NGOs up in arms against cultivation of GM crops

Members of various organisations assembled in front of the Town Hall to protest against the multi-national seed corporation Monsanto, demanding the right to safe food.

Stating that the company controls nearly 93 per cent of the market share of cotton seeds in the country, the protesters alleged that the firm is pushing the sales of its herbicide glyphosate, which is known to cause reproductive problems.

“Approval for its herbicide-tolerant genome crops would skyrocket the use of this hazardous chemical in our fields,” the agitators alleged.

They further said that Monsanto was pushing farmers into risk in several states, by entering into an agreement with them to ensure that the farmers purchased hybrid seeds from the firm. “Such agreements were found to have no scientific or funding rationale to support them,” Krishna Prasad, one of the protesters, said.

Unsafe practices

Raising slogans against the GM crops and the MNCs pushing their mutated crops, the protesters said that the agitation was to press for the rejection of GM crops and unsafe agriculture technologies.

The protesters included noted freedom fighter H S Doreswamy, volunteers from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like Environment Support Group (ESG) and Sahaja Samruddha, students from various colleges, farmers, gardeners, urban consumers and agriculture scientists. A few Greenpeace activists presented a streetplay regarding the ill-effects of consuming GM crops.

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