130530 Concerns with GM crops Seattle


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130530 Concerns with GM crops Seattle

  1. 1. Concerns with GM CropsG. V. RamanjaneyuluCentre for Sustainable AgriculturePresentation to students at University of Seattle30thMay, 2013
  2. 2. Status of GM crops in the World• Seventeen years after itsintroduction, only 3.4% of theworld’s agricultural land is sown withGM seed• 63% of this is in the United Statesand Brazil - confined to four crops(corn, soybean, cotton and canola)grown primarily as animal feed or forfibre• Just five countries, including India,account for almost 90% of the totalagricultural land under GMUSA - 40.8%Brazil - 21.4%Argentina 14.03%Canada 6.8%India 6.3%Total = 89.33%US GM cropsSoy 91%Corn 73%Cotton 87%Canola 80% (Canada)
  3. 3. Living BeingsGeneticsandEnvironment
  4. 4. Genetics X EnvironmentGreen Revolution Paddy• Improved seed (Varieties, hybrids)• Nursery, Puddling, Row transplantation• Standing water• Chemical Fertilisers• Chemical PesticidesSystem of Rice Intensification• Any seed (Traditional, imp varieties and hybrids)• Nursery, Puddling, Square transplantation• Thin film of water• Organic Fertilisers• No chemical Pesticides
  5. 5. Understanding basicsPlantCellNucleus
  6. 6. Transfering characters between organisms
  7. 7. What is Bt cottonBt geneEnzymesBacillus thurengiensisSporeToxinBacteriaCottonBt gene insertedinto cotton
  8. 8. Major Concerns• Biosafety– Human health– Environment– Biodiversity• Sovereignty and control– Market monopolies– Intellectual Property Rights
  9. 9. Why regulate?• Irreversible processes capable of changes uptoevolutionary level – “Living Modified Organisms” or“Novel Organisms”• Involves millions of livelihoods• Involves basic food safety & food security questions• Involves environmental implications – naturalresources and sustainability• Involves socio-political/cultural rights of farmers &consumers• Involves trade security issues• Also to conform to international obligations….
  10. 10. Biosafety & Beyond: Impact AssessmentIn the short, medium and long term,• Safety to human health• Safety to beneficial organisms, livestock etc.• Safety to other organisms and the environment (soilbiota etc.)• Agronomic benefits (component of risk assessment inIndia) – are there no other alternatives?SOCIO-CULTURAL IMPLICATIONS, POLITICALIMPLICATIONS ETC.IS BRINGING IN A GE CROP MORALLY & SOCIALLYJUSTIFIABLE (Gene Technology Act, Norway)
  11. 11. Ideal regulatory regimes…• Should be guided by policy level decisions (Is there a need, ifyes where, what, how, who etc.)• Those policies should be formulated in a democratic fashion(Referendums / “GM Nation” / Citizens’ Juries)• Should have legislative backing (Acts & not just Rules)• Should have a mix of technical (scientific) and socialperspectives governing decisions• Decision making should be transparent, scientific, holisticand long term in outlook and should involve primarystakeholders (farmers, consumers, state govts)• Should have independent research & peer review• Should have elements of independent oversight, appeal,redressal, liability
  12. 12. Indian Experience with Bt Cotton• Key issues• Relevance of GM crops• Biosafety issues• IPRs andMarket monopoly• Conflicts of interests and scandals• Studies on NPM vs/Bt cotton• Documentary evidences on Violations of regulationsin field trials,• Illegal GM food crop field trials• First reports on Bronze wilt, Tobacco Streak Virus,Mealybug• Evidences on sheep death• Studies on Environmental Risk Assessment and SocioEconomic Impacts• Contamination• IPRshttp://www.indiagminfo.org
  13. 13. GM foods in pipeline
  14. 14. Impact of herbicide tolerant crops
  15. 15. Herbicide resistant weeds increasing in USA• About 61 million acres of GM crops arenow plagued by herbicide resistant weeds,according to Stratus Agrimarketing’sreport.• A study by Dr Charles Benbrook ofWashington State University, USA, foundthat though insecticide use went downthe herbicide use went up, leading to anoverall increase in pesticide use of 404million pounds from 1996 through 2011due to use of GM crops GlyphosateResistant WeedsSource : Stratus Agri marketing Report (2013)
  16. 16. Can labelling work?• Third world food habbits• Who is guilty?• California case….
  17. 17. • Contamination of centres of genetic diversity. E.g.Cotton, rice, brinjal –India is centre of origin/diversity• Unsolicited gene transfer to farmers’/other varieties• Co-existence not possible:• organic cotton and Bt Bikeneri narma in India• LL rice in US• Maize in CIMMYT• Wheat in USGenetic Contamination inevitable
  18. 18. Monopolyzing market• IPR Driven• Patents over genes, gene transfermechanisms, markers, promoters etc(Bt/herbicide resistant plants at least 8 patentsGolden rice 72 patents IAAA)• Mergers and Acquisitions-70% seed marketcontrolled by 10 companies
  19. 19. Broad patentsThough patents are granted only for specific innovations, instances ofbroad patents are surfacing• Cohen/Boyer patent covers all DNA transfer• US patent no. 5,004, 863 for Agrobacterium mediated gene transfer• US patent no. 5,120, 657 for Accell=FE Gene gun• US patent no. 5,159,135 covers all genetically engineered cottonplants• EU patent no, 0,301,749,B1 covers all genetically engineeredsoybeans• Similar broad cotton patent has been granted India and applicationsare pending in Brazil and China
  20. 20. Implications to agriculturePercy Schmeiser, Bruno, Saskatchewan, facing legal bills of about 600,000Canadian dollarsISAAA (International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications)identified 70 patents and 16 tangible property constraints (Material TransferAgreements- MTAs, licenses, agreements etc.) that could have implications forcommercialization of Golden Rice. The potential legal complexities of negotiatingthese patent licenses led the inventors Potrykus and Beyer to strike a deal withGreenovation (A University spin-off biotech company based in Freiburg,Germany) and Astra Zeneca (A Multinational Life sciences company)In 1994 CICR announced success in developing Bt cotton variety, notcommercialised due to IPRs not being in placeIn 2012 CICR was forced to withdraw the Bt Bikeneri narma from marketAll Bollgard 10 more Cotton hybrids with Bt developed by various companies arepending with GEAC, all are under license from Monsanto paying royaltyAP government moved to MRTP to get the seed price reduced
  21. 21. Community Managed SustainableAgriculture in Andhra PradeshBasic Principles Regenerative, ecologically sound practices Organized action by communities inplanning, implementing and managing theprogram Govt/ngos playing facilitating agency role2004-05 started with 225 acres in one dist andreached 7 lakh acres in 2007-08 in 18 dist. WorldBank says this is a good tool for povertyeradication and now promoted as part of NRLMWith 50 % development expenditure one candouble the incomes of the farmersA national program called Mahila KrishiSashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP) is launchedbased on this experiencce
  22. 22. 0.225 25200 7001300200028003500 36000.1 158030060010001500 1600 17702135 19971394 1541 1381101505001000150020002500300035004000Acerage (000acres) Farmers (000) Pesticide use (MT Active Ingradient)Farmers and area covered under CMSAhttp://
  23. 23. States/UTs 2004-05 2005-06 2006-072007-08 2008-09 2009-10kg/ha2000-01kg/ha2009-10Punjab 6900 5610 5975 6080 5760 5810 0.98 0.82Haryana 4520 4560 4600 4390 4288 4070 0.84 0.68AndhraPradesh 2135 1997 1394 1541 1381 1015 0.34 0.09Maharastra 3030 3198 3193 3050 2400 4639 0.17 0.24Tamil Nadu 2466 2211 3940 2048 2317 2335 0.32 0.45Gujarat 2900 2700 2670 2660 2650 2750 0.30 0.29Kerala 360 571 545 780 272.69 631 0.31 0.26Karnataka 2200 1638 1362 1588 1675 1647 0.17 0.14Status of pesticide utilization in different states****Source: http://ppqs.gov.in/IpmPesticides.htm MT of active ingredient
  24. 24. Average Reduction in costs and netadditional income for different cropsCrops Reduction in costdue to NPM (Rs)Reduction in costs due to useof organic fertilisers/manures(Rs)Net additionalincome (Rs)Paddy 940 1450 5590Maize 1319 2357 5676Cotton 1733 1968 5676Chillies 1733 1968 7701Groundnut 1021 3462 10483Vegetables 1400 390 37903rd Party Evaluation of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) : Community ManagedOrganic Farming implemented by SERPEvaluation TeamProf. R. Ratnakar, Director, Dr. M. Surya Mani, Professor, EXTENSION EDUCATIONINSTITUTE, (Southern Region), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India
  25. 25. What we need?• Long term and intergenerational biosafety tobe established• Consumer choices• Cartagena Biosafety Protocol: Avoid incountries of centres of origin and centres ofdiversity• CBD Nagoya and Kaulalumpur sub-protocal:Liability and Redress mechanism• Promote alternatives where possible