and to some extent human beings.
According to Chopra GM products were initially manufactured in the early 90s' by injecting synthetic hormones into seeds and animals to make them more productive. Its was used on a large-scale in the US and Canada over the years which has destroyed the natural food cycle, he added.
Chopra believes that the only alternative GM products is to stick to well tested natural methods of farming without chemicals fertilizers and pesticides.
"Introduction of hormones, antibiotics, slaughterhouse waste, genetically modified organisms and pesticides should be eliminated from being introduced in the food, plant or animals," Chopra said.