1.BT cotton robs Diwali Happiness
2.Campaign against Bt brinjal (aubergine/eggplant) picks up
Sorry No Happy Diwali or Happy New Year as my farmers are suffering heavily due to deaths of thousands of animals due to BT cotton in Haryana alone
see kisanbachaoandolan.co.cc for some details which are constantly updated
I CALL ALL WHO LOVE FARMERS AND INDIA TO CALL THIS DIWALI A BLACK DIWALI DUE TO LACK OF GOVT ACTION ON DEATHS OF THOUSANDS OF ANIMALS IN MANY STATES IN INDIA DUE TO BT COTTON INCLUDING HARYANA
PLEASE FORWARD THIS MAIL TO ALL FARMER LOVING PEOPLE OF WORLD
sudhir kumar kaura
International Coordinator, Save Farmer Movement
[extract from the website]
The Sunday Indian explains how BT cotton is robbing farmers and farm labors of their health and cattle as well.
Hissar villages are itching. Sirsa villages are itching. Fatehabad villages are itching. These three districts form the heart of Haryana's cotton belt, and here cows and buffaloes are itching too. They are giving birth to premature calves, and the cows themselves are dying... In many cases, the cows' uteruses are protruding from the stomach. Even Harpal Singh Grewal, the rich NRI [non-resident Indian] from Sirsa, who was in the government of India's steering committee for promoting organic farming says that BT cotton is ruining Haryana, but the government itself is in total denial mode.
2.Campaign against Bt brinjal picks up
B Krishna Mohan
Business Standard, October 27 2008
Hyderabad - A campaign is gaining momentum against the introduction of genetically modified food crops, particularly Bt brinjal, the first-ever transgenic food crop, which is now undergoing trials.
The campaign titled 'I am no lab rat' initiated by Coalition for a GM - Free India, a network of farmers, consumer organisations, environmental and women’s rights organisations, aims at promoting an informed debate on genetically modified crops and foods in India.
The Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) is leading the campaign in Hyderabad. The CSA recently conducted a survey and found that just about 8 per cent of the people surveyed knew something about genetically modified products. Many seemed 'indignant' after knowing that the food they eat would be altered, informed Kavita Kuruganti of CSA.
The new transgenic varieties may threaten the existence of native varieties in India. The practitioners of Ayurveda have written to the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), the apex-body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, opposing introduction of Bt brinjal, which is widely used in making diabetes drugs.
In fact, there is a regulatory vacuum now in India. "The GEAC agreed to regulate the genetically modified products till the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India starts functioning. But that notification lapsed on September 30 this year and a fresh notification is yet to be issued," a volunteer pointed out.
The campaign is demanding testing by independent organisations on the effects of Bt brinjal on humans. The ‘I am no lab rat’ is asking other states to announce themselves free from genetic engineering as Uttarakhand did. Several villages in Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and others are declaring themselves GE-free, the CSA pointed out, adding that genetic engineering will de-skill farmers and erode their knowledge of the ecosystem.
The seed companies have a different version though. According to M K Sharma, GM, Mahyco, Bt brinjal will reduce chemical use on plants. “Bt brinjal provides continuous control of pest and beneficial insects are not affected. Cultivated brinjal cannot cross-pollinate wild species and therefore the impact on the latter would be minimal, if at all. Bt brinjal will have no impact on humans,” he stressed.