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Say no to GM food in India
[Shiv Chopra worked as scientist in Canada for nearly four decades and was a senior scientific advisor to the government of Canada.]

Ahmedabad : "We should keep away hormones, antibiotics, slaughterhouse waste and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Pesticides should not be allowed to enter any food." This was stated by Shiv Chopra, fellow of World Health Organization and author of the book Corrupt to the Core'. Chopra was in city to deliver Kamalnayan Bajaj Memorial Lecture on Globalization, Food Security, Public health and Prosperity' at Peace Research Centre in Gujarat Vidyapith.

According to Chopra, hygienic food is every citizen's right. Evidence reveals, avoiding use of pesticides and other chemicals in agriculture would cleanse soil, water and air in three years. Even earthworms would return to maintain ecological harmony.

"However, farmers alone cannot be blamed for using these products. Chemical companies knock at their doors with promises of handsome profits. It requires critical introspection on safety and security of food supply by everyone concerned. There is also need for policy changes to the present legislation, enforcement and education," Chopra added.

He said that some Indian companies, dealing with food and agricultural products, seem to be leaning towards free-for-all foreign technologies, including GMOs. But, thousands of farmers in India are reportedly committing suicide due to inability to pay for the imposition of chemical and GMO technologies. Severe damage is also occurring because of absence of legislation or policy in other areas of agriculture. "There is no national consensus on which products should or should not be allowed in food production. It is a situation waiting to explode in India on a colossal scale," Chopra said.

Shiv Chopra worked as scientist in Canada for nearly four decades and was senior scientific advisor to government of Canada.

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