Activists boo GM seeds

Patna, Aug. 7: Genetically modified seeds and crops are again in the eye of the storm as several non-government organisations and agro-activists have given a call for a nationwide movement on August 9 in protest against multinational companies (MNCs) involved with genetically modified seeds and crops.

Organisations, including GM Free Bihar Movement and Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA), today held a news meet here to announce the movement, named Monsanto Quit India, against the modified crops and seeds, under which activists will submit a memorandum to the state government.

While all activities and companies related to either field trials or cultivation of genetically modified crops would be opposed on August 9, Monsanto Holdings Private Limited, a US-based multinational company in life sciences, has been made the prime target.

National co-convener of ASHA and convener of GM Free Bihar Movement, Pankaj Bhushan, said: “Indian agriculture is seen as a prime multi-billion dollar market by MNCs and national agri-business corporations. However, we will not allow corporate houses to take over our agriculture. That is why we have called for a nationwide “Day of Action” on August 9, Quit India Day. We will also observe Kisan Swaraj Week from August 9-15.”

Senior member of ASHA and social activist Vijay Pratap said: “Genetically modified crops will destroy our agriculture and more farmer suicides are sure to happen. Not only would our fields be destroyed by promoting such MNCs that are involved in genetically modified crops but the common man would also get nothing but poison on the platter. We will hand over a memorandum to the state government on August 9, cautioning it against the ill-motive of such MNCs and prevent their entry into Bihar,” said Pratap.

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