Thursday, August 20, 2009


Genetically modified (GM) crops are being touted as the future hope for meeting the food needs of the ever expanding world population in the years to come. In spite of the massive adoption of GM crops in USA, there are grave reservations regarding the safety of these 'unnatural' crops as far as the common man is concerned. If there is a unanimity regarding the absolute safety of GM crops it would have become universally accepted by many countries without any reservation. The issue becomes muddier when it is pointed out that GM crops are input intensive and most of them do not give significantly increased levels of yield, the major emphasis being protection against infestation. The two major players who enjoy practically monopoly in seed business vis-à-vis GM crops are fighting fiercely to gain upper hand in this area.

According to media reports, "DuPont is accusing Monsanto of illegal anti-competitive practices, while Monsanto counters that DuPont is engaging in a covert smear campaign that borders on fraud".

It is confusing for an ordinary person regarding the issue on which these corporate giants are fighting except that it has some thing to do with exploiting the hunger pangs experienced by millions of poor people spread across the five continents for self aggrandizement. Is it not a tragedy that practically the entire research and development activities are confined to private players who any how cannot be expected to be existing for charity? Past mistakes in not investing public funds in R & D under public agencies on GM crops, with more emphasis on food crops and increased yields, are going to haunt the humanity for decades to come.

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