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Monsanto's "shock and awe"

by AgBioIndia

(Thursday, April 17, 2003 -- CropChoice guest commentary) -- The American biotech giant, Monsanto, seems to have picked up a leaf from the empty book of George Bush Jr. -- if you are not with us in pushing the risky genetically engineered seeds, than you are against us. So goes the new refrain.

True to the mantra, it demonstrated its "shock and awe" fire power when a bus load of farmers brought from Andhra Pradesh disembarked in New Delhi to 'disrupt' a meeting organised by the New Delhi-based NGO Gene Campaign, on Tuesday, April 15. Gene campaign was merely presenting the data of a field study on the performance of Bt cotton crop in Andhra Pradesh.

The sad incident happened in the presence of a former Finance Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, who too pleaded with Monsanto's hired farmers to let the data of the Bt cotton harvest be presented. These farmers were accompanied by the head of the Liberty Institute, an arch supporter of Mahyco-Monsanto and a promoter of free trade and economic liberalisation.

It wasn't unexpected. We have always warned against the games being enacted in the name of agricultural development and growth. Multinational companies can go to any extent, even use muscle-power to browbeat the country into acceptance of faulty technologies.