Skip to comments.Delhi Bill to Criminalize Opposition to GM Food
Posted on 06/16/2013 1:05:39 AM PDT by nickcarraway
India's environmental and food security activists who have so far succeeded in stalling attempts to introduce genetically modified (GM) food crops into this largely farming country now find themselves up against a bill in parliament that could criminalize such opposition.
The Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill, introduced into parliament in April, provides for "single window
clearance" for projects by biotechnology and agribusiness companies including those to bring GM food crops into this country, 70% of whose 1.1 billion people are involved in agricultural activities.
"Popular opposition to the introduction of GM crops is the result of a campaign launched by civil society groups to create awareness among consumers," said Devinder Sharma, food security expert and leader of the Forum for Biotechnology and Food Security. "Right now we are opposing a plan to introduce GM bananas from Australia."
Sharma told IPS that if the BRAI bill becomes law such awareness campaigns will attract stiff penalties. The bill provides for jail terms and fines for "whoever, without any evidence or scientific record misleads the public about the safety of organisms and products ..."
Suman Sahai, who leads "Gene Campaign", an organization dedicated to the conservation of genetic resources and indigenous knowledge, told IPS that "this draconian bill has been introduced in parliament without taking into account evidence constantly streaming in from around the world about the safety risks posed by GM food crops".
(Excerpt) Read more at atimes.com ...
(It was rice in the above case)
A textbook example of fascism. Big agriculture pays off politicians thru “contributions”. Politicians then write laws protecting big agriculture. Pick any big business interacting with big government and this is what you get.
If GMO foods are so good, why do they have to fear speech?
If you have to criminalize opposition to something...that something ain’t good....never is.
GMO food ain’t good....and its supporters know it
It sounds from this that the bill would attach penalties for making false claims against a product. That's an interesting question. In the U.S., a company that made false advertising claims promoting the health and safety of a product would face serious sanctions, but there is an asymmetry in that activist groups are able to make all manner of unfounded negative claims without penalty. Biotech is just one of the areas of technology affected. So we are told that vaccines cause autism ... power lines cause everything from cancer to baldness to impotence ... and looking back a bit, the reckless speed of the automobile was going to make your blood boil. In addition to the luddite left, the trial lawyers and people looking for shakedown cash pursue these things endlessly.
False claims can create real injuries to producers in the marketplace. If they create a sufficient public scare, they can also deprive society as a whole from a beneficial technology. In principle, I have no problem with false claims being actionable, but how to strike the balance with free speech and advocacy is a tough question.
A similar situation exists with libel. If criminal penalties were attached to libel and we could actually effectively enforce them, a lot of people in the press, and a fair number in politics (especially on the left) would be behind bars. But we've found it virtually impossible to define a practicable standard that gives most victims of libel a real recourse. It's not impossible to win a libel case, but it's so hard that few try. And so, just to take one recent example, Team Obama can accuse Mitt Romney of causing cancers and plant closing decisions that he had nothing to do with, without penalty.
On biotech, just read some of the threads right here at FR. Biotech gets accused of causing every evil under the sun, and Monsanto is demonized endlessly. False claims. India isn't the only place that has this problem.
If GMO Foods were really that good...the makers would have no problem having them labeled. But, the GMOers fight it...everywhere. And, now want laws to stop freedom of speech using Big Government to protect them...
Unfortunately, a few on here believe Big Government is OK is it protects Big Business. It is still Socialism
Show that there is a risk, with serious, peer reviewed studies, and USDA/FDA/EPA will require labeling, or prohibit the product entirely. But once a product has been tested and approved for safety, the burden of proof is on the accuser.
This is one of the areas where junk science is epidemic. There is a substantial cottage industry of advocacy groups pumping out "studies" that don't meet elementary scientific standards. But the press jumps on them, and we're off to the races. If we had a way to attach punitive damages to such false accusations, Monsanto would have a whole new profit center.
P.S. If you don’t like the idea of GM foods, fine. Buy organic. No one is stopping you.
GM-fed females had on average a 25% heavier uterus than non-GM-fed females, a possible indicator of disease that requires further investigation. Also, the level of severe inflammation in stomachs was markedly higher in pigs fed on the GM diet. The research results were striking and statistically significant. Lead researcher Dr Judy Carman, adjunct associate professor at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, said: Our findings are noteworthy for several reasons. First, we found these results in real on-farm conditions, not in a laboratory, but with the added benefit of strict scientific controls that are not normally present on farms.
Second, we used pigs. Pigs with these health problems end up in our food supply. We eat them.
Third, pigs have a similar digestive system to people, so we need to investigate if people are also getting digestive problems from eating GM crops.
Who’s Delhi Bill? Not the Bill in the delhi where I buy my lunches, I hope?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.