Saturday, February 6, 2010

VJAS urged Maharashtra chief minister to oppose Bt Brinjal- Stop illegal trials of Bt Brinjal in Vidarbha

VJAS urged Maharashtra chief minister to oppose Bt Brinjal- Stop illegal trials of Bt Brinjal in Vidarbha

Nagpur-February 7th, 2010

The result of more than 10,000 farm suicides of cotton farmers after introduction of Bt.cotton in Maharashtra since june-2005 which has been turned as farm suicide capital,of the nation,asked Maharashtra chief Minister Ashok Chavan to oppose the Govt. of India proposal to grant sanction to the commercial production of another Bt.crop majority of chief ministers had come out against the commercialization of Bt Brinjal.
TheMinister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh is scheduled to announce his decision Feb 10 in New Delhi on the recommendation of the Genetically Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), a statutory authority set up under the Environment Protection Act of 1986.

“A majority of chief ministers have written to me on the issue have opposed the introduction of Bt brinjal,” Ramesh told media that include West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

“I have got response from the major brinjal cultivating states. About 60 percent of brinjal in India is cultivated in West Bengal (30 percent), Orissa (20 percent) and Bihar (10 percent). All these states have opposed its introduction and Tamil Nadu, its chief secretary told me on phone that his state too was opposed to the commercialisation of Bt Brinjal,” Ramesh said.

India produces about eight million tonnes of brinjal per annum in 2,400 varieties. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu account for 20 percent collectively.

Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh have not yet responded states which are consuming more than 40% brinjal in India hence,there say is too important to take final decision .

The GEAC made a recommendation Oct 15, 2009 that Bt Brinjal should be commercialised.

Vidarbha Jan andolan samiti(VJAS) president in a letter to maharashtra chief minister ashok chavan urged him take in to account the complete failure of Bt.cotton in more than 3.2 million hector in Maharashtra this year where state Govt. has officially decleared drought due to crop failure ,the toll claims made by Monsanto,American seed company regarding the pest resistance and production turned to be futile and farmers have already lost more than Rs.5000 crore due to crop failure,thats clearly indicate the disastrous impact of killer seed in cotton-belt of maharashtra.

"It is officially confirmed that this year American seed company Monsanto has arranged for illegal trials of Bt.brinjal as they did for Bt. cotton in 2002-2003 through it's counterpart in indian Mahyco -Monsanto and Bt.brinjal is being sold in Maharashtra without any permission"Tiwari alleged .

"It is claimed that GM brinjal contains a foreign gene, cry1Ac, derived from a soil bacterium, bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). This gene synthesises a protein toxic to the fruit and shoot borer (FSB), a destructive insect pest. Its incorporation into brinjal is said to confer the crop `built-in' resistance to FSB, reducing reliance on spraying pesticides,same claim was made for Bt. cotton but it failed miserably hence feedback of massive failure of Bt.cotton in Maharashtra should be taken in to consideration before the final decision is taken in this regard"Tiwari said.

"Issue of vidarbha innocent cotton farmers genocide after introduction of Bt.cotton in this region is very important and one cant ignored this serious aspact when we talk about food security and food sefety hence opposition to Bt. brinjal from mahrashtra is must and state Govt. should not work under pressure from Indian agriculture sharad pawar who is very close to American GM seed leader monsantro "Tiwari added.


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