GM Mustard: Another Step Deeper into the Holocaust

During 2nd World War, Hitler’s fascist regime killed nearly 17 million people during the holocaust. The infamous IG Farben supplied Zyklon-B, a cyanide based pesticide, in the concentration camps. In India, a similar holocaust is going on by killing its farmers. The credit goes to Monsanto, a US-based private monopolist of seeds, who sell Genetically Modified (GM) seeds to Indian farmers. In this context, it is worth mentioning that Monsanto and Bayer (a part of IG Farben) recently have entered into a series of long-term business related to GM crops, and their joint venture is achieving a new height in India’s present fascist regime.

From Manmohan Singh to Narendra Modi, the tradition of saving their present master (read US) from the ongoing economic recession, at the cost of farmers’ lives, is going on. A joint statement from George Bush and the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was tabled on July 2005, in which the main part was – Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture, Education, Training, Research, and Commercial Linkages. Singh declared this deal as the pioneer of second Green Revolution (GR) in India. We must not forget that the first GR has already transferred the Bread Basket of India – Punjab – into a heartland of disease, due to the extensive use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Now, the second GR is at our doorstep, with its new product – GM crops. Since Monsanto’s entry into India in 1998, in less than two decades it successfully snatched cotton seeds from Indian farmers, displaced local varieties, introduced GM BT cotton seeds, and coerced huge royalties from farmers. The price of cotton seeds has increased by almost 80,000% (from Rs.5-9/kilo to Rs. 1600 for 450 gms). Moreover, it resulted into a genocide with the death of at least 3,25,000 farmers between 1995 and 2015. Since 2013, over 12,000 suicides are being reported every year. Investigations show that in Maharashtra, 84% of the farmer suicides have been attributed to Monsanto’s BT Cotton.

Apart from cotton, genetic engineering experiments are being conducted on maize, mustard, sugarcane, potato, banana, rice, tomato etc. Even several species of fish are undergoing similar experiments. Ruling classes have taken the responsibility of spreading myths such as GM food’s ability to reduce hunger, malnutrition etc., like they did the same during GR. However, in reality GM food is aimed at strengthening corporate control over agriculture. Even, high-level reports such as Jairam Ramesh Report (2010), Sopory Committee Report (2012), Parliamentary Standing Committee Report (2012), and Technical Expert Committee Final Report (2013) concluded that GM crops are unsuitable for India, and advised against the adoption of GM crops.

However, it seems that the present Modi govt. is always one step ahead than the previous govt., when it comes to satisfy the master. In spite of all such warnings from the scientists, to initiate a rollout of GM mustard crops, the present govt. is pushing its best effort, which as usual is notorious and fraudulent like its every act to bring ‘achhe din’. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) recently cleared GM mustard for cultivation. Also, the Ministry of Environment sub-committee recently issued a report that claims GM mustard is safe and does not raise any public health concern. Both of these reports have stirred a new controversy. Dr. Punjab Singh, one senior member of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) clearly warned regarding grave regulatory exclusion and false entries in the trials. Prof. K. C. Kesavan, head of JNU’s School of Life Sciences, mentioned this as unacceptable levels of distortion of scientific facts to support the release of GM Mustard. In a recent interview, Dr. Vandana Shiva condemned the GEAC decision of approval to GM Mustard, which had been rejected in 2002. She also expressed her concern regarding the “great fraud”, which is being perpetuated on the country to establish the false claim that GM mustard would increase yield, whereas, the all scientific evidence shows that our mustard hybrids provide a 25% to 30% higher yield to GM mustard. Moreover, we must keep in mind that there have been no feeding studies conducted on animals or humans, and there is no blood analysis available. Hence, there is no doubt that the approval of GEAC is advancing us one step deeper into the ongoing holocaust.

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