Charles: 'I blame GM crops for farmers' suicides'

Geoffrey Lean,Environment Editor
Sunday 05 October 2008 00:00
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GM crop failures have helped to cause a "truly appalling and tragic" number of suicides among poor farmers in India, Prince Charles has alleged in his most outspoken attack on the technology to date.

He called cultivating the modified crops "a global moral question" and "a wrong turning on the route to feeding the world". He associated the technology with "commerce without morality" and "science without humanity".

His words – in a lecture to a conference in New Delhi organised by an anti-GM pressure group – are bound to create a row.

They come just weeks after he was attacked by the Government for "overstepping the mark" and "ignoring" the needs of the hungry – and by leading scientists for "ranting" and being "shockingly ill-informed" – after warning in August that the technology could become an "environmental disaster".

The biotech firm Monsanto, said: "Farmer suicides in India began long before the introduction of Bollgard (its GM cotton product) in 2002."

report: page 3

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