Monday, February 8, 2010

Congratulations to Jairam Ramesh for carrying out the 7 States public consultations as set out by him

Greetings from My Right to Safe Food

Bangalore was an extraordinary consultation in my opinion. A fiery one with 75% saying No to Bt Brinjal. After reading/viewing the wide coverage in almost all news channels, newspapers regional, national on this last consultation by Jairam Ramesh MoEF, it was disappointing to note that more criticism were hurled out at Jairam Ramesh for having lost his cool, whilst provocations were from both sides. It is only natural to react, and it is not easy to maintain control when unruly allegations fly across at each other without supporting evidence. At least, he had the decency to apologise and continue the dialogue with the person he had lost his cool with giving a fair chance to be heard. Sure, there were unnecessary undemocratic allegations from Jairam Ramesh but compare this to the list of hopeless Ministers who sit on the seat of power like the Sharad Pawar - the sugar and cricket baron, minting notes at the expense of the masses who gives two hoots about GM foods, food prices or farmers suicides!!!

Why do we fail to recognise the transparency, dignity, and wit (not liked by many) displayed by him throughout all the 7 State consultations as a remarkable feat.

First and foremost, name me one Minister in our country who has the courage of conviction to display transparency in approach and hold public consultations !!! We are a nation of ungrateful souls and fail to acknowledge the good points displayed by at least one intelligent minister Jairam Ramesh. He needs to be congratulated for making Bt Brinjal a National issue. Let us not forget it.

Sure, we await the out come on 10th Feb with abated breaths and hope his decision will also be a wise and fair one and benefits our nation as claimed strongly by him. Reading between the lines, his decision will slant to more safety testing for a minimum number of year/s, he will neither approve Bt Brinjal nor reject it.

We need to continue with the same zest to ensure raising awareness on GM foods, challenge, provide research data and not go slack on this front. Bt Brinjal is just the entry point of GM foods, we have only averted its entry for a short interim just as in the case of Bt Cotton. The only difference lies that we must ensure banning Bt Brinjal's entry into our food chain, otherwise it opens the door for 56 GM food crops from all levels and for all times to come.

The diverse forces that came together on the 6th Feb to voice concerns was just a proof in point that united we stand. And with 13 States declaring to the Centre that they will not have
Bt Brinjal is indeed the only way forward to safeguard our food security and seed sovereignty.

We have the power to heal our planet.

In solidarity

Sangita Sharma

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