India is the new battleground for the fight against genetically modified (GM) crops. And this time it is the Andhra Pradesh government, and not just NGOs, to have taken the lead.
On Friday, the state will host a meeting of agriculture ministries from seven cotton- growing states to push for a drive against MNC Monsanto for its high cost of BT Cotton seeds. One of its demands is that the company should insure farmers against any crop failure from BT Cotton seeds. Several studies in Andhra and Maharashtra show failure of BT Cotton on the economic and yield-front, said P V Satheesh, Convenor of AP Coalition in Defence of Diversity.
As the BT Cotton fight rages, NGOS like Greenpeace and Centre for Substainable Agriculture (CSA) have started a campaign against Bt Brinjal, allowed by the environment ministry for field trials. BT Brinjal is the first modified brinjal in the world.
“Only 15 days have been given for public feedback. The ministry has not given any test results of DNA modification. This haste is inexplicable,” Kavita Kuruganti of CSA said.