Thursday, February 4, 2016

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MAJOR FARMER UNIONS OF INDIA REJECT GM MUSTARD; ASK JAVADEKAR NOT TO ALLOW GEAC TO PROCEED WITH ITS SECRET MEETING TO PROCESS GM MUSTARD APPLICATION ON FEB.5TH

*MAJOR FARMER UNIONS OF INDIA REJECT GM MUSTARD:*
 
*ASK JAVADEKAR NOT TO ALLOW GEAC TO PROCEED WITH ITS SECRET MEETING TO
PROCESS GM MUSTARD APPLICATION ON FEB.5TH*
 
*New Delhi, February 3rd, 2016*: All major farmer unions of India, in a
joint statement, have slammed the Minister for Environment, Forests and
Climate Change for allowing the regulatory body for transgenics to meet on
February 5th to decide on the fate of GM mustard. They demanded that the
secret meeting of the regulator be cancelled immediately by the Minister.

“All major mustard growing states in India, including BJP-ruled states,
heeding to citizens’ voices and scientific advice, have come out against GM
mustard. They have also expressed concern about the secretive processes
adopted by the regulators and for not putting out biosafety data in the
public domain. The Supreme Court has issued notices to the Centre’s
regulators on a contempt petition. Despite all of this, Prakash Javadekar
is allowing Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to hold its
meeting to process the GM mustard application on Friday (Feb.5th). It makes
us wonder what and wherefrom is the need and pressure emerging from”, they
said. They objected to the secretive manner in which the government is
proceeding on this matter, without public scrutiny of data or any public
consultations including with farmers’ unions, despite the GMO being created
ostensibly for farmers’ benefit.
 
The farmer unions pointed out that the government is pushing unneeded,
unwanted and unsafe GMOs on the farming community, when viable and feasible
alternatives that are safe, affordable and farmer-controlled are already
available that need to be promoted with farmers for sustainable farm
livelihoods. In the case of mustard for instance, there are non-transgenic
hybrids already available in the market, in addition to high-yielding
mustard varieties. Further, new agro-ecological approaches like System of
Mustard Intensification (SMI) are out-yielding these unsafe solutions
significantly, ensuring vastly-increased profitability for farmers, if
yield is a concern in the first instance. Such alternatives are not however
being invested upon by the government, probably because of collusion with
the seed and chemical industry. The experience with Bt cotton, which has
not addressed the issue of farm crisis or reduced the number farm suicides
is another example. This year, lakhs of farmers in Gujarat, Punjab,
Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Telangana suffered due to whitefly and
pink bollworm attack on Bt cotton while the seed companies are going
scot-free without being made accountable for the losses. Leaders of the
farmer unions pointed out that after 13 years of Bt cotton in India, the
myth around GM crops has been busted fully, while a deadly unaccountable
experiment was unleashed on the lives of farmers. Agro-chemical usage has
gone up in cotton, including of pesticides, and most cotton seed in the
market is today controlled by one MNC, known for its anti-farmer operations
– Monsanto.
 
There was deep concern expressed about control in farming wrested from
farmers’ hands into the hands of agro-industry, whether it be of seed
companies or chemical companies. The developers of GM mustard hold several
patents related to the product, and are obviously free to sell these IPRs
to any large corporation despite wearing the garb of public sector
scientists at this point of time. There is also the question of native seed
varieties being contaminated by GM mustard. Foreign genes related to male
sterility and herbicide tolerance will then affect the crop of non-GM
growers also. There are many farmers in north India who also take up
bee-keeping along with mustard cultivation, and scientific evidence on GM
mustard shows that bee population will get affected. This would lead to
losses in both mustard production and honey production for these farmers,
they pointed out. The farmer unions also informed that while there are many
extant farmers’ varieties waiting to be registered with the Plant Varieties
Protection and Farmers Rights Authority, this is not happening while
public-sector and private-sector varieties are being prioritized for the
purpose. Why is the government not protecting these farmers’ varieties and
promoting the same, they demanded to know.
 
These farmer unions warned that the fate of the government in the case of
GM mustard will be that of an unwanted land ordinance that the government
pressed for again and again, uncaring of the public mood and demand. They
reiterated that they will resist any environmental release approval of any
GMO in the country with all their strength, and work towards real solutions
that will support farm livelihoods.
 
*For more information, contact*:
Shri Mohinimohan Misra (BKS): 090136-19587
Com Malla Reddy (AIKS): 094900-98666
Shri Yudhvir Singh (AICCFM): 098681-46405
 
Com Hannan Mollah, General Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha (36 Canning Lane)

Yudhvir Singh, General Secretary, All India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (AICCFM)
Mohinimohan Misra, National Secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS)
Atul Kumar Anjan, General Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha (Ajay Bhawan)
Yogendra Yadav, Jai Kissan Andolan
Raghav Sharan Sharma, President, All India Agragami Kissan Sabha
Ch. Rakesh Tikait, National Spokesman, Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU)
Ram Pal Jat, National President, Kissan Mahapanchayat,
Chamarasa Malli Patil, President, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS)
Baburam Sharma, President, All India Krantikari Kissan Sabha
Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, State President, Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Punjab
Uttam Gayen, General Secretary, Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity, West Bengal
K. Sella Mutthu, President, Tamil Nadu Farmers Association
Maganbhai Patel, President, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), Gujarat
S. Malla Reddy, Vice President, All India Kisan Sabha
Badribhai Joshi, Secretary, Khedut Samaj, Gujarat
Badri Narayan Chaudhary, Mahamantri, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Rajasthan
Virendra Kumar Shrivastava, President, Laghu Simant Krishak Morach, Uttar Pradesh
Chukki Najundawamy, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS)
KT Gangadhar,Coordinator, South India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (SICCFM)
Ambubhai Patel, Secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Gujarat
Vijay Jawandhia, Shetkari Sangathana, Maharashtra
B. Chandra Reddy, Secretary, Telangana Rythu Sangham
Kodand Reddy, President, Kisan Khet Mazdoor Congress, Telangana
Saroj Mohanty, Paschim Odisha Krushak Samanvay Samiti
Sagar Rabari, Secretary, Khedut Samaj, Gujarat
Bhagwan Dadhich, Kisan Sewa Samiti, Rajasthan
Jayant Verma, Vice President, All India Agragami Kissan Sabha
Kiran Vissa, Raithu Swarajya Vedika, Telengana
Rajesh Singh Chouhan, State President, Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Uttar Pradesh
Ms. Rajariga, President, Women Wing, Tamil Nadu Farmers Association
Gurman Singh, President, Bhartiya Kissan Union, Haryana
K.P Illias, Secretary, Kerala Jaiva Karshaka Samithi,
S. Kannaiyan, Secretary, South India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (SICCFM)
KS Puttanaiah (MLA), Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS),
Selvaj, Tamil Nadu Organic Farmers Federation
Jagdish Singh, State President, Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Madhya Pradesh
Vidyadhar Olkha, State President, Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Rajasthan
Pradeep Singh Thakur, General Secretary, All India Krantikari Kissan Sabha
Ms. Nilam Prabhat, State Coordinator, Aroh Mahila Kisan Manch, Uttar Pradesh
Ratan Singh Mann, State President, Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Haryana
Vettavalam ManiKandan, President, Thamizaga Vivasaayikal Sangam,
Indhiya Uzavar Uzaippaligal Katchi 
Nallagounder,  Uzhavar Ulaippalar Katchi, Tamil Nadu Farmers Association
Davison, Kerala Coconut Farmers Association
Gomathinayagam, President,
Vivasaya Seva Samgam-Puliangudi,Thirunelveli Dist 
Vellaiyan, President, Tamilnadu Vanigar Peravai, Chennai
Sukhdev Singh Gill, State President, Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Himachal Pradesh
Satnam Singh Cheema,State President, Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Uttrakhand
Dhan Singh Sherawat, Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Maharashtra
Virendra Dagar, State President Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU),
Delhi Rural Pamayan, Thalaanmai Farmers Movement
Adv Pradeep Kumar, Kerala Haritha Sena
Balaji Sankar, Tharcharbu Iyakkam
Pasya Padma, Secretary, Telangana Rythu Sangham
 
 
 

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