August 15, 2008
Motives behind attack on GM crops by British royalty questioned

Britain's Prince Charles whom this week levelled criticism at India's Green Revolution and GM food in general, had his motives questioned by the Times of India, who suggested his remarks were made to pave the way for his company's organic products to be launched in India.


India's Green Revolution was commonly hailed as a successful venture by Indian and International groups to increase rice production significantly in India in the 1960s, bringing it back from the brink of mass famine.

Two months ago, the chief executive of the Prince's Duchy Originals line of organic products announced plans to launch the brand in India as part of a five-year strategy to quadruple annual turnover from GBP 50 million pounds to GBP 200 million pounds, the paper reported.

A company representative had announced to the media that the Prince had hoped to establish a presence in India by the end of the year.
Charles, in an interview this week that India's Green Revolution "worked for a short time but now the price is being paid".


In Punjab, hybrid seeds and grains have created over-demand of water, straining the irrigation system and causing the disappearance of the table, he said. Besides the lack of water, farmers now have to deal with pesticides and a whole host of other problems, he added. 


Prince Charles is publicly known as an anti-GM campaigner.


His remarks came under fire from scientists and politicians, who said his opinions were ill-informed, bewildering and unhelpful. Industry groups argued that GM farming is a highly effective tool in combating the global food crisis, with some alleging that the Prince's self interest has clouded his views on GM farming.

However, environmental groups such as the international NGO Friends of the Earth applauded his statements, arguing that GM crops will not solve the food crisis and would harm both the environment and people.
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