Category Archives: technology

monsantoed

So my morning began with this – an irritable method of finding out what Greenpeace thinks about most well known edibles-manufacturing companies, one product at a time. If you try that link, you will know why I find it irritable.

And this is what a verdict looks like –

Kurkure is produced by Pepsico. Pepsico is ranked as Red in the safe food list. This company is irresponsible as it has not taken any concrete steps to provide Indian consumers with GM free food for now or in future.”

Ironically, only one Pepsico product is listed by Greenpeace, so are the rest of the lot good for a toast? But wait, didn’t you just question the entire product line of the company?

Only Dabur and KRBL were ranked safe.

I felt that Greenpeace was taking its credibility as a whistle-blowing organization to the edge of the cliff at ninety miles an hour – the reason being its incomplete yet report-card-like ruling. They could have as well said, “Pepsi, you slut! You’ve got very low grades this time and if you continue staring at that boy’s butt like a horny school girl I’ll tell Daddy!” I concur with them when the theme of walk-the-talk is like preventing a port in Orissa from going industrial which would involve push many species into extinction, but this is different.

The facts behind their allegation though are very grave and should be taken very seriously. Genetically modified foods have entered the mindset of the Indian politician under the aegis of a company, Monsanto, which has since 1901 been a manufacturer of chemicals. It was barred from manufacturing DDT (an international ban on its use because of its hazardous nature, though India still uses it in plenty) and recently has slid into agriculture through mergers and acquisitions. Monsanto was also the producer of a defoliant – Agent Orange, which the American army extensively used during the Vietnam war, only to find out later that it was carcinogenic and ban its use. Roundup was another brand launched by Monsanto, which was a “bio-degradable” weed killer. The bio-degradable tag was soon found to be a marketing ploy and later removed. Roundup was a biotechnological genius in itself. It strengthened only the DNA of the soya-bean plant against itself and not that of the weed, hence exterminating the weed wherever sprayed. The company also introduced 1000 percent more expensive cotton seeds than the normal ones into India, the world’s second most populated country. These seeds were also called “terminator-seeds”, meaning that the trees that these seeds produced were sterile, leaving the poor Indian farmer to purchase expensive seeds every crop season (that were priced at 10 Euros for 100 grams), and at the hands of  merciless money lenders and truant monsoons.

I’ll leave you with some interesting links on the subject :

An interview of an ex-MD of Monsanto by Tehelka, Monsanto and the Indian farmers and a documentary of their dirty work.

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