Open field trials present significant risk of contamination, and contamination as a result of a commercialised crop is certain
EXCERPT: [Aruna] Rodrigues calls for the Precautionary Principle to be interpreted critically and pre-emptively for its proper application to the unique risks of GM crops.
Precautionary action on GM crops needed now
Third World Network, 18 June 2015
The Public Interest Writ Petition of 2005 filed in India’s Supreme Court has as its main call, a conditional moratorium on the environmental release of any genetically modified organism (GMO) and an appropriate ban in imports of viable seed and GM food and animal feed to ensure that India’s crops, seeds and food chain are not contaminated by GMOs.
In the 10 years since this public interest writ was filed, there have been several Orders from the Supreme Court of India, including an interim ban and interim bar on GM crops; but the longer-term moratorium and specific bans have not materialised.
These orders have, however, required the regulators to ensure that there is no contamination. A recent paper written by the Aruna Rodrigues, Lead Petitioner, stresses the centrality and urgency of this requirement, given that “open field trials present significant risk of contamination, and contamination as a result of a commercialised crop is certain”.
The writer cites scientific evidence of the harm of GM crops/food as well as of their failed promises to provide food security and food safety. She analyses and compares 100 years of hazardous technologies like DDT and CFCs to GM, placing GM as a similar but far graver threat with greater potential for serious widespread harm to people and planet.
Rodrigues calls for the Precautionary Principle to be interpreted critically and pre-emptively for its proper application to the unique risks of GM crops. For India, where Bt brinjal has raised the urgency of the GMO issue, she calls for the full implementation of the Technical Expert Committee Report of 2013 with its specified prohibitions along with an indefinite moratorium on GMO open field trials and on Bt crops specifically.
The full document can be accessed at http://www.biosafety-info.net/article.php?aid=1153