13 Indian states say NO to Bt brinjal
2.VJAS urged Maharashtra CM to oppose Bt brinjal
NOTE: The farmers group VJAS which is at the very epi-centre of India's cotton farmer suicides, is begging the Indian Government not to approve another Bt crop. (item 2)
EXTRACT: "Vidarbha Jan Adolan Samiti (VJAS) president Kishor Tiwari in a letter to Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan has urged him to take in to account the complete failure of Bt.cotton in more than 3.2 million hector in Maharashtra this year where state Govt. has officially declared drought due to crop failure.
...It is officially confirmed that this year American seed company Monsanto has arranged for illegal trials of Bt. brinjal as they did for Bt. cotton in 2002-2003 through it's counterpart in Indian Mahyco-Monsanto, and Bt.brinjal is being sold in Maharashtra without any permission" Tiwari alleged. (item 2)
1.13 states tell Centre they will have none of Bt brinjal
DNA, February 8 2010
New Delhi: With just three days left for the government to announce its decision on the commercial use of genetically modified Bt brinjal in the country, 13 chief ministers have officially conveyed to the Centre that they don’t want their farmers to grow the crop.
The strongest response has come from Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal. He has not only banned Bt brinjal in his state, but urged the Centre to follow suit.
The road ahead for Bt brinjal has also become difficult because states that have almost 75% share in the country's brinjal crop have categorically refused to grow the genetically modified variety.
Although the government is aware of the growing criticism, it is expected to announce its decision by the middle of this week after environment and forest minister Jairam Ramesh gets viewpoints of scientists and the general public. Wide-ranging public discussions were held on the contentious issue. "We would be able to take a decision on February 10," Ramesh said.
Environment ministry officials said, West Bengal that contributes 30% of the brinjal crop in the country, has already told the Centre that it doesn’t want its farmers to grow the genetically modified version of the crop.
Same is the case with Orissa (that contributes 20% of the total yield), Bihar (11%), Andhra Pradesh (6%) and Karnataka (4%). All these states have written letters to the Centre conveying their decision not to grow Bt brinjal.
"Public consultations are mandated in the Cartagena Protocol to which India is a signatory. The environment minister is right in setting a precedent like this. He had faced opposition from the agriculture minister and science and technology minister on the issue," Kavitha Kuruganti of Kheti Virasat Mission said.
At all the public discussions held in the country starting from Kolkata on January 13, the environment minister has faced stiff resistance against the crop.
Apart from facing heated arguments in Kolkata and Bangalore, the minister was welcomed with burning effigies at other places where public consultations were held.
The governments of Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan have also officially conveyed to the Centre their decision not to grow Bt brinjal in their states.
2.VJAS urged Maharashtra CM to oppose Bt Brinjal
Narendra, 7 February 2010
Nagpur: The result of more than 10,000 farm suicides of cotton farmers after introduction of Bt.cotton in Maharashtra since June 2005, which has been termed as farm suicide capital, of the nation, asked Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan to oppose the Govt. of India proposal to grant sanction to the commercial production of another Bt. crop. The majority of chief ministers had come out against the commercialization of Bt Brinjal.
The environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh is scheduled to announce his decision on Feb 10 in New Delhi on the recommendation of the Genetically Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), a statutory authority set up under the Environment Protection Act of 1986.
"A majority of chief ministers have written to me on the issue have opposed the introduction of Bt brinjal," Ramesh told media that include West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
"I have got response from the major brinjal cultivating states. About 60 percent of brinjal in India is cultivated in West Bengal (30 percent), Orissa (20 percent) and Bihar (10 percent). All these states have opposed its introduction and Tamil Nadu, its chief secretary told me on phone that his state too was opposed to the commercialisation of Bt Brinjal," Ramesh said.
India produces about eight million tonnes of brinjal per annum in 2,400 varieties. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu account for 20 percent collectively.
Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh have not yet responded states which are consuming more than 40% brinjal in India hence, there say is too important to take final decision.The GEAC made a recommendation Oct 15, 2009 that Bt Brinjal should be commercialised.
Vidarbha Jan Adolan Samiti (VJAS) president Kishor Tiwari in a letter to Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan has urged him to take in to account the complete failure of Bt.cotton in more than 3.2 million hector in Maharashtra this year where state Govt. has officially declared drought due to crop failure.
The tall claims made by Monsanto, American seed company regarding the pest resistance and production turned to be futile and farmers have already lost more than Rs.5000 crore due to crop failure, hats clearly indicate the disastrous impact of killer seed in cotton-belt of Maharashtra.
It is officially confirmed that this year American seed company Monsanto has arranged for illegal trials of Bt.brinjal as they did for Bt. cotton in 2002-2003 through it's counterpart in Indian Mahyco -Monsanto and Bt.brinjal is being sold in Maharashtra without any permission" Tiwari alleged.
"It is claimed that GM brinjal contains a foreign gene, cry1Ac, derived from a soil bacterium, bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). This gene synthesizes a protein toxic to the fruit and shoot borer (FSB), a destructive insect pest. Its incorporation into brinjal is said to confer the crop `built-in' resistance to FSB, reducing reliance on spraying pesticides, same claim was made for Bt. cotton but it failed miserably hence feedback of massive failure of Bt.cotton in Maharashtra should be taken in to consideration before the final decision is taken in this regard," Tiwari said.
"Issue of Vidarbha innocent cotton farmers genocide after introduction of Bt.cotton in this region is very important and one cant ignored this serious aspect when we talk about food security and food safety hence opposition to Bt. brinjal from mahrashtra is must and state Govt. should not work under pressure from agriculture minister Sharad Pawar who is very close to American GM seed leader Monsantro "Tiwari added.