An Investigation Of The Necessity Of Gm Food In The Indian Market- W.R.T Its Scientific And Legal Quandaries

An Investigation Of The Necessity Of Gm Food In The Indian Market- W.R.T Its Scientific And Legal Quandaries

Bharath Gururagavendran
School of Law, Christ University, Bengaluru

The element of politicization is ever-present in technological progressions, and any radical development will engender lobbied scepticism. Under normal circumstances, the extending of scientific discourse onto political realms does not quite posit a problem, but in the case of GM food substances, there is an alarming exigency for an institutional analysis of both its scientific legitimacy and regulatory policy, in a backdrop of its legal permissibility. Perhaps, the persistently manifest criticism is that a long use of food substances might pose health risks. The scientific community’s arrival at a consensus regarding safety issues precedes the economic and legal uncertainties pertaining to GM crops: The WHO stipulates that “no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved[1].” The opposition to GM food though, is multidimensional, revolving around health risks, economic effects of allowing corporations to monopolize this newfound sector, scientific criticisms, and lastly, regulatory problems. Whilst its impacts on the civilian population may be beneficial in nature, there exists a popular conception that it engenders farmer suicides, and on that count, positive correlation between farmer suicides and BT Cotton have largely been debunked[2]. India ranks 130th out of 188 nations in the UNDP Human Development Index[3], and while it is in the process of realizing in its people, the right to food through the means of a constitutional revolution that necessitating its recognition, the trade-off that one is posed with, is conceivable economic and health concerns. This paper examines the trade-off under a legal backdrop and arrives at a conclusion regarding the feasibility of GM food.

[1] WHO| Frequently asked questions on genetically modified foods. World Health Organisation food safety. Available from http://www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-technology/faq-genetically-modifiedfood/en/ Accessed on 21 October 2016

[2] Guillaume Gruere & Debdatta Sengupta, BT Cotton and farmer suicides in India: An Evidence-based assessment, 47, The Journal of Development Studies, 316-337, (2011)

[3] World Food Programme, India, https://www.wfg.org/countries/india

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