The article “Nip this in the bud” (Aug. 12) was well-reasoned. We are not yet clear about the negative impact of genetically modified crops on health. DDT (pesticide) was used extensively in the 1940s and 1950s, until it was discovered that it caused cancer, and was banned in the U.S. in 1972. Wheat, corn, rice and potatoes feed more people than any other crop does. Once these crops go the GM way with IPRs and patent protection, India’s food grains will be the monopoly of a few agri-oligopolies. Top companies will control the vast markets across the world.
India can lose neither its bio-diversity nor food sovereignty. Novel technologies like GMOs are not relevant to the agricultural needs of our country. There is no dearth of food grains as bumper harvests have been delivered by our farmers using conventional methods.
Whether or not GMOs are safe, whether or not Europe is using them, there is a need to reorient the current approach of short-term gains that create conditions detrimental to seed sovereignty and sustainable food production.
N. Venugopal Rao,