Karela Fry

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Genetic modification in the news again

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The anti-GM lobby just got a loony backer it may not want. TOI reports:

The Madhya Pradesh government has banned genetically modified (GM) seeds in the state with agriculture minister Ramkrishna Kusmariya saying that scientifically re-engineered foodgrain and vegetables will become “non-vegetarian” and “end” Indian culture.

The same minister had blamed crop destruction because of heavy winter rains three months ago on the “sins of the farmers”.

Kusmariya told reporters in Damoh on Thursday that his department won’t permit use of GM seeds in the state because “use of GM seeds would make every grain and vegetable non-vegetarian and end our vegetarian culture”. He claimed that “nothing will remain vegetarian if genes and bacteria are infused in the DNA of grains and vegetables”.

This is not an easy issue: there are many good arguments for and against. On a bulletin board for vegans, I found an interesting argument for. If you care enough about your carbon footprint to cut down on eating meat and animal products, then you should support that kind of GM food which allows you to grow more food with less resources.

The argument against Monsanto’s version of GM plants is clear: the only advantage of these plants is to Monsanto. The genetic modification which is done to these plants is to make second generation seeds unviable. This means that farmers must go back to Monsanto to buys seeds every year. There is no gain in this for anyone other than the corporation.

Vegetarianism does not quite enter into it.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

April 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm

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