Swiss GMO program in India in spite of their own ban
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India is heavily relying on its agriculture and when the harvest is not good the consequences can be catastrophic for their farmers. The garbanzo bean is one of the most popular crops of produce, particularly in northern India. Its seeds are very high in protein. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes, but almost a fifth of the crop is destroyed by a caterpillar called the Pod Borer, according to Netz Frauen .
Switzerland wants to help with GMO. The Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) will inject money into Indian agriculture through the Indian government funded Indo-Swiss Collaboration in Biotechnology (ISCB) program. Despite the current ban on genetically modified crops in Switzerland, taxpayers' money is being used to promote the development of transgenic crops in India.
For some results of this research, a private company with ties to Monsanto was granted approval. In India, people have protested against the introduction of certain GMO. Especially small farmers and other groups from Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have already demonstrated during the first week of October. The dispute might escalate further. Especially in this country where already thousands of smallholders took their own lives because they could no longer pay for the seed, which was introduced by Monsanto in 2002. Netz Frauen wonders: “Is it ethical for Switzerland, where a ban of GMO use in agriculture is in place, to export GMO crop technology to a developing country under the guise of development aid?”