5,000 farmers in India staged a protest to demand access to GMO crops, with some risking up to five years in jail by planting unauthorized seeds. In the video below, protestors chanted, “Technology freedom—we want, we want. Technology freedom—we will take, we will take.” Reuters reported on June 1o that 10 percent of the nation’s cotton is grown from illegal herbicide-resistant GMO seeds, as farmers struggle to control weeds that threaten their yields.
The protesting farmers argue that GMO crops have been planted for years and clearly pose no threat to human health or the environment. Anil Ghanwat, president of Shetkari Sanghatana, the farmer’s organization behind the demonstration:
A dozen GM crops like maize, soya, cotton have been planted across the world, and millions of people and livestock have been eating these for the past two decades. There is no evidence of any adverse health impact on either humans or animals. Contrary to claims that GM is polluting the environment, it’s, in reality, reducing the use of pesticides that harm many beneficial insects. GM is actually enhancing biodiversity, and by lowering crop losses it is reducing the need of bringing more land under agriculture.
Original video: India farmers demand GMO seeds