GMO banned in Indian organic regulations NPOP
Indian organic regulations say in the article 5.1.7.
“Organic products shall not be labelled as GE (genetic engineering) or GM (genetic modification) free in order to avoid potentially misleading claims about the end product”.
….and in the list of approved ingredients for processing agricultural products it says, “Preparations of micro-organisms accepted for use in food processing. Genetically modified organisms are excluded” (Appendix 4 NPOP, 2002)
APEDA has involved in helping the organic products to be exported world wide and have gone for the world wide negotiations to get the Indian organic farming standards to that EEC 2092/91 of European Organic standard, US NOP, JAS standard of Japan and Swiss ordinance for Organic production. All the International standards have banned GM technology in organic production and processing except US. Incase of approval of Bt crops widely for many crops and regions,
- Yuvasenthilkumar Ramalingam, Graduate of Intl.Organic agriculture,
Member of Organic Farmers Association India, Erode, Tamil nadu,
Organic Cotton scandel: Gene technology is the problem
Author: Karin Heinze
Organic cotton has hit the headlines. The accusations are far-reaching but clearly can’t be proved. Even though the report on GM contaminated cotton, that has been all over the media in recent days, contains a number of errors, it makes it clear that there is still a lot of work to be done. It was not generally known that organic cotton is under threat from the cultivation of genetically modified cotton. The organic textile industry should fear for its good reputation and must make its whole value added chain far more transparent if it wants to minimize the harm it could suffer and win back the trust of customers.
The article, that was published while the Fashion Week and various eco-fashion events were being held in
“The article has well and truly discredited the eco-textile industry,” says Heike Scheuer, spokesperson of the Internationale Verband Naturtextil IVN. She points out that there is so far no proof that the claims are correct, nobody has been able to substantiate the accusations, the director of Apeda has denied it and there is no evidence on which to base the statement that claims 30 % of organic cotton is genetically modified. “I think it’s highly unlikely, because organic cotton growers in
Lothar Kruse, who is quoted in the article, from the Bremerhaven Laboratory Impetus-Bioscience, feels he has been misrepresented. He says the shortened version of what he said is misleading. He admits he told the journalist from the FTD that he estimated the proportion of GM contaminated samples of cotton to be 30 % but that this figure was so high because the tests were primarily on suspicious cases. He also points out that the contamination in 70 % – 80 % of these samples was less than 2 %. He says this indicates contamination was spread during transport and processing; it was not an indication of fraud. Impetus-Bioscience developed a method of analysis years ago that made it possible to carry out reliable tests to establish whether raw cotton and yarn were contaminated by GMO. In his view, this analysis was not being used often enough. He concedes that reliable testing for GM contamination depends on the degree of processing of the fibres. “It only functions in exceptional cases with processed cotton and manufactured items.”
Spreading contamination is a key concept. It is a fact that the sharp increase in cropping genetically modified cotton is a big problem. Already more than 50 % of cotton grown worldwide is from GM seed, and experts estimate that in
The most likely cause of contamination by GMO is in fact in the form of dust particles or fibres left behind in harvesting equipment, storage facilities, during transport and in processing. It can no longer be avoided 100 % unless the whole chain from seed to clothes manufacture is a closed system, operated by one organization, certified organic and traceable like, for example, the Swiss organic cotton pioneer Remei that runs its own projects in India and Africa. Sekem in
This is why Heike Scheuer from IVN is calling for stricter and clearer guidelines. She says that in both cropping and monitoring a lot is a matter of interpretation of the rules and that farmers’ organizations, certifiers and the associations of the eco textile industry (IVN, Organic Exchange) should therefore cooperate more closely. Rolf Heimann, who is head of Innovation & Ecology at hessnatur, expresses a similar view in the hessnatur blog: “Controls all along the textile chain are important, but so are trust, long-term relations with suppliers, transparency, traceability, monitoring the flow of goods, etc. If it says bio on the packaging, it’s got to be bio in the packaging. We need dialogue, but not this kind of poorly researched media hype.”
Efforts are already being made to simplify and acceleratetraceability in the complex processing chain of cotton. Control Union has responded to the huge increase in GM cotton cropping in
The article in the FTD may contain errors, but it does point up a problem that many players in the eco textile industry, in contrast to consumers, are well aware of, namely that gene technology is a threat to the aspiring organic cotton industry. GM seed and the aggressive policy of the multinational seed companies with a matching lobby to convince governments of the putative benefits of the technology are not an issue in