Dangers of genetically modified crops
It has now become extremely important for relevant health, agriculture and environmental authorities in Bangladesh to look into the inherent dangers of introducing Genetically Modified (GM) crops in Bangladesh. According to a recent media report - internationally renowned experts have warned the government about the potentially disastrous consequences of introducing GM Brinjals - which may cause serious health hazards.
It must be noted that back in 2010 the Indian government decided to withdraw the decision to go for field trials of GM Brinjals in the face of massive protests organised by environmental activists and civil society members. There are undisputed evidence that the technology, which is backed by large multinational corporations -- are having a dangerously adverse effect on the planet's eco-system and biodiversity. And if GM crops are allowed to grow in large quantities the repercussions may be manifold.
In Europe, in general, all GM crops are banned. Major rights organisations in the US have protested against the strategy applied by several multinational corporations to foist GM technology on foreign governments, including field trials in developing countries.
Bangladesh apparently is at the risk of being treated as an experimental country for popularising GM crops in this regard. GM foods, many experts believe, are inherently unsafe and current safety assessment is not competent to protect us from most dangers.
Even so there are documented health risks of genetically engineered foods. There are many studies that documents lab animals with damage to virtually every system studied - thousands of sick, sterile, or dead livestock and people around the world who have traced toxic or allergic reactions - to eating GM products, breathing GM pollen, or even touching GM crops at harvest.
Findings of a latest Washington State University report also indicate that the use of GM crops is causing development of super-weeds and super-bugs which are resistance to GM innovations and pose a new environmental threat. The risk is enhanced by the licensing restrictions on genetically modified seeds that prevent independent research on their environmental impact.
Last but not least, introducing GM crops on a large scale will mean the end of indigenous seed preservation and natural means of fertiliser and pesticides. In recent years there has been immense pressure on developing countries to adopt genetically modified (GM) crops in the shortest possible time to supposedly ensure food security and boost agricultural productivity. However we simply can't remain unmindful to not only the emerging health and environmental concerns but also to the constraints of poor and landless farmers of Bangladesh.