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Why Do GM Scientists Lie?

By Devinder Sharma

31 October, 2009
DevinderSharma's Blog

Every time I meet an agricultural scientist, especially those who are engaged in Genetic Engineering, I am shocked at the blatant manner in which they lie. They are not even remotely ashamed of telling a lie, although they know they are not speaking the truth.

I thought telling a lying was a prerogative of the agricultural scientists alone. But over the past few years I am noticing that molecular geneticists, whether they work for the Royal Society in London or Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi or even the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, have picked up the art (or should I say science) of lying, and that too right through their nose.

Genetic Engineering has surely come of age. It has become synomenous with lying.

It didn't shock me when I was told last week that the Royal Society in London had come out with a report, which warns that if Britain does not adopt GM crops, it should be ready to face hunger and starvation. Feeding another 2.3 billion people by the year 2050 and at the same time limit the environmental impact of farming would require GM crop research to be taken up vigorously, the study says.

Both the points stressed in the report -- producing more food to feed an additional 2.3 billion people, and the use of GM crops to offset any environmental damage accruing from intensive farming systems -- are simple lies. Neither do GM crops produce higher yields (in fact, the GM crops in market by and large produce less than the normal varieties), nor are they environmentally safe. World over the debate is about its biosafety and environmental impacts, and look at these scientists associated with the Royal Society, they don't even bat an eyelid before speaking lies.

Oh dear ! Where is science headed to? If this is the level to which the scientists can stoop down to, you should be ready for the worst.

What a climbdown? What a disgrace for modern science? I am so glad my children did not pick up science in their graduation.

The other day I was in a TV discussion on Bt brinjal. There were two scientists on the panel -- one from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute and the other from Jawaharlal Nehru University. If you had watched that programme, I am sure you would have been appalled at the number of times they lied. I was particularly very disturbed when I found one of them having the courage to tell a blatant lie, and that too starkly. There is no difference in the development of high-yielding crop varieties and the transgenics like Bt brinjal, the scientist said.

I realise that the GM scientists have a tremendous task at hand to justify what they are doing in their labs (and also outside labs, when they hobnob with biotech company officials). The mere fact that they have to resort to all kinds of lies to justify the tinkering of plant genome, and the mindless insertion of Bt genes in every crop they can lay their hands upon, speaks volumes about what is happening behind the closed doors of the GM laboratories.

I can cite numerous other instances when GM scientists have lied. But I think I would rather have you tell me if you were also faced with a pack of lies. GM scientists are liers, and let us make that public. We would be doing a great service to the society, to humanity, and to mankind.


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