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Feb 27, 2012

BioFach - European Organic Importers Concerned By India's Acceptance of Bt Cotton

On 27 February 2012, The Hindu Business Line reported on how European food importers at the organic food conference BioFach held in Munich, Germany had expressed concern over India's adoption of GM crops.

The article interviewed Ulrich Walter whose company Ulrich Walter GmbH is a large European importer of India's organic Darjeeling tea, coffee and spices from Kerala, and holy basil from Uttar Pradesh.  According to Walter, “we in Europe, particularly Germany, are worried over the spread of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in India. Your Government has to deal with that immediately.”

Walter specifically noted that "genetically modified and conventionally produced crops cannot coexist ... They may be kept at a distance but still there could be pollution of conventional and organic crop through wind and pollen." He particularly expressed concern over the growth of Bt cotton in India.

India's organic products are exported by Europe, the US, Canada and Japan. In Europe, Germany and Switzerland are the main buyers.  According to Gerald A. Herrmann of Organic Services Germany GmbH,  "organic products' exports from India are increasing by 33% every year and most products were being marketed as being free from pesticides."

Mukesh Gupta of Morarka Organics Foods noted that said that Bt cotton is not posing danger since it was grown in irrigated areas. In contrast, organic products are mainly grown in rain-fed areas.  "There need not be any fear of GMOs getting mixed."

For more see: Subramani, M.R., "Europe worried over spread of Bt cotton in India," The Hindu Business Line, 27 February 2012.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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