Jun 6, 2009

GM fire spreading in India

The fire has spread to the Ministry for Environment and Forests. Now, don't get me wrong. I am not talking about forest fires. I know this is the season -- dry and hot months of the summer -- for forest fires. There is another fire that is spreading throughout the country. Yes, you got it right. I am refering to the GM fire that Mahesh Bhatt has been talking about.

Mr Jairam Ramesh, the Minister for Environment and Forests, on June 5 told a delegation of the Coalition for GM Free India that he too has concerns on GM foods and stressed the need for a comprehensive policy level decision on GM foods. He also promised to hold an environment audit of the Bt cotton experience. The Minister had earlier said that he was not in favour of the commercialisation of Bt brinjal, a food crop, and the jury about its safety is still out.

Far away in Thriruvanthapuram, the Kerala Agricultural Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran, launched a State-wide programme to protect and conserve natural resources and food cultures. Terming it as a beginning of a new agriculture in Kerala, God's Own Country, that a network of 100 neighbourhood groups were being formed to to encourage sustainable agriculture and thereby protect fields, waterbodies and trees.

Speaking at the inaugural address at a conference organised on the occasion of the World Environment Day, the minister accused multinationals of promoting 'food terror' through Genetically Modified (GM) crops. "Corporate agenda should not be allowed to dictate agricultural practices and dietary habits," he was quoted as saying in a news report.

On June 7, Mahesh Bhatt is travelling to Jaipur to formally launch his documentary film Poison on the Platter in Rajasthan.

The GM fire is spreading. Despite Mahyco's efforts to create public opinion through media conferences in various cities, the opposition to GM foods is growing. In fact, the media too has now begun to understand the politics behind GM crops. In New Delhi, Thiruvantapuram, Bhubaneshwar and elsewhere, reports say that Mahyco representatives faced really tough questions resulting in abrupt ending of the press conferences.

1 comment:

Dr. Ernest Albert said...

Dont you think that it is time 'people'like Ambani's,(RELIANCE)also need to be told/informed in no uncertain terms that there is hardly any need for them to acquire thousand and thousand of agri-acres/hectares in almost all the states for the sake of SEZ/MSEZ and to expand/proliferate their plans which surely are anti-farmer,poor.
At many places in panjab where ever Reliance Fresh have opened and started selling vegetables and milk (???) the daily earnings of the petty sabzi,doodh wala have crashed from 3000/- per day to 800/-per day.Alas it is the middle class (women) who go there and buy these.Is'nt it strange that these nighty clad women who cajole n harrass the poor rehdi-wala for free dhania and hari mirchi,DO NOT GET THESE at Reliance Outlets yet they throng.
I just hope that Jairam Ramesh is able to turn
and direct GM fire at the Mahyco's lobby and back them off but by now we are aware of the double speak and chamelion acts of our politicians.Guess you have to do this tasking also, to educate and supply enough material to the 'media' who, mind you, does'nt do its homework well...they have become so sure,smug and almost arrogant in doing stories about "India Shining".They never ask,"HOW I WONDER WHAT YOU ARE" they only see the 'stars twinkling".Many thanks once again for'waking' this layman and others to GM fires.