Posts Tagged ‘Eggplant’

Monsanto gets a kick in the eggplant

March 8th, 2010

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Recently hundreds of  of farmers in India met outisde the auditorium of Bangalore University.  They waved placards and chanted praises for the new, genetically modified aubergine.  This was the final public consultation on whether the genetically altered eggplant known as BT Brinjal would be allowed access to India.  BT Brinjal is the result of a partnership between an Indian hybrid seed company and Monsanto, the giant biotech multi-national.

Environment Minister Jairam Maresh not only placed a moratorium on the implementation of BT Brinjal in India, he also ripped the propaganda curtains down: he knew that these “farmers” were really landless laborers, devoid of aubergine farming experience,  bussed in by unnamed companies.  It is obvious that Monsanto will stop at no lengths to accomplish it’s goals of world domination.(http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15498385)

While citizens of the United States may have become calloused and unnerved by the duplicitous behaviour of the USDA and the EPA, the Environment Minister of India drew a line in the sand, “It is my duty to adopt a cautious, precautionary, principle-based approach and impose a moratorium on the release,” until scientific tests can guarantee the safety of the product, said Ramesh. (http://rawstory.com/2010/02/india-refuses-genetically-modified-crops-citing-inadequate-science/).  It seems the Indians are not yet in thrall to the industrialized food cabal.

Supporters suggest that research  shows that the use of BT Brinjal would reduce the amount of crop destruction from pests by 50% and the use of pesticides by 85%. (http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15498385)  This would indeed  suggest that the Indians adopt this new wonder crop.  Yet, there is always a truth behind the propaganda unfurled by such huge companies.

There exists a hope that a second, genetically induced  “green revolution” may help feed the people of India.  Saline soil is a component of this and “saline soil is caused by nitrates and over-irrigation, two essentials of the Green Revolution.” (The Little Food Book, Craig Sams, Alastair Sawday 2004).  Earth that is fertilized with nitrates require more and more fertilizer until the bio-diviersity has been purged  and the lands become barren.  These fact only come in retrospect: no independent research has been allowed on Genetically Modified Organisms.

“Under the threat of litigation, scientists cannot test a seed to explore the different conditions under which it thrives or fails. They cannot compare seeds from one company against those from another company. And perhaps most important, they cannot examine whether the genetically modified crops lead to unintended environmental side effects.” (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=do-seed-companies-control-gm-crop-research)

The hungry of India do not need their land despoiled by petroleum products; they do not need their farmers enslaved by giant multinationals like Monsanto whose  only concern is the bottom line.  In The Hindu, Dr. V.S. Vijayan, Chair of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board, said that the decision “forestalled the surrender of the country’s food security to multinational companies, such as Monsanto and Mahyco.” (http://www.panna.org/resources/panups/panup_20100212#6)

Someday, perhaps, the US appointees to the USDA and the EPA will behave with such  integrity and stand firm against the corruption of the food chain by big business.  I would not suggest that you hold your breath.