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Cotton and the cloth made from indigenous cotton are a symbol of our freedom struggle”
“Monsanto, Quit India” and “Centre, reject Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill” were the demands raised by thousands of farmers and activists from across 20 States at a demonstration here on the eve of “Quit India” movement.
“Today, 93 per cent of the country’s cotton seed is controlled by Monsanto. It is now in the hands of the Prime Minister to protect our seed sovereignty as well as our food, farms and freedom.”
A report of the Supreme Court-appointed Technical Experts Committee on GMOs recently recommended that there should not be any field trials of GM crops until gaps in the regulatory system are addressed. The panel suggested early risk assessment and emphasised need for chronic and trans-generational toxicity testing of GM products on humans, livestock, environment and biodiversity.
Cuttng across party lines, Members of Parliament joined the sit-in to express their solidarity with the coalition of about 250 civil society and farmers groups. BJP’s Murli Manohar Joshi and Dharmendar Pradhan (members of the Agriculture Standing Committee); DMK MPs, including T.K.S. Elangovan, T.M. Selvaganapathi, K.P. Ramalingam, A.K.S. Vijayan and S. Thangavelu; and MDMK’s A. Ganesamurthi expressed their support and assured farmers that they would take up the issue in Parliament.
Norman Ernest Borlaug (March 25, 1914 – September 12, 2009) was an American agronomist, humanitarian and Nobel laureate who has been called "the father of the Green Revolution", "agriculture's greatest spokesperson" and "The Man Who Saved A Billion Lives". He is one of seven people to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal and was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honor.
Borlaug received his Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics from the University of Minnesota in 1942. He took up an agricultural research position in Mexico, where he developed semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties.
During the mid-20th century, Borlaug led the introduction of these high-yielding varieties combined with modern agricultural production techniques to Mexico, Pakistan, and India. As a result, Mexico became a net exporter of wheat by 1963. Between 1965 and 1970, wheat yields nearly doubled in Pakistan and India, greatly improving the food security in those nations. These collective increases in yield have been labeled the Green Revolution, and Borlaug is often credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to world peace through increasing food supply.
Later in his life, he helped apply these methods of increasing food production to Asia and Africa.
Borlaug didn't approve of the "green revolution" moniker, dubbing it "a miserable term"
he believed that the problems of hunger and poverty could be solved by increasing crop yields
A new peer-reviewed study published in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability
examined those claims and found that conventional plant breeding, not genetic engineering, is
responsible for yield increases in major U.S. crops. Additionally, GM crops, also known as
genetically engineered (GE) crops, can’t even take credit for reductions in pesticide use.
The study compared major crop yields and pesticide use in North America, which relies
heavily on GE crops, and Western Europe, which grows conventionally bred non-GE crops.
The study’s findings are important for the future of the U.S. food supply, and therefore for the
world food supply since the U.S. is a major exporter of many staple crops.
A stunning multi-year study in Africa by the United Nations Environment
Programme provides an answer. High external inputs of chemicals and
fertilizers are needed for conventional industrial agriculture and it is for this
kind of agriculture that GM crops are designed. UNEP found in side-by-side
trials conducted in multiple countries that farmers using agroecological
science outperformed farmers using conventional approaches by up to 179%.responsibletechnology.org...
Borlaug's name is nearly synonymous with the Green Revolution, against which many criticisms have been mounted over the decades by environmentalists and some nutritionalists. Throughout his years of research, Borlaug's programs often faced opposition by people who consider genetic crossbreeding to be unnatural or to have negative effects. Borlaug's work has been criticized for bringing large-scale monoculture, input-intensive farming techniques to countries that had previously relied on subsistence farming. These farming techniques reap large profits for U.S. agribusiness and agrochemical corporations such as Monsanto Company and have been criticized for widening social inequality in the countries owing to uneven food distribution while forcing a capitalist agenda of U.S. corporations onto countries that had undergone land reform.