EXCERPT: "...the effects of this technology on agriculture, farmers, environment and human health has not been properly evaluated'' - Agriculture scientist Dr Debashish Banerj, who was among the panelists at the public hearing attended by about 500 farmers
Wilting of Bt cotton in MP [Madhya Pradesh], farmers demand ban on companies Kerala, 14 Nov 2005
Bhopal: The genetically modified Bt cotton crops in over two lakh acre area in Nirmar region in western Madhya Pradesh suffered partial or complete wilting causing a loss of more than Rs 400 crores, the affected farmers said today.
The farmers, who held a public hearing last month at Kukshi in Dhar district, urged the state government to ban multi-national Monsanto and other companies which sold Bt cotton seeds in the state and sought compensation.
Several varieties, which had been banned in Andhra Pradesh for similar reasons, had been allowed to be marketed in Madhya Pradesh.
''Instead of banning these varieties, the state government gave extension to these companies for another three years'', Mr Mohanlal Patidar, President of Kukshi Mandi Samiti, told reporters today.
''The 'banned' varieties were causing huge losses to the farmers in MP, the state government should have been vigilant and banned it'', said Agriculture scientist Dr Debashish Banerji, who was among the panelists at the public hearing attended by about 500 farmers.
''The experience of the farmers of Nimar has shown that there is an urgent need to review the genetically modified technology as the effects of this technology on agriculture, farmers, environment and human health has not been properly evaluated'', Dr Banerji said.
During the public hearing, a health report presented by Mr Amulya Nidhi showed that Bt cotton was causing severe to moderate allergy to people coming in contact with it.