Archive for the 'Tara Foundation' Category

Bihar had already rejected these GM seeds trail by Monsanto

Patna, August 9, 2011: Farmers, freedom fighters and activists of the GM Free Bihar Movement today launched a campaign from the capital city calling for ‘Monsanto, Quit India’, accusing the multinational seed company of playing with the lives of Indian people.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh and Food Security Minister Shayam Razak offered juice to the fasting protesters who had organised a sit-in at the Kargil Chowk to observe the Quit India Movement day as an occasion to highlight the havoc being played with consumers.

Addressing the activists Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh said and we are seriously looking after Monsanto seeds. Anyhow no any trail by any company will be allowed in this state.

Minister Shyam rajak added that this has become a national problem now and we are with this movement, he appreciated.

Further, memorandum to Agri Minister has been handed over there to cancel all agreements of Monsanto like companies.

Thereafter, the protesters marched through the major city cross-sections to hand over a memorandum to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar that demanded cancelling all agreements that the Bihar government has with various corporations like Monsanto, Mahyco, Bayer etc., and disallow any genetically modified (GM) crop research or trials inBihar.

The Alliancefor Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) – an informal network of more than 400 organisations around the country — and GM Free Bihar Movement organised the programme to ‘Save Our Food, Farmers and Freedom’.

Most attending the day-long events appeared agitated against what they called corporate aggressions on the Indian food and farming.

GM Free Bihar Movement Secretary Pankaj Bhushan accused Monsanto of adopting notorious means in India for a variety of misdeeds and crimes which he listed as under – polluting natural resources, killing and maiming humans with its products, bribing officials for approvals, falsifying safety reports to show the most dangerous chemicals like dioxin as safe, colluding with regulators through revolving doors between the company and government as also false advertising.

Freedom fighters, social activists and farmers were present in large numbers to take up the symbolic fast against the government’s partnerships with Monsanto and research on GM crops like Golden Rice.

“We are forced to remind everyone on Quit India Day that we are living in times when our freedom is being jeopardized yet again in insidious ways – if we as a nation want to protect our food sovereignty and if we want to retain control on what we grow and what we eat, we need to resist this corporate takeover,” Bhushan said.

“We need to put into place lasting and affordable solutions that are farmer-controlled in our agriculture. Urban consumers should realize that it is not just our farmers who are getting trapped and exploited; consumers should understand that access to safe, diverse and nutritious food for all is also at risk,” he added.

Vidya bhushan Singh, Farmer leader Harit Swaraj, Girinder Nr. Sharma, Prakash bablu and other activists along Bhola and Radha, farmer leaders from Rewa Madhya Prades were also on fast.


‘No food shall be grown that we don’t own’

Patna, August 7, 2011: The primary objective of multinational seed companies that ‘no food shall be grown that we don’t own’ came under a sharp attack by the members of civil societies here today, who gave a call for ‘Monsanto Quit India’ on August 9 and also announced holding Kisan Swaraj Week till the Independence Day.

“Monsanto is now facing an anti-trust investigation even in theUnited States. But here inIndia, the Centre is bent upon promoting its seeds. And since Agriculture is the State Subject, now the attempt is to bypass States even,” said Pankaj Bhushan, the national co-convenor of the national ASHA coalition and convenor of GM Free Bihar Movement, adding, “this cannot be tolerated, now.”

Bhushan told a press conference that Monsanto is an American company, which has become the world’s largest seed company by employing many devious strategies and tactics. “We will not allow corporatization of our agriculture. That is why we have called for a nation-wide DAY OF ACTION on August 9, 2011 (Quit India Day) and KISAN SWARAJ WEEK, from August 9 – 15 2011.”

He accused Monsanto of adopting notorious means in India for a variety of misdeeds and crimes – polluting natural resources, killing and maiming humans with its products, bribing officials for approvals, falsifying safety reports to show the most dangerous chemicals like dioxin as safe, colluding with regulators through revolving doors between the company and government as also false advertising.

“What Indian farmers should know is that Monsanto is also a company which has sued and jailed farmers for the “crime” of saving and using seeds that have been purchased by the farmers from the company, to protect its patents,” he said, wondering: “Can you imagine farmers not being allowed the right to save seed from their own crop, when it is farmers who have bred thousands of crop varieties over the centuries?”

Addressing the press conference, renowned socialist senior member of theAlliancefor Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) Vijay Pratap said that Monsanto first exploited the other South Asian countries and is now penetrating deeper intoIndia. “This will completely destroy our agriculture and more farmers will be forced to commit suicides,” he said. “I am concerned that not only our fields will be destroyed by promoting such multinational seed companies but common men will get nothing but poison in the platters while such infiltrators will be raking in the moolah.”

“This is a national problem. Therefore we will hand over a memorandum to our state government on 9th August, cautioning it against the such multinational companies and prevent their entry intoBihar,” he said.  Kisan Morcha President Vidya Bhushan expressed concern over some politicians giving preference to genetically modified and hybrid seeds. “What will happen to our traditional agriculture which is so resourceful and self-sufficient?” he said, promising that the movement against the multinational seed companies will take decisive turn this time.

Farmer leader Girish Sharma said the Centre Government was conspiring to end State Government’s role in deciding the agriculture policies which was illegal. “Over 400 organisations have come together this time across the nation to make it an action day on 9th August,” he said, adding a fast and dharna will be observed on this day at Kargil Chowk in Patna from where a march will start at 3 pm to hand over the memorandum to the government.

State president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union Ramanuj Singh said the companies like Monsanto will have their toughest time now since his organisation has decided to oppose it tooth and nail in the interest of the farmers and agriculture. “We have already warned the government. Now it is time for actions,” he said.

जीएम बीज निर्माता कंपनियों के खिलाफ आंदोलन का एलान

– शुरू होगी किसान स्वराज यात्रा, 9 अगस्त को धरना व पदयात्रा

मुजफ्फरपुर, हमारे संवाददाता : जीएम फ्री बिहार मूवमेंट एवं राष्ट्रीय आशा गठबंधन के तत्वावधान में जीएम बीज निर्माता बहुराष्ट्रीय बीज कंपनियों के खिलाफ आंदोलन चलाया जाएगा। इसकी शुरुआत भारत छोड़ो आंदोलन की तिथि 9 अगस्त से होगी। उस दिन दोनों संस्थाओं के संयुक्त तत्वावधान में पदयात्रा व समाहरणालय में धरना दिया जाएगा। इसकी जानकारी जीएम फ्री बिहार के संयोजक एवं राष्ट्रीय आशा गठबंधन के सह संयोजक पंकज भूषण ने दी। श्री भूषण शनिवार को प्रेस क्लब सभागार में आयोजित संवाददाता सम्मेलन को संबोधित कर रहे थे।श्री भूषण ने कहा कि आशा राष्ट्रीय गठबंधन ने मान्सेंटो सहित अन्य बहुराष्ट्रीय कंपनियों के खिलाफ देश भर में 9 अगस्त से 15 अगस्त के बीच किसान स्वराज सप्ताह मनाया जाएगा। इस अवसर पर अभियान के अध्यक्ष पर्यावरणविद् सुरेश गुप्ता ने कहा कि बहुराष्ट्रीय बीज कंपनियां जड़ जमीन एवं इंसान तीनों का खात्मा करना चाह रही है। जिला जदयू किसान प्रकोष्ठ के अध्यक्ष जिला पार्षद मुक्तेश्वर सिंह ने कहा कि किसान बहुराष्ट्रीय बीज कंपनियों की मंशा समझ चुके हैं। मुरौल के किसान श्री अवध बिहारी ठाकुर ने कहा कि किसान जैविक खेती की ओर लौटने लगे हैं। उन्होने स्थानीय स्तर पर उत्पादित बीजों का उपयोग करने की जरूरत बताई। जिला विधिक सेवा प्राधिकार की सदस्य सह बार एसोसिएशन के संयुक्त सचिव डा.संगीता शाही ने कहा कि शरीर व मस्तिष्क को विकृत करने वाले उत्पादों का उत्पादन कानूनी जुर्म है। आकाक्षा सेवा सदन संस्था की वंदना शर्मा ने कहा कि बहुराष्ट्रीय बीज कंपनियों द्वारा उत्पादित हाइब्रिड बीज, संकर बीज एवं रसायनों के उपयोग को बंद करने के लिए जागरूकता अभियान शुरू किया जा रहा है।

Bihar rejects field trials of GM crops

Patna, March 4, 2011: Farmers and activists today dared multinational seed company Monsanto to conduct field trials of genetically modified crops in the state, and claimed that Bihar was in fact fit to be declared totally GM free. “Our efforts have bore fruit as Bihar farmers are now aware of the dangers of the genetic foods. No farmer or his field is thus offering to be a lab rat in Bihar,” they told a press conference here. Bharitya Kisan Union representatives even said they will chase away anyone found to be engaged in such trials even clandestinely.

Bihar Farmers Commission Chairman and former Central Minister Upendra Nath Verma said that Bihar is the first state to have banned commercial use of Bt brinjal but the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee of the Central Government had permitted some open air field trials, some insect resistance management trials and seed production plots for GM Maize of Monsanto and GM rice of Bayer at seven places in the country, including two in Bihar – Begusarai and Bhagalpur. “We view it with great concern. When Bt brinjal was not approved by the government for commercial use why did it then allow conducting of trial of Bt maize etc?”

GM Free Bihar Movement’s convenor Pankaj Bhushan termed any such trials as “totally unwarranted, unnecessary, illegal and hazardous” and said he was in constant touch with officials of the state not to allow any such trials. “Such trials pose hazards of biological contamination as well as intentional leakage of seed as has been witnessed in the case of Bt cotton earlier in the country.” “Herbicide-tolerant crops like the GM Maize pose many socio-economic concerns in addition to health and environmental hazards flowing both from the increased use of agri-chemicals in the form of weedicides like glyphosate as well as from the genetic engineering process,” he said.

“Since the Bihar government had responded positively to our efforts against Bt brinjal, we had again approached all concerned by raising valid objections against any possible field trials in the state,” Bhushan said adding the campaign against field trials was bearing fruit.

He also said that herbicide tolerance technology will have irreversible impacts on farmers of the state where the poorest people survive out of employment generated through manual de-weeding in agricultural fields.

Commenting on the anti-farmer behaviour of Monsanto, farmer union leaders pointed out that seed monopolies are building up in Indian agriculture with lax regulatory regimes and seed prices are reaching unprecedented, exorbitant high levels. “Monsanto wants to strengthen their position of monopoly by bringing in GM crops where their seed as well as chemical businesses will thrive. Therefore, we will not allow any such companies to conduct field trials in Bihar. Rather, our government should find it appropriate to declare Bihar a GM Free state.”

It is pertinent to note that GM Free Bihar Movement had played a crucial role in raising awareness among the people in Bihar about Bt brinjal, the first GM food crop to have been considered for commercial cultivation in the country.

Both the Centre and Bihar Government then responded rightly to the constitutional, democratic and scientific voices all around and placed a moratorium on the commercial release of Bt brinjal on February 9, 2010.

According to Bhushan, multinationals were still conniving to push GM crops without sufficient research on the human health impacts, unscientific test protocols, absence of independent bio-safety tests, and  conflicting interests of  regulators. Besides, adverse results in experiments were also being masked by the crop developers and ignored by the regulators.

Agri Activities on Twitter

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9 other followers


Agri Stats

  • 18,679 hits