Special Correspondent

Food can be used as a weapon, says

Sudhir Vombatkere

‘Regulatory agencies have admitted to the global risks in genetic engineering’

MYSORE: Maj. Gen (retd.) Sudhir Vombatkere of the National Alliance for People’s Movement has cautioned that genetic engineering can be used as a tool for economic domination. Food can be used as a weapon.

The caution comes in the wake of the growing tendency to test and admit genetically modified crops and products in India by the policy holders and the lobby in support of it.

Delivering a talk on “Genetic engineering and how it affects us” here recently, Maj. Gen. Vombatkere said the biotechnology industry had entered the realm of food production from farm to table using genetic engineering for crops, claiming higher production of food to meet shortfall in food production to prevent hunger.

However, he pointed out that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) declared in 2008 that hunger was not a crisis of food production because there was enough and more food produced for the world’s population and underlined that the regulatory agencies in most countries admitted to the global risks in genetic engineering by harmful genes self-propagating irrevocably into the environment and the food-chain. “But what is paradoxically is that it is declared safe without adequate and transparent testing,” he said.

He said scientific literature showed that BT industry’s studies were not adequate to identify most of the side-effects of gene insertion and consequent gene expression.