Protesters in Bangalore raise voices against US biotech firm over health and environmental hazards
The members of coalition for GM (Genetically Modified) free India took to streets in country's IT hub Bangalore on Saturday against American multinational chemical and agricultural biotech giant, Monsanto Corporation, asking it to quit due to health and environmental hazards.
Monsanto, headquartered in Creve Coeur, Missouri, in the United States is the largest producer of genetically modified seed.
The protesters demanded the upcoming government not to allow the massive multinational giants to control the food and the economy of India while they walked backward to send a message that adopting GM crops would be detrimental to science and national progress.
Talking on the objective of the protest, a member of Coalition for GM free Karnataka, Neha Sehgal said that GM crops not just have health and environment hazards but also have socio economic implications.
"As we all know Monsanto is a massive biotech multinational giant which produces the most GM seeds in the world. As we also know that GM crops are, scientifically been proven and there is increasing evidence that GM crops have adverse effects on human health and environment as well as the socio economic impacts on the farmers' livelihoods. So we are basically here to send a message to our government not to allow massive multinational giants like Monsanto to take over our food supply, control our farmer as well as control what we eat. So basically we are saying we are going to walk backwards because adopting GM crops means that it's moving backwards on national progress as well as science," she said.
The march against Monsanto is an international grassroots movement aimed at spreading awareness about the long term health risks of GM crops.
It also seeks decision makers to stop use of hazardous technology that is adversely affecting the agriculture and at the same time demands MNCs such as Monsanto to quit India.
GM Organisms critics say surge in genetically modified crops is harmful to the environment, most notably by fostering herbicide-resistant weeds, and that the food made with such crops is harmful for human consumption.
But the US firm says that the crops are proven safe and that proper use of the chemicals associated with the crops by farmers can mitigate environmental problems.
The most popular GMO crops are corn and soybeans that have had their DNA altered in ways that allow the plants to withstand sprayings of herbicide and to resist pests.
(Posted on 25-05-2014)