Daily News Archive
GE Research in India
(Beyond Pesticides, November 16, 2004) Bayer, a multinational
manufacturer of chemicals and genetically engineered (GE) crops has
pulled out of their plans to research GE in India. The company admitted
to Greenpeace that the future lies in “conventional” breeding,
according to Greenpeace
"We don't need genetically engineered crops to feed India,"
said Divya Raghunandan, genetic engineering campaigner for Greenpeace
India. "Around the world, in fact, the promises made by the genetic
engineering industry have been unfulfilled, whether of increasing crop
yields or reducing pesticide use. It doesn't surprise us that Bayer
is giving up GE experiments in India. They saw the writing on the wall
- the Indian public was not going to accept their manipulated cabbages
and cauliflowers - and they cut their losses. It's time for the rest
of the industry to give up on this misguided and inappropriate technology."
The significance of this pull out for Bayer, and indeed the entire genetic
engineering industry, cannot be overestimated. In the second largest
country in the world, with 80% of the population involved in agriculture,
the Indian market for agro-chemical and seed companies is enormous.
This retreat follows two decisions that set Bayer back earlier this
year. In March 2004, the company announced they would be pulling out
of GE crop research in the UK. A few months later, in June, Bayer announced
they would not pursue commercialization of GE canola in Australia. Bayer's
to Greenpeace India concedes that research into engineered cabbage,
cauliflower, eggplant, tomato and mustard seed has all been halted.
Bayer's withdrawal from GE research around the world is part of a larger
pattern of retreat in the global biotechnology industry. For example,
in a high profile turn-around, Monsanto globally abandoned genetically
engineered wheat research earlier this year. The company also shelved
its Australian work on genetically engineered canola one month prior
to a similar decision by Bayer.
"It is clear that popular resistance to genetic engineering is
not diminishing as the industry had hoped it would," said Doreen
Stabinsky, GE campaigner for Greenpeace International. "No matter
what country we're talking about, consumers are on the same page. They
don't want to eat genetically engineered food. That's good news for
farmers and good news for the environment."
For further information, contact:
Divya Raghunandan, GE campaigner, Greenpeace India: +919845535406
Doreen Stabinsky, GE campaigner, Greenpeace International: +1-202-285-7398;
or Namrata Chowdhary, Media Officer, Greenpeace India: +919810850092
TAKE ACTION: Protect our land and food from
genetically engineered ingredients and crops by buying USDA certified
organic products. Lobby your supermarket to label GM food. Support local
efforts to prohibit growing GM crops. Contact your U.S.
Senators and U.S.
Representative, U.S.EPA Administrator Michael
Leavitt, and USDA Secretary Ann
M. Veneman. For more information, see Beyond Pesticides' Genetic