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Unlike in the developed world, the Indian government lacks the law enforcement strength to police the farms. India also lacks the supply chain monitoring capability to track and regulate food supply.

This is clear from the widespread food safety issues. It is also clear from episodes like the illegal GM brinjal (eggplant) sold in stores in Delhi/NCR. 

Now there is another type of challenge – open resistance and non-cooperation by farmers. Check out this news about farmers who have chosen to defy the government and grow a banned variety of GM cotton.

Two dangers are coming soon because of this lack of law enforcement capability.

The first is that there will be contamination of fields with illegal and toxic varieties of GMOs. Small labs, or even individuals, can create them and release them into the environment. For example, a tomato could be genetically engineered to produce toxins. It will look like a tomato, taste like one, but will not actually be a tomato. And this seed, plant, and fruit will be indistinguishable from the others that grow in the same tomato field.

The second danger is that there will be GMO varieties whose safety has not been clearly established yet. But they outperform the conventional types in yield, drought resistance, pest resistance, and more. Then farmers will be tempted to use them, just like in the cotton example above. And a black market for these seeds will flourish. For consumers, again, this tomato will be indistinguishable from the others available in the market.

So we have twin dangers around the corner, which will force consumers to look for trusted food sources. 

We may be forced to only trust food supplies from supermarkets and brands owned by large corporations and MNCs. Because only they will have the supply chain and quality control technology to ensure safety. They can ensure that their products are not contaminated by banned GMOs.

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