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28 October, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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How safe are GM crops?

How safe are GM crops?

It is high time for the concerned authorities in Bangladesh to look into the inherent dangers of introducing genetically modified (GM) crops in Bangladesh. According to an exclusive report published in this newspaper, a group of internationally renowned experts have warned the government about the poetically disastrous consequences of introducing GM brinjals which may cause serious health hazards. It may be worthwhile here to mention that back in 2010 the Indian government decided to withdraw the decision to go for field trials of GM brinjals in the face of massive protests organised by environmental activists and civil society members.

There are undisputed evidence that the technology, which is backed by large multinational corporations–are having a dangerously adverse effect on the planet’s eco-system and biodiversity and if GM crops are allowed to flourish it could destroy the world’s ability to feed its population. In Europe, in general, all GM crops are banned. Major consumer rights organisations in the US have protested against the strategy by these corporations to foist GM technology on foreign governments including field trials in developing countries and Bangladesh apparently is at the risk of being treated as a guinea pig.

Genetically modified (GM) foods, many experts believe are inherently unsafe and current safety assessments are not competent to protect us from or even identify most dangers. Even so there are documented health risks of genetically engineered foods.  Findings of a latest Washington State University report also indicate that the use of GM crops is causing development of super-weeds and super-bugs which are resistance to GM innovations and pose a new environmental threat. The risk is enhanced by the licensing restrictions on genetically modified seeds that prevent independent research on their environmental impact.

Introducing GM crops on a large scale will mean the end of indigenous seed preservation and natural means of fertiliser and pesticides. Even in the United States farmers can only make a proper living from GM crops if they have big farms, covering hundreds of hectares, and lots of machinery, which obviously is not the case in most developing countries including Bangladesh.  In the recent years there has been immense pressure on developing countries to adopt genetically modified (GM) crops in the shortest possible time to supposedly ensure food security and boost agricultural productivity. However, we simply can’t remain oblivious to not only the emerging health and environmental concerns but also to the constraints of poor and landless farmers, of Bangladesh.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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