Thursday, September 17, 2009

Drive to awaken consumers from all walks of life

Traditional Inauguration - Baramagouda, Subhash Sharma, Subhash Mehta,Dr Claude Alvares, Sangita Sharma and Dr Ramakrishnappa

Greetings from "My Right to Safe food"

Both the South Asia Conference(SAC) at the UAS 10-11th Sept, Bangalore followed by the Organic Mela at Lalbagh, 12-13th Sept was a huge success. The feedback received from our own farmer participants, scientists, agronomists, consumers, NGO's and the visiting Third World Network foreign delegates from Malaysia, Bhutan, Nepal and host other countries took back with them the wealth of traditional knowledge techniques to overcome the current agrarian crisis created by the faulty policies of the government who are hand in glove with greed driven private and transnational companies.

Sharing and demonstration of our age old techniques by farmers from Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and more be it on conservation of seeds, to natural pest control measures to soil regeneration techniques was done with such ease by our Green Guardians zealously wishing to transform the mindsets of many more.

The number of new age farmers as in urban farmers wishing to indulge in these time tested methods was indeed very reassuring.

I am delighted to share that the two day seminar at UAS, we had the pleasure of traditional organic meals being served on both days to over 600 delegates. Not to forget, a millet indulged dinner was a great treat, cooked by the empowered farmer women from DDS. Interacting with them is always a joy.

The feedback received from the participants was encouraging. All organic ingredients/produce was outsourced from marginal farmers bringing a cheer as their relentless drive sure was paid off by an assured income, well worth all the weight in gold.

Then the two day "Organic Mela" at Lalbagh especially organised for consumers to broaden their awareness on the wide diversity that exists in our rich country. From varieties of traditional rice, to millets completely forgotten in our diets, to vegetables, grains and cereals were widely displayed and sold.

In so many years of being in the safe food movement, I have yet to see crowds of concerned consumers who were actually taking charge of their food by purchasing safe foods. But we need more consumers to wake up before it is too late....

This is only the beginning of providing marketing connects between marginal farmers and consumers without the middle man. It is truly gratifying that my mission to strive towards sustaining marginal farmers livelihoods is taking roots and with your timely support, I am sure we will continue in this endeavor.

In solidarity

Sangita Sharma

Please find below, the efforts of Green Peace to contact companies in India and asking them about their position on GM food. Based on their responses, they have classified them into two lists : a 'red' list and a 'green' list

The Green List: Companies in this list have assured us that they do not use genetically modified ingredients. We have confirmed this mostly through written declarations from companies and emails.

Interestingly"MTR Foods who was on the red list is now on the Green List as they have just declared they are GMO free. MTR is the only food company in India to have a comprehensive policy on GMOs. In an official response to Greenpeace, MTR Foods Ltd. stated, “We have a policy to use 100% natural ingredients and hence GM items are unacceptable.".

The Red List: Companies in this list may have products containing genetically modified ingredients. We have included them in the Red List after writing to them several times, following up with phone calls and several emails. This list includes:
Companies that have stated they would use genetically modified ingredients.
Companies that have responded to Greenpeace India, but have mentioned nothing
about their stand on using genetically modified ingredients. Companies that have not responded to Greenpeace India for over 45 days.
*It is possible that companies that have not responded are open to using GM
ingredients, unless they clarify otherwise. We alert consumers to keep an eye
out for their products.

Green List companies and Products

Pepsico India
Uncle Chips, Cheetos, Lays, Kurkure, Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Slice, Dukes,
ITC Foods
Kitchen's of India: Curry pastes, Strawberry and Mint Jam, Ready to Eat, Shredded
Mango Chutney; Aashirvaad Atta, Spices, Instant Mixes, Sunfeast biscuits, Sunfeast
Cookies, Mint-o, Candyman, Bingo
Ruchi Soya Industries
Mahakosh Oil, Ruchi Gold, Nutrela rice bran oil, Nutrela N'rich, Vanaspati, Bakery Fats Soya Foods
Dabur India
Dabur Chyawanprash, Hajmola, Pudin, Tomato Puree, Coconut Milk, Soups, Garlic
and Ginger Garlic Pastes, Real, Activ, Lemoneez, Glucose-D; Dabur Honey
Haldiram Foods
Mopleez Aloo Bhujia; Namkeens, Gulab Jamun, Soan Papdi, Kaju Katli, Besan Laddu;
Papads; Kala Khatta Squash, Cookies, Sherbets, Minute Khana, Pani Puri and Bhel
Puri, Chips, Baletos, Taka-tak, Whoopies, Royal Temptations, Gujarati Snacks, South
Indian Snacks

Red List companies and Products
AgroTech Foods
Sundrop Sunflower Oil, Crystal, Rath Vanaspati, Sudham (Mustard Oil), Act II Popcorn,
Healthy World (Dried Green Peas), Pudding Mix, Swiss Mix (Cocoa Mix)
Bambino Agro Industries
Vermicelli, Ada-Ada/Rice Ada, Soups, Namkeens, Sweets, Bambino Pasta, Instant
Mixes, Blended Spices
Bharti Enterprises
FieldFresh Vegetables, FieldFresh Fruits, FieldFresh Pre-cuts, Vegetable Noodle Mix,
Pizza Mix, Sambhar Mix, Green Chutney Mix
Britannia Industries
Tiger, Milkman, Good day, Daily Fresh Breads and Rusks, Cookies, Cakes, Butter, Dahi
Cadbury India
Dairy Milk, Five Star, Perk, Éclairs, Gems, Bournville, Celebrations, Cadbury Bytes,
Bournvita, Halls, Gums
Godrej Foods
Nutrine; Jumpin, Xs, Sofit (Soymilk), SmartCook Tomato Puree; Godrej Cooklite,
Godrej Oil and Godrej Vanaspati and Godrej Tea
Kellogg India
Kelloggs Corn Flakes
Hindustan Unilever
Brooke Bond, Lipton, Brooke Bond Bru, Kissan, Annapurna, Knorr; Kwality Walls
Nestlé India
Nestlé Everyday Whitener, Nestlé Slim Milk, Nestlé Dahi; Nescafe Classic, Milo,
Nestea, Maggi Noodles, Maggi Sauces, Maggi Pichkoo, Maggi Magic Cubes, Nestlé
Kit Kat, Nestlé Munch, Nestlé Bar-One, Polo, Nestlé Éclairs, Baby Foods: Cerelac,
Nestum, Lactogen.
Fresh Fruits; Fresh Vegetables; IQF Vegetables, Pickles, Jams, Tomato foods,
Squash, Fruit Drinks

Accidental contamination of non-GM crops may occur due to the polluting nature of
Genetically Modified crops. While this guide can provide a good basis for avoiding GM
food, the only guarantee is to stop the environmental release of GMOs.

All certified organic products are GM-free. No GM fruits, vegetables, or grains are sold in India as of today. However, there are 238 varieties of 56 GM crops (including 41 food crops) at different stages of trial across the country. The first genetically modified crop,

Bt Brinjal, is on the verge of approval. The scale of field trials of GM crops is so large and spread over, that there are huge possibilities of contamination of non-GM food crops.

The approval of a GM food crop would be a blow to the rights of the consumer to choose
safe food. Visit for an online version of this guide, and to know
what you as a consumer can do: get aware about GM foods and write to food companies
to demand GM-free foods.

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