Vidarbha JanAndolan Samiti
Ref: VJAS/BT. BRINJAL-2010 27TH JAN.2010
Minister for Environment & Forest
Subject: Commercialization of GM crops
[food and non-food]
The approval of Bt Brinjal by GEAC in India
1. We submit the following facts for your information and request you to ban commercialization of food and non-food genetically modified [GM] crops in India. We further request you to take up the issue of banning GM crops from neighbouring South Asian countries as well because of potential hazard of cross border contamination.
Fact 1: There is no independently conducted and peer reviewed study that proves that GM seeds increase yield. On the other hand, there are hundreds of studies that conclusively prove that GM seeds actually increase the cost of farming, give similar or lower yield as compared to non-GM crops, and require higher dose of proprietary pesticides.
Fact 2: There is not one independent study that conclusively demonstrates that GM foods enhance nutritive content of food crops.
Fact 3: Whenever farmers use GM seeds, the farmer saved seeds and farmlands of neighbouring farmers get irreversibly contaminated from cross-pollination. Cross pollination can’t be stopped because it can take place by wind, birds, bees and insects and the natural systems do not respect political boundaries. No farmer and no country can fence out contamination from GM crops. It amounts to denial of a farmer’s right to plant natural hybrids or saved seeds.
It amounts to denial of our right to food, denial of right to what we want to eat.
Please remember that the five firms [Monsanto, Bayer, Dow Chemicals, Syngenta, and DuPont, the five largest multinational seed companies], who own GM seeds and market them globally, have consistently refused to guarantee that their seeds shall not cause contamination.
They are not interested in product liability. Instead, they are on record for seeking ex-post facto approval of their seeds when contamination is discovered. They are on record for shunning product liability. Monsanto is on record for extorting money from farmers [8,000+ in the US alone] for demanding technology fees while contaminating farmers’ land and crops and seeds.
The clear strategy of the five multinational seed and chemical giants is to plant GM seeds by stealth across the world on the lands of the most defenceless nations and contaminate farmer saved seeds and natural hybrids.
The IPR regime forced upon the world by this group of firms through WTO will ensure within a decade that these five firms own every seed on earth. And the contamination is going on irreversibly right now. The WTO is the instrument of global food control by a handful of US and EU based corporations, backed by the military might of the US.
Fact 4: The technology of genetic engineering in agriculture is a cell invasion technology, as yet imperfect. Its purpose is to produce unique traits for the sole purpose of patenting. However, the seed firms proffer the argument that their seeds are “substantially equivalent” to natural seeds, yet when it comes to patenting, the same firms claim that their seeds are “fundamentally different” to natural seeds requiring patent protection. In actual fact GM seeds are fundamentally different and have never existed in nature.
Fact 5: Since this “cell invasion technology” crosses specie barrier, scientists don’t know how it will impact the natural systems like other plant species, aquatic life and the huge unseen biodiversity that exists in our soil and supports food production.
Fact 6: Environmental contamination: Whenever independent evaluation of environmental and health effect of GM food crops has been undertaken, based on the same data that the above mentioned firms used to obtain approval for commercialization, scientists found that adverse effects were concealed. When these scientists published their findings, they were systematically demonized and their research work seized.
Bela Darvas, Professor of Biology at Hungary‘s Debrecen University found that Monsanto’s Mon 810 corn has altered the genetic make-up of two Hungarian protected species. He also found changes in the genetic structure of a rare insect specie. Instead of allowing Darvas to probe further the environmental adverse effects of GM corn [Mon810 event], Monsanto refused to give Darvas any more Mon 810 event corn to continue with his experiments. Monsanto also refused his request for Mon 863, another GM variety. So, not only has MON 810 been shown to cause serious damage to animals, but it may also wipe out protected plant and insect species.
“A mountain of evidence now exists that clearly show adverse trans specie contamination. The environmental impact of GM crops may be worse than the health impact. Genetic pollution is self-propagating. It is altering our biosphere in ways that could outlast climate change and nuclear waste.” [Dr. Mercola, latest briefing]
If the GM technology is so safe, as claimed by the five multinational seed firms, why have they consistently refused independent evaluation of bio-safety of their products? What they have done amounts of destruction of science, scientists and scientific establishments.
Fact 7: Health impacts: In all animal studies undertaken by eminent scientists in some of the best known research establishments around the world, vital organ and immune system damage was observed.
- Rats fed GM corn have kidney, liver, and blood abnormalities whereas rats fed non-GM corn had normal organs and blood.
- Mice fed GM potato had pre-cancerous growth in vital organs like liver and kidney. [Dr Arpad Pusztai studies]
- GM corn feed led to serious reproductive problems in mice. Mice fed Monsanto’s GM corn showed lower fertility and had offspring with lower body weight.
- Dr Irina Ermakova, formerly of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in a feeding trial on mice, found that second generation mice were 50% shorter and about 50% of the progeny of GM food fed parents died prematurely.
- A 2008 Italian study found significant adverse impact on the immune function of mice fed GM corn. [Finamore A, Roselli M, Britti S, Monastra G, Ambra R, Turrini A and Mengheri E. “Intestinal and peripheral immune response to MON 810 maize ingestion in weaning and old mice” J Agric Food Chem (16 Nov 2008) Summary]
- Another study showed that mice fed Bt corn suffered multiple immune system responses, “as if they were eating the pure bt toxin alone.”
- Giles Seralini demonstrated that Bt Brinjal has stable toxins and could pose serious health hazard and he also provided evidence to the Indian Supreme Court of the possible health effects of Bt Brinjal. Unfortunately the Honourable Chief Justice, hearing the PIL number 206 of 2005 ignored his findings and approved Bt Brinjal for commercialization.
Fact 8: Death of animals feeding on GM crops/food and feed
We quote the example of German farmer Gottfried Glockner's experience with GM corn. Glockner planted Bt176 event of Syngenta essentially as feed for his cows. Being a scientist himself, he started with 10% GM feed and gradually increased the proportion, carefully noting milk yield and any side effects. Nothing much happened in the first three years but when he increased the feed to 100% GM, his animals "were having gluey-white faeces and violent diarrhoea" and their "milk contained blood." Eventually all his seventy cows died. Prof Angelika Hilbeck of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology found from Glockner's Bt 176 corn samples, that Bt toxins were present "in active form and extremely stable." The cows died of a high dose of toxins.
- Sheep grazing on harvested Bt cotton field died for similar reasons in Maharashtra
- 13 Buffaloes grazing on Bt field in Andhra Pradesh died within three days of similar Bt toxin’s toxic effect which destroyed their gut. Liver tissue examined post mortem had lesions, indicating pre-cancerous growth.
- US farmers have reported sterility and fertility problems among pigs and cows fed GM corn.
- Farmers have widely reported that migratory birds avoid Bt farmlands
- Farmers have also reported that domesticated animals AVOID GM feed, given an option.
Fact 9: The GM seed and food industry officials falsely claim that the alien DNA in genetically modified food is destroyed by digestive system when genetically modified food is eaten. Researchers have now proven that this contention is patently false.
There is only one known human trial study, by Newcastle University in the UK conducted on 7 human volunteers, back in the late 1990s. The volunteers had, in the past, had their lower intestines removed and now use colostomy bags. After just one meal with GM soy, researchers were shocked to find that GM DNA had outsmarted the digestive process and was present in stable form….in human gut bacteria….and metamorphosing living bacteria in human digestive system.
“This means that long after we stop eating GMOs, we may still have potentially harmful GM proteins produced continuously inside of us. Put more plainly, eating a corn chip produced from Bt corn might transform our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories, possibly for the rest of our lives.” [Jeffrey Smith]
“When evidence of gene transfer is reported at medical conferences around the US, doctors often respond by citing the huge increase of gastrointestinal problems among their patients over the last decade. GM foods might be colonizing the gut flora of North Americans.” [Jeffrey Smith]
British researchers demonstrated that GM DNA from crops can find its way into human gut bacteria, creating health risks. One of their main concerns is that the antibiotic marker genes inserted with the GM material may cause resistance to antibiotics. Scientists still don’t know how human and animal immune system would respond to an alien protein that is found in Nature but not in the form that Nature engineered.
Another concern is adverse immune response to an alien protein, which is also a known fact but because of absence of laws on labelling in the US, medical authorities can’t correlate. Labelling can help correlate but has .
Michael Antonio, a senior lecturer in molecular genetics at King’s College [a Medical School in London], says that the lone human study was significant because it was believed that digestive system could not be damaged from GM foods. The Newcastle researchers demonstrated that GM plant DNA can enter and metamorphose human gut bacteria.
We need to involve the ICMR to carry out independent study on the health impacts of GM foods. With independent we mean INDEPENDENT NOT GOVERNMENT OR INDUSTRY DIRECTED. Please give us confidence that you mean business.
Fact 10 Ethical issues: Human genes have been inserted into cow, and cow genes inserted into pig. A fish gene has been inserted into tomato. And this is being done without our knowledge.
Our main concerns are: (i) how would Muslim community react when they know that beef is inserted with human or pig genes; (ii) How would Hindus react if they know that their vegetables contain cow or pig or even human genes? (iii) What happens to a person who is allergic to fish or meat? Would he/she survive? These are ethical and medical questions and need proper health and socio-economic survey of acceptability of GM foods to informed people by, again we stress, an independent survey firm, certainly not any US or EU-based multinational marketing research firm.
Fact 11: The US-FDA has a major problem of CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The GEAC says if the US-FDA has approved GM foods, it is ok for India. The US-FDA has been headed by former executives of Monsanto since 1991. Politicians have politicized the US-FDA. It is no more an independent regulatory body as envisaged under the US laws. It approved the introduction of GM foods in 1993 WITHOUT PROPER SAFEGUARDS AND BIOSAFETY ASSESSMENT; it amounts to a biological experiment ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Should we in India follow the criminality of the US Government?
Fact 12: In a controlled experiment on genetically engineered salmon by a private firm, scientists found that GE salmon can grow three times its normal size in less than three months. This firm reported that 100,000 genetically engineered Salmon escaped into the ocean when their laboratory was destroyed in flood. These GE salmons are mating with natural salmon. And they are such voracious eaters that they can even eat their own specie.
We are allowing these firms to alter Nature without even knowing the long term consequences.
Fact 12: Eugenics becomes “Genetic Engineering”
Dear Minister: We all know that we are a billion plus in India. South Asia has 1.6 billion people that can’t be supported by its natural ecosystem goods and services. We can survive no doubt, but given the progressively diminishing natural resources, as you know fully well as Minister for Environment and Forests, we can’t achieve a higher quality of life because of the population growth. We are not Neo-Malthusian, like Henry Kissinger, who in his National Security Study Memo 200 [also known as NSSM200] in 1974 identified 13 countries for population reduction, if necessary by force, of military power or starvation.
Henry Kissinger is on record for saying "Control oil, you control nations; control food and you control the people."
India is one of the thirteen listed in NSSM200. We don’t mind if quirks of Nature kills us. But please don’t advance an agenda of mass culling in South Asia by the sociopaths who are in charge of DC and London.
The field of Eugenics was renamed "genetics" to make it more acceptable and also to hide its real purpose.
Through incremental strategic adjustments within a handful of chemical, food and seed corporations, ably supported by persons in key departments of the US Government, behemoths were created that could re-write the regulatory framework of nearly every country. And these seeds of destruction of a carefully constructed regulatory framework - ostensibly to protect the environment and human health - were sown back in the 1920s.
Pause to think: a normal healthy person can at the most go without food for perhaps seven days but it takes a full season, say around four months, for a seed to grow into food crop.
Just five agri-biz corporations, all US based (Cargill, Bunge, Archer Daniels, et al), control global grain trade, and just five control global trade in seeds. Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, DuPont, and Dow Chemicals control genetically engineered seeds. While these powerful oligopolies were being knocked into place, anti-trust laws were diluted to exempt these firms. “It was not surprising that the Pentagon's National Defense University, on the eve of the 2003 Iraq War, issued a paper declaring: 'Agribiz is to the United States what oil is to the Middle East.' Agribusiness had become a strategic weapon in the arsenal of the world's only superpower."
Dear Minister, please pause to think and ponder: they are already achieving their goal of mass culling. The ruling elite in the US has plan to reduce US population to 100 million and that of the world to 750 million. It means that they will silently kill 200+ million American citizens and over 5 billion world-wide. Do you want to be part of this agenda? Silent killers are: GM seeds and foods, untested vaccines [the great swine, avian and all sorts of flu scandals], untested drugs being used on South Asians, the use of mass media to “entertain” instead of informing [Tavistock researches, led by that wily crafty Sigmund Freud back in the 1930s], HAARP [That can alter weather at will and destroy farming communities anywhere in the world AT WILL], Depleted Uranium (DU) contamination of the entire Himalayan snow mass and rivers that will continue to kill South Asians for the next 4.5 billion years are silent weapons.
Millions in India know the truth. If you don’t take action, the people of India will have to, sooner or later.
Please arrange to reject GEAC report on Bt.brinjal permission
For VIDARBHA JAN ANDOLAN SAMITI