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9-Misc: Indian NGO seeks 'GMO-free' clothing



------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Greens seek 'GMO-free' clothing
SOURCE: Times of India
        http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1074011.cms
DATE:   11 Apr 2005

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Greens seek 'GMO-free' clothing

NEW DELHI: If green activists are to be believed, the next few months could
see the start of a "GMO-free clothing" campaign, roping in not just Indian
designers but also international names such as Nike and Esprit.

MO stands for genetically-modified organism. The aim is to hit supporters of
transgenic cotton, more usually termed Bt cotton, where it hurts most -
their pockets. The only genetically-modified (GM) crop which can legally be
grown in India is Bt cotton, infused with a bacterial gene which is supposed
to make it resistant to the dreaded pest bollworm. Activists opposed to it
saying they want to "build a big Bt cotton boycott campaign which includes
designers".

Vandana Shiva of the NGO Navdanya, backed by environment organisations
Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, says she has sent "feelers" to some
big firms, including fashion houses in England and those working on khadi
in India, to see if they might be willing to reject transgenic cotton.

Many seem "ready to go on board" and the campaign, she hopes, would be ready
for take-off on August 9, the day they first launched a campaign asking
Monsanto to quit India.

Monsanto's Bt technology is now being used in India. Activists like Shiva
say it has proved disastrous for the farmer, halving his yield while
doubling or trebling his costs. Monsanto says this is bunkum, the yields
are good and farmers have made profits. Shiva and civil society groups from
the EU met recently and agreed on the need to exchange experiences and work
on improving India's biosafety laws to protect farmers, consumers and the
environment.




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