Monsanto-India tanks / Bt brinjal can wait - Minister
1.Monsanto India tanks on dismal results
2.Bt brinjal can wait: Minister
3.Global corporates endanger food security: Minister
4.State Government action plan against GM crops
5.Screening a must to check GM food entry
6.Hazards of GM food crops
EXTRACT: [Kerala] Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran... accused multinational corporates of promoting 'food terror' through GM (Genetically Modified) crops. "Corporate agenda should not be allowed to dictate agricultural practices and dietary habits," he said. (item 3)
1.Monsanto India tanks 9% on dismal Q4 results
Commodity Stocks News, 11 June 2009 [shortened]
MUMBAI: Monsanto India Ltd (BOM:524084), an agriculture solutions provider in seeds and genomics, reported heavy loss on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) today, as the company reported dismal financial figures for its fourth quarter results for FY 2009.
The company posted net loss of Rs.26.74 crore in Q4 March 2009 as compared to net profit of Rs.11.62 crore in Q4 March 2008.
The company stocks were trading at Rs.1773 down by close to 8% today following disappointing figures from the Q4 results of the company. However, the stock had touched a day's low of Rs.1741 down by more than 9% from its previous close.
The company's net sales had declined by 87.8% to Rs.5.94 crore in Q4 March 2009 over Q4 March 2008, while the net profits for the fiscal ended March 2009, had declined by 26.6% to Rs.73.54 crore on 6.8% rise in net sales to Rs.390.19 crore over the year ended March 2008.
2.Bt brinjal can wait, says Jairam
Times of India, 11 Jun 2009 [shortened]
BANGALORE: No self-certification clause during environment impact assessment, genetically modified (GM) foods not acceptable and rehabilitation for
1 lakh families residing in tiger-dominated parks -- these and more are on the priority list of Union forests and environment minister Jairam Ramesh.
"There is no great urgency for Bt brinjal to be launched. For Bt cotton, we should have a statutory comprehensive assessment to recollect our experience with it. Its success and its impacts need to be studied," he said. While he confirmed that GM foods will not enter the markets immediately and the system of labelling imported food needs to be introduced, he maintained that Bt cotton can go ahead.
3.Global corporates endangering food security: Minister
The Hindu, 6 June 2009 [shortened]
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM [Kerala]: Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran has stressed the need for the State to create a bulwark against monopoly trends in agriculture that pose a serious threat to food security.
He was delivering the inaugural address at the World Environment Day celebrations organised by the Soil Survey Organisation here on Friday. Mr. Ratnakaran accused multinational corporates of promoting 'food terror' through GM (Genetically Modified) crops. "Corporate agenda should not be allowed to dictate agricultural practices and dietary habits," he said.
Mr. Ratnakaran said sustainable agriculture was a natural defence against greedy corporates. He stressed the need to promote organic farming and protect natural resources.
4.Farming: 100 village councils planned
Express News Service, 6 June 2009
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM [Kerala]: A hundred village councils (Naattukkoottam) will be formed this year to raise awareness on proper farming methods and the threats posed by genetically modified (GM) crops, Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran said on Friday.
This is part of an action plan of the State Government against GM crops, the Minister said. He was delivering an Environment Day message at the district-level distribution of soil health cards organised here by the Agriculture and Soil Survey Departments.
The Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) and the Agriculture Department will provide technical expertise to the village councils, which will be made up of farmers.
Special programmes to strengthen the resolve to protect the ecosystem and fight GM crops will be planned on the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Swami Vivekananda on October 2, November 14 and January 12 respectively.
5.Screening a must to check GM food entry
Indian Express Finance, June 8 2009
The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), the nodal agency on genetically modified (GM) food, has in its last monthly meeting had given a "no objection certificate" to Doritos corn chips, a processed food product that had, not so long ago, been proven to contain GM corn. The recent approval came after the GEAC had a hearing on the product following its detainment by the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) at Nhava Sheva Port in Mumbai on the grounds of suspicion of it containing GM food.
This detention by the DGFT as stated in the GEAC meeting minutes was uploaded on their website on May 31, 2009, was based on a representation made by Greenpeace in this regard in the months following May 2008 when Greenpeace India had made public the scientific results of laboratory tests credibly done by an independent laboratory (GeneScan laboratories, Germany) on Doritos chips packets (purchased from markets in South Delhi). These tested samples were found to contain GM corn varieties, MON 863 and NK 603.
What makes the current GEAC approval especially shocking is that it was given without any testing, and hence no scientific evidence of the product being GM-free, but instead, on a written confirmation from the importer that the product did not contain GM corn.
This clearly makes a mockery of GEAC's regular claim that no GMOs (genetically modified organisms) have ever entered the country, that there have been adequate measures taken to prevent unintentional entry of GMOs and that there is an "appropriate" domestic regulatory system with public participation.
In 2006-07 alone, India received close to 2500 tonne of non-oil soya products- about 48% of which was from the US, which has a large quantity of GM soya without any labeling and segregation law in place. The same year, grain imports of corn were about 2800 tonne, and more than 72% of it was from Argentina and the US, both the countries produce a large quantity of GM corn.
The latest approval of Doritos consignment by the GEAC is therefore a link in the chain, instead of being an isolated event.
This is feeding to the fear, and quite reasonably, among safe food activists that the country is getting colossal quantities of GM food dumps. India has an almost non-existent system of screening for GM food at our ports. There is also a lack of awareness among the port authorities, the Customs and Excise Board and the Directorate of Foreign Trade on GM food and Living Modified Organisms (LMO) and the laws that are associated to it.
This calls for an entire system that needs to be activated to use the provisions of the Cartagena protocol for bio-safety that India ratified in 2003, and is in force since 2005, to demand information from the countries of import. There are close to 15 major sea ports and about 11 international airports in the country and we can imagine the scale of threat that needs to be fought.
6.BHARATIYA KRISHAK SAMAJ
(Indian Farmers' Organisation)
May 9 2009
To, Shree Jairam Ramesh
Union Minister of State for Environment & Forests
Dear Shree Jairam Ramesh jee,
First of all India's oldest and largest farmers' organisation, Bharatiya Krishak Samaj would like to congratulate you for holding the reins of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. We very much appreciate your views on clearance of genetically modified (GM) food crops, which indeed need adequate health and environmental safety tests and as well as bio-safety tests by independent agencies and scientists before they are finally released for commercial use and consumption.
There are ample studies done worldwide by independent scientists which expose health and environmental hazards associated with GM crops. Bharatiya Krishak Samaj have a collection of some such studies.
The US seed multinational, Monsanto and its Indian partner, Mahyco are lobbying hard to push the commercialisation of Bt brinjal which is currently under field trials. Also a number of GM food crops including Bt rice, Bt okra, GM potato, Bt cabbage etc have been developed and are at different stages of trials. We hope, Sir, you will definitely take some pains to stop the nefarious activities of seed companies in pushing this hazardous agenda.
We also hope that you would also instruct the public sector agencies and universities in the country to stop encouraging GM crops.
The introduction of GM food crops is likely to damage our export prospects, particularly in the European market which is largely GM-free. Russia once sought clarification from India whether GM food crops were grown in the country and had detained India's rice consignments. Sir, you as a former Minister of State for Commerce, are well aware of this situation
Another thing we want to bring to your kind notice is that in absence of any stringent regulation there is a free entry of hazardous GM food in this country.
It is unfortunate to know that Nodal Agencies like Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), a Retgulatory Authrotiy has given NOC to Doritos corn chips, a processed food product, without directing any laboratory test, relying on a written confirmation given by the importer that the product did not contain GM corn. That the NOC given by GEAC to said GM Food against the detainment by the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) at Nhava Sheva Port in Mumbai is an apparent act of undue favor extended by GEAC to the importer / exporter of GM Food and apparent abuse of power for not invtiing scientific result of independant test laboratory to prove the credibility of said food item.
India has already made a dumping ground of adulterated , expiry food products , medicines, drugs by said Regulatory Authrotiies, in as much as, the people manning these authroties are corrupt, inhuman and moreover, are dancing at the tune of the multinational companies.
We hope, Sir, you would kindly take some pains to address these concerns in the interests of the people
Dr KRISHAN BIR CHAUDHARY
Bharatiya Krishak Samaj