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News Flash! - Expert committee rigged! Aruja Reddy, the chairman of expert committee, concedes in public, that necessary tests were not done! Watch videos on CNN IBN - [1] [2]. Detailed post on the scandal by Devendar Sharma can be found here.

At least 10 reasons to say no to Bt-Brinjal – ACT NOW!

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Expert opinions, editorials, reports on Bt-Brinjal & GM-Foods

[Reference - IndiaGMInfo] The following are some of the letters and articles that have been sent to the Minister for Environment & Forests, in response to his call on October 15th 2009 for public feedback on Bt Brinjal and the EC2 report/clearance of this GMO in India

1. Prof Gilles-Eric Seralini, University of Caen, France
2. Prof Jack Heinemann, Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety, University of Canterbury, New Zealand : Part 1 and Part 2
3. Prof David Schubert, Cellular Neurobiology Lab, The Salk Institute of Biological Studies, USA
4. Dr Mae-Wan Ho, Institute of Science in Society (ISIS), UK: On Bt Cotton & Farmers' Suicides and On Mealy Bugs-the unfolding disaster on Bt Cotton
5. Jeffrey Smith, Director, Institute for Responsible Technology, USA

1. From Dr Pushpa M Bhargava, Supreme Court Nominee to the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee
2. From Dr Claude Alvares, Organic Farming Association of India: On contamination of native cultivars, impact on biodiversity, Appropriation and Privatisation of native cultivated varieties, Resistance to Bt crops, Impact on soils, Human safety trials, Lack of need for Bt Brinjal, Availability of better alternatives etc.
3. From Dr G V Ramanjaneyulu, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (Ph D, Agriculture Extension); Usha Kumari, Thanal (M Sc Agriculture Extension); Kapil Shah, Jatan Trust (M Sc Plant Breeding) and Satish Natarajan, Sahaja Samruddha (Organic Farmer): On environmental risk assessment of Bt Brinjal, on (lack of) relevance of the technology, On (lack of) transparent and accountable regulatory systems and on socio-economic impacts
4. From Kavitha Kuruganti, Kheti Virasat Mission: on the objectionable and unacceptable constitution of the EC2, some general points about Bt Brinjal evaluation, specific responses to EC2 report and on issues beyond biosafety, including questions on the need for Bt Brinjal
5. From Dr Sagari Ramdas, Director, ANTHRA: On no proof of safety regarding impacts of Cry1Ac, Bt Cotton and Bt Brinjal on animal deaths/illnesses
6. From Sreedevi Lakshmi Kutty, concerned and aware citizen from Mumbai: On general objections to the reductionist and one-dimensional acceptance of GMOs, on issues with regulatory decision-making and specific objections to EC2 report
7. From Aruljothi Mariappan, Ph.D scholar, Bacterial Genetics, Institute of Biology, Humboldt University, Berlin; Mahesh P P, Ph.D Scholar, Mycobacteria Research Group, Molecular Microbiology, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram; Dr Sundaramurthy Thimmaiah, Agriculture Scientist & Environmentalist, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu; Rajasekaran M., Graduate Student, International Organic Agriculture, Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences, University of Kassel, Germany; Krishna Kumar,Ph.D scholar, Institute for Neuro and Bioinformatics, University of Luebeck, Germany; Yuvasenthilkumar Ramalingam, Master in International Organic Agriculture, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore: combined response from all the six.
8. From Capt. Jai Narain Nishad, former Environment Minister, GoI
9. From Anupam Paul, Agriculture Scientist and Member, SATSA (West Bengal State Agriculture Technologists and Scientists Association)

1. "Bt-Brinjal, the way not to go": by Prof S Krishnaswamy, Biotech Professor in TN :
2. "Bt Brinjal Debate": by Srinivasan Ramani, New Delhi, Assistant Editor working with Economic and Political Weekly; also pursuing PhD in International Relations at Jawaharlal Nehru University 
3. "Bt Brinjals - the terrifying spectre of a brave new world": by Dr. Shyamala Shah who has a Masters in Microbiology from Department of Microbiology, University of Pune and a doctoral degree in Botany with special emphasis on Plant Biotechnology.
4. "Genetically contaminated food gets the green signal": by Dr Sameet who has PhD in Zoology and currently working on generating sequencing libraries for massively parallel sequencing using the SOLiD technology.
5: Bio-tech or Bio-terror – Absolute Truth Network : by Madhur Guaranga Dasa/Chandrashekhar Gani
6. Will you include Bt Brinjal in your diet?- By Struggling Bharat
7. An american blogger, on control of vegetables and seed market by Monsanto in US (including kitchen gardens)
8. Public HealthWatch blog: Press Release : JNU’s Centre for Community Health Warns Against Bt Brinjal Hazards
9. Blog on Bt-Brinjal and I am no lab rat campaign by Manmeet Singh Sabharwal, a management graduate from NMIMS, currently employed with Oracle
10. Different blog pieces of Dr Devinder Sharma :

1. Latha Jishnu, Business Standard: Who owns the eggplant?

1. Where is the science (Indiatogather): By Sujata Byravan
2. Bt Brinjal, a step towards disaster, By Praful Bidwai
3. Save Brinjals Save Ourselves – By K Saradamoni, A detailed article encompassing issues with Bt-Brinjal, Bt-cotton and food security
4. Genetically Engineered world”, by T J S George, famous writer and biographer :
5. “Bt. Brinjal: Symbol Of Corporate Hegemony”: By Rajkumar, Svaraj:
6. Trouble on the plate - By Dr Vandana Shiva
7. Food without Choice - By Dr Pushpa M Bhargava 
8. Bt brinjal can awaken a sleeping poison – By Dr. Suman Sahai  
9. The Truth about Bt Brinjal– By Dr K P Prabhakaran Nair  
10. Why a freeze on GM crops – by Dr Pushpa M Bhargava
11. Life in debt – By Sachin Kumar Jain
12. GM Brinjals will destroy Indian farmers – By Umendra Dutt
13. No state policy on transgenic food– By Nandkumar Kamat

1. Bt brinjal clearance ignored dissenters?
2. Green Signal for Bt Brinjal
3. Bt Brinjals in markets near you (Audio recording of Dr. Bhargava's interview with Down To Earth)
4. How Bt Brinjal was cleared” – Down to Earth article on the EC2
5. Bt Brinjal tests inadequate – How safe is it” - IBNLIVE video broadcast
6. Controversy continues over Bt Brinjal approval” - IBNLIVE video broadcast
7. New twist of controversy over commercial release of Bt Brinjal
8. Church of South India (CSI) opposing GM foods
9. There is scientific evidence to prove that GM crops have harmful effects
10. Soil in Wardha district deficient in 18 micronutrients: Study

Friday, December 18, 2009

Old Delhi Padyatra for Awareness on GM Foods - 17th Dec 09

This padayatra, i.e, journey on foot,was a collaborative effort of Zakir Hussain College and Youth for Safe Food. The main purpose of the walk was to create an informed debate on the issue of GM (Genetically Modified) foods, for the sake of ordinary citizens of India, to enable them to make informed and democratic choices about their food.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Padyatra for awareness against GM foods


In the light of the fact that India is standing on the verge of the Union Government’s permission being granted to the first Genetically Modified (GM) food crop in the country – Bt Brinjal – there is a more urgent need than ever to create an informed and democratic debate on this issue pertaining to all of us.

GM crops are created by the unnatural insertion of foreign genes into host DNA of a plant, which leads to numerous unpredictable changes that are potentially dangerous for health. There are a host of other concerns too, centred around this technology and its deployment in our food and farming systems. Bt Brinjal has been artificially created by insertion of a bacterial gene (Bacillus thuringiensis-Bt ) to produce a toxin 24X7 inside the plant to target one pest-the Brinjal Fruit & Shoot Borer (it has to be noted that while many pests and diseases attack the crop, this technology is claimed as a solution to one such pest).

All the decision-making on Bt Brinjal happened based on the crop-developer's (i.e. Monsanto/Mahyco's) data, without any independent and long term studies.  What's more, independent analyses of the crop developer's biosafety data concluded that this Bt Brinjal is unsafe and unfit for human consumption.

On the other hand, a majority of Indians are still not aware of fundamental changes being made to their food, their right to know what they are eating and to be able to make informed choices is at stake here. They would also not be able to distinguish between GM and non-GM foods because they will look the same.

It is in this context that a Lok Chetna Padayatra is being proposed. This padayatra, i.e, journey on foot, is a collaborative effort of Zakir Hussain College and Youth for Safe Food. The main purpose of the walk is to create an informed debate on the issue of GM (Genetically Modified) foods, for the sake of ordinary citizens of India, to enable them to make informed and democratic choices about their food. This is to invite you to join us in large numbers in this Padayatra.

Padayatra beginning point: Zakir Hussain College
Date: December 17, 2009; Time: 9.30 am

Nayani Nasa - +91-9999-778-674
Ankit Kumar - +919313-537-417

Friday, June 12, 2009

Join the Campaign for a GM Free India

Resist the conspiracy to turn all Indians laboratory rats of the multinational corporations. Protect the food, the seeds and ecology.
A few months ago, a nation-wide campaign opposing Genetically Modified (GM) crops, under the banner of  'I am no lab rat', was launched. GM food is created by taking genes from organisms like bacteria,  spiders, etc and forcibly inserting them into the genome of brinjals, potatoes, corn etc., so the vegetables develop certain new traits. Evidence linked GM with stunted growth, impaired immune systems and even inter-generational effects. Recent Australian government study reports [1 & 2] have also confirmed that GM foods affect fertility. Moreover, it's extremely difficult to honor the right of a farmer to stay away from GM. Segregation of a GM farm from (say) an organic one requires a good deal of spacing between them(due to cross-pollination), which is pretty hard to ensure in India. This directly translates to the breach of the consumer's right to choose the type of food they want (GM or non-GM).

The campaign's most pressing objective is to prevent the entry of Bt Brinjal in India, for which your help is indispensable. Bt-Brinjal, is the first ever Genetically modified food crop, available in the world for direct human consumption. Mind you, Bt Brinjal is not the only GM crop in the pipeline. In India, about 56 plants are being genetically modified including rice, potato, tuar, tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, bhindi etc. On October 14th 2009, the regulators1 of the Government of India have cleared Bt  Brinjal, for commercial cultivation. The Government of India is to now decide on its commercial release after holding consultations with all stakeholders in January and February 2010. To begin with, please sign an online petition here or use this pdf file as petition to e-mail/fax it to PM & MoEF (address in the end). Those interested in participating in this campaign can leave a comment here or e-mail us at .

The irony is that it is the same business players who have made and who continue to make profits out of chemical pesticides that talk about GM seeds today without closing down their chemical business which has already proved extremely damaging!!!
Today, they again claim that GM seeds will not harm any organism apart from the target pest. Do you want to believe them, knowing that this is in fact an irreversible technology with seeds having their own life and self-propagating ways in nature? Do you want to believe them given the fact its adverse impacts, which now requires a precautionary approach to such foods?

The inexorable movement of GM foods towards our plates has been happening without resolving fundamental questions – do we need GM crops at all especially when safer, more affordable and sustainable farming practices are available; how and where has their safety been proven conclusively; how can we trust our regulators to be working in the best interests of ordinary citizens when it has been proven time and again that they are ridden with conflicting interests, are unscientific and non-transparent in their functioning; how can decision-making happen based on the crop developer’s data without any independent research; why are a majority of countries around the world (many of those that have excellent scientific expertise) rejecting the technology while a few who have adopted it without an informed debate (like the USA) are trying to push it on others; what is the liability and redressal mechanism that is in place when things go wrong; why is there such a monopolistic stronghold on this technology in the hands of a few companies like Monsanto and what are the agri-business interests that are pushing this technology on all of us.

It will be the end of choice for us – you and I, if GM crops are allowed into the country. It is time to stand up for what is right for us and our children. Don’t you think it is your basic right to know what you are eating, and to consume safe food?

If you believe so, join us.
  • Assert that Indians are not lab rats. Assert your right to food choices & safe food
  • Join thousands of other concerned Indians in saying “i am no lab rat” and
  • Send a petition online to the prime minister of India (
More resources to refer:

IndiagminfoAID India Wiki on GM foods10 reasons to say no to Bt-Brinjal, Devendar Sharma’s Blog, GM Watch

Videos : Poison on the PlatterControlling our food