Home > Law and governance, Science and Technology > BT is profitable for BT companies!

BT is profitable for BT companies!

But is it safe for humans?

This news article says that `scientists’ have declared BT brinjal to be safe for consumption, and also more profitable for farmers. So who are these scientists? The main organizers of the event are All India Crop Biotechnology Association (AICBA), Environment Resource Research Centre (ERRC) at Thiruvananthapuram, and Foundation for Biotechnology Awareness and Education (FBAE) at Bangalore.

I tried to look up these agencies on the internet. AICBA is the New Delhi based representative of 15 seed companies. At another site it says about AICBA: Formed in 2003, the All India Crop Biotechnology Association (AICBA) is an industry association of the major companies engaged in agricultural biotechnology in India …

ERRC: There is no information available on the ERRC, except this piece of news, where a minister says that ERRC is a registered NGO which has cleared a major hydroelectric project, saying that environmental impact would be negligible, and this document which claims that ERRC gave reports on the environmental impact of the Athirappilly hydroelectric project without actually carrying out any study.

FBAE: This seems to be mostly scientists past the age of retirement, currently working for biotech companies.

AICBA and FBAE are clearly funded by large multinational corporations, while ERRC seems to be either shady, or thoroughly incompetent, or both. So why should anyone take the pronouncements and allegations by these `scientists’ seriously? Would you believe a doctor funded by the tobacco industry if he says smoking is good for health?

But one thing is certain — biotech must be enormously profitable for the biotech companies. Is that a good enough reason for the rest of humanity to believe them?

Update: Found a report on this conference at Devinder Sharma’s blog, which highlights the unscientific approach of these `scientists’ to questions asked of them.

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