----- Original Message -----
From: Ramanuj Asawa <email@example.com>
To: Ken Adachi
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Subject: Stop Genetic contamination
The Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill proposed by science and technology minister Prithviraj Chavan is an attempt to ease the entry of genetically modified food into India and appease foreign biotech corporations.Chavan is serving foreign corporations, not the people of India. To draw attention to Chavan's intentions, Greenpeace volunteers are demanding a citizen's arrest of the minister as I write.
I have already emailed the minister asking him to stop the bill. Can you also mail him?
Citizens demand arrest of Minister Prithiviraj Chavan, demand BRAI bill be withdrawn
April 20, 2010 New Delhi: The Minister for Science and Technology, Prithviraj Chavan was demanded to be arrested for establishing the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) today at the Anusandhan Bhavan Premises today. The group of volunteers dropped a 20 feet long banner, which read “Arrest the Minister, Drop the GM food Bill” from atop the minister’s office. They demanded that the Prime Minister stop Chavan from introducing the Bill and withdraw it immediately as it will force GM food on to the citizens against their right to safe food.
“It’s the duty of a citizen to prevent anyone from committing an act that can jeopardise the rights of the people to safe food and the country’s food security. This is precisely why we as citizens are demanding a citizens’ arrest (1) of Minister Chavan at his office today.” said Jai Krishna, Campaigner, Campaigner for Sustainable Agriculture, Greenpeace India.
Bt Brinjal, the first proposed GM food crop in the country has been indefinitely put on hold by the moratorium announced by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) earlier in February. Following this, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) has proposed the BRAI bill, 2009, (2) to replace the GEAC (under the MoEF).
The proposed central authority with three bureaucrats as the decision makers, denies the rights of the state governments to refuse GM crops. So far the governments of Kerala and Orissa, have opposed the bill as it takes away their right to regulate GM seeds in agriculture, which according to the constitution, is a state subject.
Additionally, BRAI has the authority to supersede information sought under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The bill also proposes a section that imposes penalties like imprisonment and fine of up to Rs. two lakh for persons ‘misleading’ public on GM crops.
The proposed authority will be under the MoST and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), which is a clearcase of conflict of interest. DBT has a mandate to promote and fund research on GM crops and will also help in establishing the BRAI. Minister Chavan has also publicly supported GM crops and even upholding biotech industry funded reports to support GM crops.
Over the last few weeks 25,000 Indian citizens have sent petitions to the Prime Minister demanding the withdrawal of the BRAI bill in its present form. Last week, in a public survey conducted by GfK Mode, an independent market research agency, 89% of the public across six cities said that they have the right to protest or reject government decisions on GM foods. A majority (80%) of them demanded an impartial, independent government agency to test and certify GM crops and 78% wanted all information on GM food prior to the approval of GM crops.
“We need an impartial and independent agency which is democratic and transparent, and has a mandate to put people’s health, biosafety, food security and environment before corporate interests. It should promote ecological farming solutions which are more reliable than the unpredictable, unsafe, and corporate driven technologies like GM crops. (3) We are requesting the Prime Minister to withdraw the bill as its inherently flawed and encourages a regulatory system that serves only corporate interests” said, Jai Krishna, Campaigner for Sustainable Agriculture, Greenpeace India.
The BRAI bill draft should be immediately withdrawn.
An immediate ban on all field trials of GM crops happening across the country.
Agricultural research to focus on ecological alternatives, to identify agro-ecological practices that ensure future food security to the country and livelihood security to our farmers and farm labourers.
One has to be completely ignorant or highly invested in companies like Monsanto to even dream of drafting legislation to make it illegal to dispel the insanity of GMO seeds and the practices of Monsanto or companies of the like. What purpose could the legislation have but to hide the truth and continue harming the people of the world by consuming GMO foods which have been passed by blind siding true results which are hidden by Monsanto on their test studies.
Government is elected to protect the people, what ever happened to that concept? Of course being born in the 1940's would put one nearer to life's end so with that could go the lack of concern for younger generations in favour of payoffs to survive retirement in comfort that Indian farmers are far from experiencing as Monsanto unilaterally takes their farms and livelihood away by suggesting that these farmers are benefiting from Monsanto research and engineered seeds due to nature dropping or blowing seeds onto their lands which cannot be controlled.
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