Farmer representatives have urged the Odisha state government to write to the central government to protest against the approval of GM mustard in the country
EXCERPT: Representatives of six farmer outfits said Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, and Maharashtra have been affected badly after failure of Bt cotton. "We don't [want] it to happen in Odisha," they added.
Farmers rally against GM mustard
The Times of India, 22 Aug 2016
Bhubaneswar: Farmer representatives on Sunday urged the [Odisha] state government to write to the Centre against approval of genetically modified (GM) mustard crop in the country.
Speaking at a state-level meeting on the ill-effects of GM crop on health and environment, co-convener of Coalition for GM-free India Kavitha Kuruganti said the state government had acted proactively against Bt brinjal in 2009-10 by expressing its concern to the Centre. "We want immediate intervention of the state government in the case of GM mustard as the Centre would take a decision on this soon," she added.
The anti-GM crop campaigner said this crop is not in the best interest of small and marginal farmers. "The bio-tech companies, which have the patents for production of GM crop seeds, will rule the market. It will pose a threat to indigenous and traditional seeds of the country," she added. Kuruganti said she had filed an RTI application before the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), a central regulator on biotech, to get information regarding this crop, but it refused to share any information as it was in the process of reviewing the data.
Representatives of six farmer outfits said Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Maharashtra have been affected badly after failure of Bt cotton. "We don't [want] it to happen in Odisha," they added.
Saroj Mohanty of Paschim Odisha Krushak Sangathan, a farmers' body, said they will mobilize farmers and college students to oppose the crop at the grassroots level. "We don't want to lose the originality of our traditional crops. So we will not allow GM mustard," he added.
He said the crop would not only affect the environment, but also affect reproductive health, immunity and disease-resistance capacity of the people.