Sunday, January 31, 2010

Note - National Consultation on Bt Brinjal in Bangalore on 06 February, 2010

Greetings from " My Right to Safe Food"

Please read below, mark this crucial date as we need to ensure that we all gather with the same gusto, drawing inspiration from the roaring success of the public consultations already taken place in 6 States.

Source -
After hearing a large number of farmers, social activists, scientists, doctors, representatives of NGOs and farmers and consumer organisations for more than two-and-a-half hours (a majority of them arguing against Bt brinjal and GM crops), Mr. Jairam Ramesh said he would announce his decision on the first GM food crop in the country on February 10.

“My decision won’t be influenced by any quarter, including scientists, NGOs, agriculture universities or Monsanto. Neither is there any pressure from the PMO nor the Prime Minister. My decision will be fair and judicious, and will be based purely on the outcome of consultations,” he said.

I am sure Mr Jairam Ramesh will stand to his word by not only being fair and judicious but a Wise and Just Minister, doing our Nation proud.

In solidarity

Sangita Sharma
Dear Sir / Madam,

Sub: National Consultation on Bt Brinjal at Bangalore on 06 February, 2010.

This has reference to the subject mentioned above and our previous communications to your office.

The above consultation has been scheduled as per the details below:


06 February, 2010


10:00am to 2.00pm
Jnana Jyoti Auditorium
Central College Campus
Palace Road, Near Mysore Bank
Bangalore - 560 001

We request you to circulate this information among the various groups/stakeholders regarding this programme. For more information about this programme kindly visit our website URL

Thanking you,

Ishwar C. Poojar
Programme Coordinator

> Centre for Environment Education
> #143, Kamala Mansion
> Infantry Road, Bangalore- 560 001
> Ph: 080-22869094/22869907/22868037/39
> Fax: 080-22868209
> e-mail:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

National Day of Fast - Mahatma Gandhiji's anniversary

Bangalore activity

Date - 30th Jan 2010

Venue - Mahatma Gandhi statue on MG Road opp Cubbon Park. Police permissions have been granted, thanks to Green Peace.

Most of us gather from concerned consumers, youth, farmers, and more station ourselves there. Please download and wear badges attached.

Timings - 3.30pm to 6.30pm

Message - FAST, a peaceful silent protest and we ensure the seriousness of a fast.

Green Peace will carry a few masks of ears and eyes that relays the message "we are listening and we are watching" we will not be subjected to toxic food!

Power to heal our Planet is with us. Victory of safeguarding this diverse heritage is ours. Come join in - Let us show our solidarity.

For those who cannot attend may i request you all to wear the badges, take photographs in your own environments schools, offices etc or wherever and send it to

Can anyone organise a shaminana??? Please revert urgently. Banners, posters can be displayed so that onlooking passers get the message too.

Please do not hesitate to contact anyone of us for further information.
Sangita Sharma - - 9448068347

Pavitra prasan - My Right to Safe Food - 9632680564

Bhakti - Green Peace - 9663655664

Krishna Prasad - (Sahaja Samrudha)9880862058

Mr Babu & Gayathri -Icra - - 080 - 25283370

Mr Jayaram - Era Organics - 9900911777

Manjunath - Samvada - 080 27276090
We look forward to seeing many of you

In solidarity

Sangita Sharma

------------------------------------------------------------------------ - Only 717 names appear on the website here whereas we know that many more are joining the fast, when we circulated this to a wide network, The interest shown by so many does not seem to reflect the same. We seem to have all lost the fire but please remember this is our last chance to protect our food sovereignty and let us unite and make the best of it.

Please forward it to your friends and circulate widely in all lists.

Sign up for fast or to light a candle | Why Save Brinjal | Why the National Day of Fast? | | Locations for Jan 30 Fast

Thousands of people all over India and the world are joining the National Day of Fast on Jan 30th - Gandhiji's anniversary. From Kerala to Delhi and Bengal to Gujarat in Inda, and Baton Rouge to Boston in the US (see list of events/locations below), they are opposing the introduction of genetically modified (GM) Bt Brinjal into the Indian markets. GM foods like Bt brinjal pose a large threat to health, agriculture and environment, and they need to be strongly opposed in order to preserve farmers' self-reliance and control over seeds and agriculture, and protect the consumers' access to safe healthy food.

You can take part in the National Day of Fast from wherever you are, from home or office or street! Please click on to sign up for the fast or lighting a candle.

More than 500 people have already joined online, in addition to the thousands who cannot access the web but plan to join on the street. Consumers, scientists, medical community, public servants, and even government agencies are joning at this historic juncture. It is your turn to join the effort to protect all our food.

Bt Brinjal is made by inserting a toxin-producing gene from the Bt bacteria into the brinjal plant. India is the first country where the seed companies are trying to introduce Bt brinjal, and indeed the first time a directly consumed vegetable is being modified. Animals grazing in Bt cotton fields have died or faced serious illnesses, and introducing this technology into our own food is very risky for health, bio-safety and environment.

Groups organizing fasts and candle light vigils to Stop Bt Brinjal in various towns and cities have sent us their locations that are appended below. If you plan to organize a gathering on jan 30 please send an email to aidsite@gmail .com to be listed on the site with the rest of the locations.

The site is carrying daily updates of the evolving response to BT Brinjal through National Consultations and actions prior to Jan 30 as well. Several state governments representing the bulk of the brinjal growing states have already decided to say no to Bt Brinjal.

Sign up for fast or to light a candle | Why Save Brinjal | Why the National Day of Fast?

Locations for Jan 30 Fast
Last updated on Jan 25, 2010, 5:30 PM IST

[We have received interest in solidarity fast/vigil actions from International locations; we highly encourage the same and request all International locations to send details about their vigils].


Fast in public places in following cities -- VADODARA, AHMEDABAD, RAJKOT, BHAVANAGAR AND BHUJ
CONTACT Kapil Shah at Jatan Trust Phone: 0091-265-2371429 E-MAIL:

Andhra Pradesh:

Farmers and pastoralists who are members of the Mahila Brathukuderuvu Sangham and Mekala-Gorrela Pempakadharlu Sangham of Medak District - will be fasting on 30th Jan 2010- at Narsapur and Narayankhed Taluka. (They will join the ongoing relay-hunger strike in Telangana region with the additional issue of saying "We do not want Bt Brinjal" in Telangana, and the rest of the country).
Farmers and Pastoralists will be fasting on 30th Jan 2010 at Kalahasthi, Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh.
Adivasi Aikya VEdika- a platform for Adivasi Peoples organisations in Telangana and Andhra regions- will be fasting on 30th Jan 2010 at the following regions: Adilabad, Khammam, East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam
Contact for above: Sagari R Ramdas E-mail:

Run against BT Brinjal on Jan 30 at NTR Gardens and Necklace Rd in Hyderabad.

12 districts will observe the National day of Fast: Baripada, Sundargarh, Malkangiri, Phulbani, Koraput, Nayagarh, Nuapada, Bargad, Jagatsinghpur, Ganjam, Sambalpur, and Kendrapada. Dr Damodar Rout, State Agriculture Minister, has agreed to join in the fast in Bhubaneswar. The organizers of the two day National Convention on Peace , Non Violence and Communal Harmony on the 30th and 31st January at BBSR are seriously thinking to give a call their delegates to participate in this fast .

Contact: Jagannath at Phone: 0674-2430176


Jantar Mantar/Raj Ghat

Contact: Selva 9891358457 Arun Raj: 099-109-08774.

Maharashtra, the fast will include a very significant place:

Bapu Kuti, Sewagram, Wardha - the contact person is Nitin Mate - 093-721-56005

Madhya Pradesh:

Polytechnic Chowk, Near Gandhi Bhavan (Syamala Hills), Bhopal.

The contact persons would be Garima Verma: 099-813-04669 and Nilesh Desai: 094-253-29222

Bihar, the fast venues are:

Patna: Near Gandhi statue, Gandhi maidan,Patna
Muzaffarpur: Shahid Khudi Ram Bose smarak Campus,Company Bagh,Muzaffarpur

Contact person: Pankaj Bhushan - 094-702-30999


At Sulthan Battery, Wayanad and in Thrissur

Also at Trivandrum, where environmentalist and farmers organisations, and people from all sector will join for the fast. In solidarity there will be fasts in other districts as well.

To know more, please contact Sridhar R - 09995358205, Usha S - 09447022775 /

Uttar Pradesh:

Fast is going to be organized in 5 districts , Lucknow, Sidhharth nagar, Gorakhpur, Fateh Pur and Jalaun with Hamara Beej Abhiyan.To know more, please contact

Utkarsh Kumar Sinha - CSR/ INSAF, I nd floor, /205,Vivek Khand Gomti Nagar, Lucknow 226010
+91 99357 36877 -

West Bengal:
At the Kolkata Book Fair, Hall Number 1, Stall No. 20 (The Earthcare Books Stall). The Kolkata Book Fair (Boi Mela) will be at the Milan Mela ground opposite Science City in Kolkata. Contact:


In Thiruvaroor, Farmers, expectedly about 2000 mainly from the districts of Tanjavur, Thiruvaroor and Nagapattinam, would join on a Fast led by Dr Nammalvar. There would also be a call given to all families in the district to undertake a solidarity fast, wherever they are.

Contact : R Jayaraman, CREATE :09443320954

Sheelu Francis of TN Women's Collective and FEDCOT (federation of consumers organisations) are together organising the hunger fast in the following districts: Chennai, Kancheepuram, Vellore, Thiruvannamalai, Salem, Madurai, Theni / Dindhugal, Tutucorin, Thirunelveli, Kanyakumari. Apart from joining these events, SFA is organising a relay rally across Chennai city. (The current plan is to carry brinjals on push carts / bamboo baskets / cycles (with signs) in the rally from several points across the city all ending at the beach where we plan to have some kind of a culminating event. The plan is still evolving and we wil post more information when plans firm up.)
Contact: Sangeetha

If you or your group is organizing a fast please inform to be listed here.



Monday, January 18, 2010

A resounding No to Bt Brinjal across the country by Devinder Sharma

It was a busy and triting day today. A strong and loud verdict against Bt brinjal came from three cities across the country. First, at the 2nd National Consultation held at Bhubaneshwar in Orissa, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, announced that with the State saying a loud and clear No to Bt brinjal, more than 60 per cent of the brinjal growing areas of the country -- Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa -- have formally rejected genetically modified brinjal.

I will bring you a report of the Bhubaneshwar event tomorrow.

But first let me share with you two more Bt brinjal events that happened in Hyderabad (in Andhra Pradesh) and in Baroda (Gujarat). My colleague Dr Ramanjaneyulu of the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture was at a meeting organised by the AP University for Agriculture. he tells me that the AP Agricultural University has formally opposed the introduction of Bt brinjal, and also called for an 8 year moratorium on Bt brinjal. This is encouraging indeed, and it is probably for the first time that agricultural scientists have come out openly against the GM technology.

I however would like to draw your attention to the report that Dr Ramanjaneyulu has sent me. I am pasting it below, and you will be amused to read about the role played by IARI scientists in promoting Bt brinjal. in fact, IARI is becoming a centre of national shame the way it unabashedly is promoting the commercial interests of the biotechnology companies. I hope Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar is reading this. But I do not expect Sharad Pawar to take any cognisance of what his scientists are doing, because he too is pushing for an unwanted technology at the cost of farmers.

Meanwhile, I was in Baroda today, and had a long day. Starting with a preparatory meeting, followed by a press conference, I joined a silent march taken by concerned citizens in the city today culminating in submission of a memorandum addressed to the President and Prime Minister. The memorandum was presented to the Collector of the distroct, and he promised to forward it to the top functionaries. This peaceful march, organised by the Baroda-based NGO Jatan along with several volunteers, attracted a lot of attention from shopkeepers and onlookers.

I was particularly very happy to see the involvement of the people. A lot of women, men and young students joined this rally, and this gives me strength and hope. When people take control over what they should eat, I am sure the industry and the agricultural scientists will behave.

And now, take a look at the report from Hyderabad:

Finally AP Government says no to Bt Brinjal. Today a meeting was organised by Acharya NG Ranga University and AP Horticulture University with farmers unions, farmers, NGOs and other concerned people on the decision on bt brinjal. Earlier, Govt had appointed a three member expert committee with two vice chancellors Dr. Raghava Reddy of Agri. University and Dr. Shikamani of Horticulture University and Sri. Pankaj Diwedi, IAS, Agri Production Commissioner.

The committee has unanimously recommended to State govt that Bt brinjal is not needed as there are several good varieties already under cultivation and the safety issues are still under question and all the studies need to be done again against best varieties and technologies.

In today's meeting Dr. Anandkumar (of IARI New Delhi) made a "wonderful" presentation obviously expressing his intent to sell bt brinjal and made my job easier to say these men are the regulator (Several people including a scientist from agri university said he looked more like a salesman than a scientist or a regulator).

All the leaders from farmers unions dismissed the claims by Dr. Anandkumar and said they have seen several problems with bt cotton. The farmers from several districts also raised the issues very well.

Prof Purushottam Reddy opened the discussion saying environment concerns are more imp than yield or any thing else. AP Rytusangam (both CPI and CPM), AP Shepherds union, Telugu Rytu, AP kisan cell said completely NO. CIFA representative,who earlier on many occassions opposed bt cotton/bt brinjal, said technology should not be opposed just because it is developed by MNCs if it has problems we need to do proper testing.

I could get some 15 min times after lunch for my presentation.

Surprise came with Vice Chancellor of Horticulture university who said there is no need for such technologies in brinjal. He said we should have a clear Environment Risk Assessment system in place and test against and do proper risk assessment if a relevance is established in any case. Both vice chancellors requested farmers unions to give in writing to Jairam Ramesh which will strengthen their report.

Posted By Devinder Sharma to Ground Reality at at 1/16/2010 11:03:00 PM

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Public stakeholder meet in Bangalore is now on 25th Jan, 2010

Greetings from "My Right To Safe Food"

Our Fate of Food lies in our hands - We have the Power to heal our Planet
Come join us, before it is too late
SAY NO TO Bt Brinjal : SAY NO to Release of Genetically Modified Crops in India

Participate in the Public Consultation on Bt Brinjal to be held by Shri. Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests (i/c)

Saturday, 25th January 2010, 10.30 am - 2.00 pm, Good Shepherd Auditorium, Prof. Ashirvatham Circle, Residency Road - Museum Road Junction, Opposite St.Joseph's PU College, Bangalore 560 025

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) include crops that are modified by inserting gene/s from any other organism - plant, animal or microorganism. Such modification is undertaken on the presumption that it would enhance desirable properties or create new favourable characteristics. In agriculture, a major part of this technology is deployed to evolve resistance to specific diseases or pests or allow greater use of chemical herbicides for weed control.

In India, GM technology has been employed in cultivation of Bt Cotton which claims enhanced resistance to attacks by bollworm. This has been done by using a gene of Bacillus thurengensis, a soil bacterium, and inserting it into Cotton plant. Now a similar technique is promoted for Brinjal cultivation, where the inserted gene makes the genetically modified Bt Brinjal plant to produce a toxic protein to attack a specific pest – stem and fruit borer [Leucinodes orbonalis (Guen.)]. In India, commercial release of Bt Brinjal has been approved following a controversial and unscientific decision on 14th October 2009 by Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), the regulatory authority for transgenic crops set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Release of GMOs is also a matter of litigation in the Supreme Court and Parliamentarians have warned of devastating consequences to farmers and consumers in India. As a result, the Indian Environment and Forests Minister Mr. Jairam Ramesh has been forced to withhold the approval subjecting a final decision to a series of public consultations across India. These consultations will now form the basis to decide whether GMO foods, like Bt Brinjal, should at all be released into India. This would constitute the first ever release of GMO food in India.

There is extensive evidence demonstrating that GM crops and foods cause adverse impacts on human and animal health, and also on the environment. In addition, it seriously compromises farmers’ and consumers’ socio-political and economic rights and also cultural norms. Experts warn that Genetically Modified crops, especially of food, significantly increase health risks, cause crop failures, contribute to loss of agricultural and natural biodiversity, and seriously erode livelihood choices.

With such unprecedented risks before us, the Public Consultation to be held by India's Environment Minister is probably your only chance to voice your concern against the introduction of GMO foods - such as Bt Brinjal. Not only will this help you understand more about what will be your future menu, but also assess the risks that you and your family will expose you to.

Exercise your democratic right and assert your right to safe and wholesome food by taking part in this consultation.

Right to safe choices of what you eat lies with you.

This is your only chance to decide against allowing GMO foods in India.

Don't let Multinational Corporations nor policy makers dictate what you should eat in your Life

Do come with your family and friends to the Public Consultation.

Spread the word to as many people in your network —people you know or those you can reach out to—about Bt brinjal and its very significant risks to our health, environment and our economy.

For more information log on to: - for All information on GM in India; - for all campaigns related information for GM free India; - for information on GM GM activities in Karnataka; - for My Right to Safe food campaign ; - for information on GM in India; Resource on Safe Food

Endorsed by
Sangita Sharma, Director, Annadana Soil and Seed Savers, Ishana, Gopathi Farms,Village Singapura, Post Vidyranyapura Bangalore- 560097 Cell- +91 9448068347

Juli and Vivek Cariappa, Krac-a-Dawna Organic Farm, H.D.Kote Taluk 571121, Karnataka, e-mail,0r

Kavitha Kuruganti, Kheti Virasat Mission,Jaitu, Faridkot dist., Punjab,Phone: +91-9393001550;

G.Krishna Prasad, Sahaja Samrudha,,'Nandana', No-7, 2nd Cross, 7th Main, Sulthanpalya, Bangalore-560 037.Phone: 080-23655302 / 9880862058

Bhargavi S. Rao/Leo F. Saldanha, Environment Support Group,1572, 36th Cross, Ring Road,Banashankari II Stage,Bangalore 560085. Tel: 91-80-26713559-61, Email: /,Web:

Nagesh Hegde, Mytri Grama, Sulikere Post, Kengeri Hobli Bangalore-560060 ,Cell 9901902402, WLL (080) 22739757Beluru Sudarshana, Freelance Journalist,

Manjunath H, Programme Associate, Samvada - Baduku College, Bangalore Tel:9480330652

Ponnambalam, Create, Kanyakumari Jilla, Consumer Protection Center, 22,Pavalar Nagar,Beach Road,Nagerkoil. 629002 Tel:04652-221235®,220074(O), 09443482599

Usha and Sridhar Radhakrishnan, Thanal, H-3, Jawahar Nagar,Kowdiar, Thiruvananthapuram-3, Kerala Ph : 944702277

Sangeetha Sriram, SAFE FOOD ALLIANCE, c/oDr.Natarajan

75, Paper Mills Road, Perambur, Chennai 600011Ph: 94440-07649R.Selvam, Pudu Nilavu Food Forest,Thalavu Malai,Arachalur, Erode District,Tamil nadu,638 101 09443663562

Tamil nadu Organic Farmers Feederation,Thalavumalai,Arachalur,Erode District,Tamil nadu.

Contact: R.Selvam,, 09443663562

Sejal, Association for India's Development – Bangalore Chapter,

S.Kannaiyan, 9444989543. for South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements. Panakahally post, Thalavady via, Sathyamangalam taluka, Erode district. 638 461

Rajesh Krishnan, Greenpeace – Bangalore.


Sangita Sharma

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

National Consultations on Bt Brinjal in January 2010 - CEE website

CEE, on behalf of Ministry of Environment and Forests, will be holding National Public Consultations on Bt Brinjal in January 2010 in 7 locations.

Detailed Schedule and Contacts

Location Date

Kolkata 13 January 2010
Bhubaneswar 16 January 2010
Ahmedabad 19 January 2010
Hydrabad 22 January 2010
Bangalore 23 January 2010
Nagpur 27 January 2010
Chandigarh 30 January 2010

CEE Coordination Team:
Mr. Atul Pandya/Mr. Ramesh Savalia, CEE, Ahmedabad
Boardline numbers: 079 – 26844002-09
Direct lines: 079 – 26844745, 26844746, 079 – 65257772

About Bt Brinjal: Bt Brinjal is a transgenic brinjal created out of inserting a gene [cry 1Ac] from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into Brinjal. This is said to give the Brinjal plant resistance against lepidopteran insects like the Brinjal Fruit and Shoot Borer (Leucinodes orbonalis) and Fruit Borer (Helicoverpa armigera). Bt Brinjal has generated much debate in India. The claims are that Bt Brinjal is on one hand is seen as beneficial to small farmers, more insect resistant, low cost seeds make it affordable, retains Indian cropping patterns of save and re-use for seeds etc. On the other hand, the criticism against Bt Brinjal stems from the experiences with Genetically Modified crops in general in India, bio-engineered food related health hazards, potential environmental hazards caused by monoculture etc.

CEE’s Role: The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has been recommended by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) on the safe environmental release of Bt Brinjal. Consequently, prior to a final decision MoEF, there is a need for public consultations across the country on the discussions surrounding Bt Brinjal. CEE would undertake this responsibility. The Minister of State (MoS), MoEF, Mr. Jairam Ramesh will Chair the consultations at all 7 locations

The main objectives of the consultation will be:

Conduct 7 Public Consultations with multiple local stakeholders, belonging to distinct groups, for forward dialogue on Bt Brinjal. Compile and collate the discussion held during the public consultations in the final report. The final report would be accompanied by an executive summary report capturing the views of various stakeholders.

About Consultation process: National consultation will provide a space for discussions and networking across the board for the multiple stakeholders in Bt Brinjal. These will be held in significant locations across the nation for a more large scale discussion. These will provide space for discussion among the smaller and lesser voiced debates. It will also open a dialogue on the Bt. Brinjal. The consultations allow for a more regional level interaction towards a more holistic understanding. The one day consultations will happen in 7 locations across the country. These public consultations will be attended by assorted stakeholders who will represent distinctive alliances. They will be invited prior to the consultation to participate in the discussion on Bt Brinjal within the framework of their own vocations. The consultations will be conducted in the local languages, additionally Hindi and English dependant on the participants comfort. This is to ensure maximum participation from all stakeholders. Each consultation will invite 250 participants from various communities like farming community, scientists, agriculture experts, farmer organizations, consumer groups, citizens forums, NGOs/CBOs, Government officials, media, seed suppliers, traders, doctors, lawyers, etc.

The public consultations would serve as a platform for ‘voices of the public' being considered by policy makers and at the same time enable the intricacies of the local issues and concerns relevant to Bt. brinjal to be known by one and all. These consultations will be consulted in democratic, transparent, objective and scientific manner. The public consultations in your region therefore assume much significance and your participation and views much valuable.

The contact persons, details and the venues for the above seven consultations and the Introductory booklet on Bt Brinjal would be put up on the CEE Website shortly.