October 22, 2012
It has been a devastating month for Monsanto as nations around the globe continue to enact bans and restraints on the company’s genetically modified crop varieties. India, the same country that hit Monsanto with ‘biopiracy’ charges for patenting life on the planet, is the latest nation to take a stand. The nation’s new expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court of India is now calling upon the Indian government to enact a 10 year ban on all GMO crop field trials for the next 10 years.
The new law would forbid any biotech agencies from testing their latest GMO crops on India’s soil, therefore preventing the serious issue of contamination and environmental damage. Contamination that is much more than an unlikely but problematic scenario. Monsanto has been caught in the past contaminating even organic seed varieties, and has gone as far as to plant their experimental crops before the USDA allowed them to. Thankfully, the organic farmers were able to catch the contamination before it spread.
If the contamination was not caught, however, it could have gone anywhere and compromised the very genetic integrity of non-GMO farming grounds. It is for this reason that many companies outside of the United States generally dislike purchasing from U.S. farmers, as they sometimes contain even trace levels of GMO contaminants. More and more we receive reports of farmers being completely cut off from other nations after being found to contain trace levels of GMO contamination.
India is looking to stop this before it becomes much of an issue. At least the expert panel is. Known as the Technical Expert Committee, said that the trials should be stopped immediately until an independent committee made up of experts and stakeholders took a closer look at the serious risks associated with the use of herbicide resistant crops. More specifically, the committee was concerned about their real sustainability. After all, Monsanto’s GMOs are consistently becoming more resistant to chemical herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides.
It has even led a panel of expert scientists to call upon the EPA to take action, fearing that resistant bugs known as rootworms will soon ruin the GMO corn industry as a whole.
Whether or not India will adhere to the recommendations of this committee is not yet known, but other nations certainly have listened to their own panels and experts over the past few weeks. India may soon join the ranks of Russia, Poland, France, Hungary, and Peru in taking a direct stand against Monsanto and GMOs as a whole.