Saturday, 14 June 2014

Anti GMO Activists and NGOs in India Under the Intelligence Bureau Lens and Govt Scanner

Intelligence Bureau (IB), an intelligence agency under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India in a report dated 3rd June, 2014 has warned that a significant number of NGOs including anti genetically modified organism (GMO) activists and NGOs funded by foreign countries are stalling Indian Development Projects.

The report has mentioned five activists and six NGOs running anti GMO campaign. It says that these NGOs and activists are stalling mega industrial projects like POSCO and Vedanta.

Who are they?
As per the report, anti GMO activism in India was initiated by Vandana Shiva (Navadanya; Consultant, Greenpeace, Australia) and was followed by Suman Sahai of Gene Campaign by filing PIL in the Supreme Court of India in 2004 and 2007. Subsequently Aruna Rodrigues also filed a PIL in 2005 and Kavitha Kuruganti (Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture- ASHA and India For Safe Food- IFSF) also joined the campaign. Karuna Raina runs the anti GM campaign for Greenpeace as mentioned in the report.

Referring the Parliamentary Standing Committee (August, 2009) and Technical Expert Committee appointed by the Supreme Court (October 7, 2012) recommendation of ban/moratorium of Bt Brinjal, the report says that these NGOs were active facilitators  of news articles, liaison with other activists and social media activism which contributed to the three year old  moratorium on Bt Brinjal.
IB Praises Pro- GMO researchers
Further report says,  In 2008, Ronald Herring from Cornell University had accused anti GMO activists of spreading the falsehood that hundreds of sheep and cattle had died after eating Bt Cotton leaves. Pro GM researchers, bio-tech companies and other field enquiries have not been able to verify any such deaths, raising questions on the credibility and integrity of reports generated by these activists.

Protest against the report
However, a number of prominent citizens and activists registered their protest against the report of Intelligence Bureau. Greenpeace India also responded to the report and dismissed accusations levelled by the Intelligence Bureau that it was foreign funded and it aimed at stalling development.

Why Greenpeace is anti GMOs?
Greenpeace India through a press release has explained, why Greenpeace is anti GMOs? "It's so far been an unpredicatble technology and once the GMOs are released in the environment, it can't be controlled or called back. While the IB accuses us of representing foreign interests, GMO technology is being pushed in India by US multinationals like Monsanto. Several respected scientists, experts and bodies such as    Several  respected  scientists,  experts  and  bodies  such  as  Parliamentary  Standing  Committee  and  the  Supreme  Courtappointed  panel  of  experts  has recommended  a  moratorium  on  GM  technologyand  a precautionary  approach to  GM  technology.  Many  countries  across  the world restrict GM  food  crops.  India  does  not  need  GMOs  for  food  security  –we  already  produce  enough  food to  feed  our  population  and  the  challenge  lies  in  setting  up  efficient  distribution  systems.  Instead  of  investing  in  false  solutions  such  as  GMOs,  the  government  should  focus  on  rejuvenating  our  natural resources  through  ecological  agriculture  practices  which  is  critical  to  ensure  food security  of  the  country", said Greenpeace India through a press release.

Which law of the land they have broken?
"In my opinion, the only legitimate issue, whether with foreign or domestic NGOs, or foreign or domestic individuals, or foreign or domestic institutions, is if any law is broken. Unfortunately, in its 21-page report, the IB is silent on laws being broken, but explosive in wearing its own righteous ideology on its ever so arrogant sleeve". Writes, Surjit S Bhalla, chairman of Oxus Investments in his column 'No Proof Required : In Defense of Greenpeace' in The Indian Express.


  1. All NGOs named here may not have broken any law of the land line, but surely have delayed progress in agriculture by using very trick possible to delay and frustrate technology purveyors. Their actions are surely anti-national, anti-progress and anti-farmer.

    1. Perhaps more awareness is required about pro-GM technology, its benefit and significance. Off-course we should be concerned to their negative impact if any.

  2. VKV.RAVICHANDRAN16 June 2014 at 15:29

    The IB report vindicates our apprehension about some of the NGOs which have been unleashing false hood and fictitious allegations against any technology which has the potential to benefit the society and nations economy. Farmers like me started doubting their intentions as these NGOs continued their rumor mongering 24x7 , even after their allegations were proved to be lacking scientific merits. We trust science and not myths.

  3. By this definition, the Opposition during UPA regime delayed and stalled tabling of important bills in the Parliament. They should be surely anti-national, anti-progressive and anti-farmer, not I mean anti-people. Please do not forget Shanthu, that this same opposition is now a ruling party. Please be careful while using the terms

  4. The problem with most NGOs is they can state whatever they want without being held accountable. Whether it is true or not does not matter at all. If a state body or a listed company would do that, the people in charge would face trial for misleading the public, the shareholders, etc.


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