Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Sarson Satyagraha to Demands Safe Food and Right to Live

By 121 News

Chandigarh 11th July:- The Civil Society organizations and common people of Chandigarh Union Territory, today organized a candle light vigil against the possible launch of GM Mustard and the open field trails of Herbicide Tolerant maze in the country. A large number of people joined the Vigil held at sector 17 under the banner of Sarson Satyagraha Samiti, Punjab. 

Sarson Satyagraha Samiti, Punjab a broad platform of likeminded organizations representing farmers, consumers, scientists and others that has been at the forefront of resisting the approval of GM mustard in India has demanded reversal of the green signal provided by GEAC to herbicide tolerant GM mustard. 

GEAC has proven yet again that it is unscientific and uncaring with regard to citizens' health and environment. They have failed in their very mandate and purpose for which they have been created, to protect citizens from risks of GMOs. Earlier in the case of Bt brinjal too, they behaved irresponsibly and shamelessly unscientific. In this case, it is a hazardous herbicide tolerant food crop at that, which has direct implications for a large number of Indian farmers, agricultural workers and consumers.

We hope and urge Minister DR Harshvardhan to be responsible in his decision-making - this GM mustard should be rejected just a Bt brinjal was, 7 years ago. At least he should fulfill the mandate of his Ministry, even if the regulators did not. He should uphold BJP's election manifesto promise that GM foods will not be allowed without full scientific evaluation on the long-term effects on soil, production and biological impact on consumers. This is exactly what was not done by the regulators in their evaluation, whereas the little amount of testing done, and the very nature of the GMO points to serious problems in store if GM mustard is approved. We urge the Minister to simply reject HT mustard commercialization", said the 'Sarson Satyagraha Samit'i in a brief statement.

On this occasion Umendra Dutt, Sanjeev Sharma, Professor Manjeet Singh and advocate Pankj Jain addressed the participants on this issue.

Nacchatar Singh Baidwan, District Press Secretory BKU lakkhowal said that claims of GM Crops have never been proved true-it is a mere conspiracy to snatch the seeds from the farmers. Our organisation will oppose all attempts to bring GM Mustard.

Umendra Dutt of KVM said that mustard is an important part of our food in Punjab. Sarson Saag of Punjab is a world renowned dish of Punjab. If GM Mustard is permitted to be grown (ignoring all dangers) it will open the Pandora box of long list of other crops waiting permission. Super weeds are already becoming a great threat in the countries where GM Crops are grown on big scale.

Eminent Yoga Instructor Sanjeev Sharma said GM Crops including GM Mustard and HT Maze are a grave danger to human health, animal health, microbial health, environment and biodiversity. Excessive use of herbicides can damage immunity, cause kidney-liver-brain damage, cause cancer and damage reproductive system. Chronic and incurable diseases are attaining an epidemic proportion. Punjab has already become a state of sick people. The major cause is the excessive and irrational use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers and herbicides. Our air, water, soil and food chain is already full of toxins. Bringing in GM Mustard will further worsen the already grim situation.

Advocate Punkaj Jain said that the biggest objection of Sarson Satyagrah is that all data pertaining to field trials is being kept secret. It is neither on their web sites nor is being given under RTI. Refusal to make the data and studies public creates a serious doubt about the intentions of companies and the regulators

Professor Geeta Arora said, a large number of Scientists are opposing the GM Crops across the world on strong scientific basis. So we urge the Govt to not to allow the commercial cultivation of GM Mustard and Herbicide Tolerant maze in the country. 

Professor Manjeet Singh Said that in the view of these dangers, the organizations of Punjab associated with Sarson Satyagreh will submit a memorandum addressed to Captain Amrinder Singh- Chief Minister Punjab and Dr. Harashvardhan-Union minister of Forest, Environment and Climate change through Mayor of Chandigarh.