Originally published March 26 2015
GM eggplants send Bangladesh farmers into poverty as they fail for second year in a row
by Jennifer Lea Reynolds
(NaturalNews) While many people tout the benefits of GM foods (those who profit at the expense of others' health, of course), a majority of individuals are not staying quiet about the fact that such biotechnology methods are quickly destroying their livelihood.
Among those who are standing up for their right to plant, sell and enjoy thriving crops are farmers in Bangladesh, who are making their views known about the grave situation in which GM Bt brinjal -- the first genetically modified food crop in Bangladesh -- is jeopardizing their eggplant production. The plants are either not producing anywhere near the quantity of previous years or are actually dying out within one month of being planted; many farmers have said that upwards of 200 of their 500 saplings died in that short time. This marks the second consecutive year of such failings.(1,2)
"We've removed most of the plants after those had died about 15 days ago," said Lovely Begum, the wife of a farmer in the country. "The officers (BARI officials) told us to do so to prevent the spread of the disease. Despite that the rest of the plants are dying out in numbers every day."(1)
"It's not us, it's you" mentality exists among GM sapling distributorBARI stands for the "Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute," which is responsible for distributing the GM saplings to to farmers. BARI is quick to point the fingers at the eggplant farmers, suggesting that their plants are dying out not because of possible issues with the GM saplings but because of bacterial problems linked to improper irrigation and soil type. However, farmers aren't falling for the ludicrous blame game.
"If irrigation and soil-type had been a problem, why [have] the local brinjal plants on my other field... not been affected?" asked farmer Md. Abul Hayat, who is upset that the majority of his Bt Brinjal saplings have died.(1)
In addition to shifting the issue about these saplings -- which have also been shown in tests to be toxic, by the way -- BARI has responded about the failing saplings by saying that they never made any promises in the first place. "We didn't claim that the Bt Brinjal plants will not be affected by diseases," said Rafiqul Islam Mondol, BARI director. "Our claim was that Bt Brinjal is resistant to BFSB."
But even that claim doesn't appear to hold true, as one farmer has noticed that one of his plants has fallen victim to the brinjal fruit and stem borer (BFSB) pest. He recalls BARI saying that the GM saplings wouldn't succumb to BFSB. BARI -- no surprise here -- has no recollection of this particular farmer and the diseased plant; "I don't have any such information." The director even takes it a step further in an attempt to justify the affected plant. "One or two non-Bt plants can be mistakenly grouped with the Bt plants in that field."(1)
Despite obvious crop failings, GMO industry looks the other wayExcuses, excuses.
In the meantime, many successful and respected eggplant farmers in Bangladesh are watching their crops fail horribly, their livelihoods on the brink of disaster. Yet like so many industries that hold tight to the promise that biotechnology is the way to go, inaccuracies and lies prevail. Blatant failures like withered and dying crops and the development of human illnesses that coincide with the introduction and implementation of GM crops get brushed under the carpet.
But that's okay, because the GMO mega-powers that be can laugh all the way to the bank.
Elsewhere, some anti-GMO success as past court rulings deem GM eggplant trials unsafeA similar situation presented itself a few years back in the Philippines; however, unlike the situation that still persists in Bangladesh, it was ultimately resolved.
There, Greenpeace became involved with the area's field trials of GM eggplant, known as Bt talong in Filipino. The courts ruled that the field trials disrupted the ecosystem and living organisms, stating that such trials were not safe for "human health and our ecology." Biotechnology aggressors conducting field trials were ordered, thankfully, to cease and desist on a permanent basis.(3)
As with any GMO food, it's urged to steer clear of purchasing and consuming them. Choose organic whenever possible; it will not only help improve or maintain your good health but will help show the GMO "leaders" that people are simply not going to buy into their madness.
For an easy and inexpensive way to grow your own organic, non-GMO, nutrient-dense superfood without electricity, check out FoodRising.org.
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