Monsanto told to evict India by thousands of Indian farmers.

Monsantoprotest2Thousands of farmers and activists from across 20 states took to a demonstration in India calling for the eviction of from India. “, Quit India” and a call to reject the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill were the demands raised at the demonstration.

The has originated as a result of abandoning modified (GM) crops in Europe last month in the face of strong opposition to the technology that was harming its commercial interests.

The Coalition for GM- was instrumental in organizing the protest and a delegation of farmers and activists, presented a symbolic national flag made of non- for Dr. Singh to unfurl at the Red Fort on Independence Day.

“Cotton and the cloth made from indigenous cotton are a symbol of our ,” said Kavita Kuruganti of Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture. “Today, 93 per cent of the country’s cotton seed is controlled by . It is now in the hands of the Prime Minister to protect our seed sovereignty as well as our food, farms and freedom.”

joined the sit-in to express their solidarity with the coalition of about 250 civil society and farmers groups. BJP’s and Dharmendar Pradhan (members of the Agriculture Standing Committee); DMK MPs, including T.K.S. Elangovan, T.M. Selvaganapathi, K.P. Ramalingam, A.K.S. Vijayan and S. Thangavelu; and MDMK’s A. Ganesamurthi expressed their support and assured farmers that they would take up the issue in Parliament.

Chairman of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia said the panel had recommended that the BRAI Bill that provided for single-window clearance to GM technology should not be tabled in Parliament. The panel had opposed field trials of until a strong, revamped, multidisciplinary was in place. M.B. of the CPI(M) said the party backed the protestors’ demands

The -appointed Technical Experts Committee on GMOs recently recommended that there should not be any field trials of until gaps in the are addressed and pointed out the need for early risk assessment and chronic and trans-generational toxicity testing of GM products on humans, livestock, environment and biodiversity.

The Minister for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan, too, has expressed concern at field-testing of and has put on hold approvals given by the regulatory authority under her Ministry in view of a public interest litigation petition in the Supreme Court.

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