When we talk about environment...Things which come to our mind is trees, plants, animals etc.So plants n trees, we all know these are the main food resources for human beings.But when we humans apply science & engineering in this field... the result we get is genetically modified crops, we have already discussed the effects of these crops on human health & environment in previous presentation.In this part first we are summarising the things from previous presentation. Then we are going to discuss the scenario of GM crops in India. Effects of GM crops on Indian agriculture & necessity of labelling of products containing GM crops.Also we conducted an online survey to know the general attitude towards the genetically modified food.
This graph shows the net export & import of cotton in India from 2002 to 2009. As we can see from the graph that before adoption of BT cotton India was deepened on other countries for cotton, but from 2003 onwards the scenario was completely changed & graph of export is touching the new heights…
After ban on GM field trials, another important decision was taken in this direction is labelling of GM food products. To ensure that the public has a clear choiceOn the very first day of this year, Indian government made GM food labelling compulsory because many food products in India came from other countries where GM crops are very common. BUT right now this is not very successful and no proper rules of labelling has been defined as such. People can misunderstand the letters GM as gram. So this is not the right way of labelling.Also we don’t have any facility in India to test if a product is having GM contents or not. So this also increases the complexity of this rule.
In our society, to estimate the awareness & attitude towards genetically modified food, we conducted an online survey with help of google forms.Our questionnaire has question like how much people know about GM food and up to what extent they are concern about the food they are getting. We targeted our friends on social networking sites for this purpose. We sent them the link of the form and requested them to fill that.
We started collecting responses from about one month ago & till now we have collected a total of 127 responses. As you can see this is a large list, so it is not possible to analyse all of the responses one by one. Hence we are showing here the summarised results of the responses we collected so far.
First of all let us summarise about people who responded us,Out of 127 people who responded, 102 are males & 25 are females. Coming to the age groups- 104 are of age group 19-23 and 13 are of 24-28 years. Next we see education part- 65 are under graduate students & 51 are post graduate students.So we can say that our results are based on responses of young population of India. & most of these are from engineering background.
Our very first question was… Do you know what Genetically-Modified (GM) food is? In reply to this question 1/4th of the people said that they don’t know what is this GM food.It is of no surprise for me that they don’t know about this because I also didn’t know much about GM food before working on this project. But a good thing is that 74% of people know the meaning of GM food.
As according to the results we can see most people are ok with the GM food. This shows a high acceptance level of GM food among youth. But this result also may be like this because either they don’t know the real meaning of GM food or they are unaware of the risks involve in this.
Now this is an interesting result. 38% of people are in favour that GM food is environmentally safe. only total of 26% are against this. Rest 36% are neutral about this. This result is against the well known fact that there are a lot of risks are involved with GM crops cultivation. So this is quite obvious that youth do not know much about the environmental risks involved in cultivating GM crops.
What do you think about the importance of labelling GM food? As a good consumer 69% of people thinksthat there should be a proper label if products have any GM contents. But 31% also don’t care about labelling & take this as useless. This shows that they are either not much concern or unaware of the risks with GM food.
Genetically Modified Crops
About• Plants, the DNA of whichhas been modified usinggenetic engineeringtechniques, to resist pestsand agents causing harmto plants and to improvethe growth of these plantsto assist in farmersefficiency.• Genetic engineeringoffers a rapid and precisemethod of alteringorganisms as comparedto traditional methods thatare slow and inaccurate.Profits• Enhanced taste andquality• Reduced maturation time• Increased nutrients• Higher yields• Higher stress tolerance• Improved resistance todisease, pests, andherbicides• New products andgrowing techniques• Drought tolerance• Increased food security• Help stomp out famineRisks• Potential human healthimpacts• Domination of world foodproduction by a fewcompanies• Bio-piracy• Tampering with nature bymixing genes amongspecies• Labeling Not mandatory insome countries• Introducing allergens andtoxins to food• Adversely changing thenutrient content of a crop
India approved Bt cotton in 2002 and within a fewyears yields were up dramatically.Most of the yield increase happened between 2002-5when Bt comprised between 0.4-5.6% of India‟scotton.In the last 4 years, as Bt has risen from 67% to 92%of India‟s cotton, yields have dropped steadily.Since 2007, yields in AP have dropped back to belowwhere they were before farmers started adopting Btcotton.
10-year moratorium on field trials of Bt food cropsA panel of scientists, qualified in evaluation of the biosafety data of GMcrops, has been engaged for scrutiny and analyses of the safety data.until an independent assessment has evaluated its “impact” and“suitability”Requirement for preliminary biosafety tests
Labelling of GM FoodFrom January1, 2013 allpackagedfoodscontaining anygeneticallymodified (GM)organismsmust belabelled assuch.Many foodproducts inIndia areeither derivedfrom, orprocessed in,countrieswhere a largemajority of thecropscultivated areGMOsEverypackagecontaining thegeneticallymodified foodshall bear atthe top of itsprincipaldisplay panelthe lettersGM.People mayconfuse it asan acronymfor gram„India alsodoes not haveany labs totest GMingredients inprocessedfood
Metrics2%Intermediate6%UnderGraduate52%PostGraduate40%Male80%Female20%15-186%19-2383%24-2810%above411%Gender AgeEducationGM Food: Summery of Responses
Do you know what Genetically-Modified(GM) food is?Yes76%No24%YesNo
To what extent do you accept GM food?I love it!9%Its ok.60%accept if no other option29%I hate it!2%I love it!Its ok.accept if no other optionI hate it!
Growing GM foods is environmentallysafe?Strongly agree8%Agree30%Neutral36%Disagree22%Strongly Disagree4%Strongly agreeAgreeNeutralDisagreeStrongly Disagree
What do you think about the importance oflabelling GM food?It must be37%It should be34%Doesnt matter24%Of no use5%It must beIt should beDoesnt matterOf no use
Which of the following terms have youheard about?974697930 20 40 60 80 100 120CLONINGTRANSGENICHYBRIDIZATIONGENETIC ENGINEERING
If you see that a food is labelled "geneticallymodified", would you still buy it?Yes60%No40%YesNo
Which of the following types of GM fooddo u accept?612171650 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80CLONINGTRANSGENICHYBRIDIZATIONGENETIC ENGINEERING
GM food will overtake the non-GMcounterparts as the majority?Strongly agree9%Agree39%Neutral33%Disagree15%Strongly Disagree4%Strongly agreeAgreeNeutralDisagreeStrongly Disagree
GM crops would save world hunger?Strongly agree12%Agree49%Neutral30%Disagree5%Strongly Disagree4%Strongly agreeAgreeNeutralDisagreeStrongly Disagree