TEACHERS AND SCIENTISTS AGAINST MALDEVELOPMENT (TASAM)
8 Lenin Sarani, Kolkata-700 013
FORUM AGAINST MONOPOLISTIC AGGRESSION (FAMA)
266/1 CIT Scheme 6, Kolkata -700 054
THE CONCERN OVER BT BRINJAL AND OVER GM CROPS IN GENERAL
BT COTTON - AN EXAMPLE OF CLAIMS VERSUS PERFORMANCE
The safety of genetically engineered food is not proven, and many countries, particulary the European Union (EU), have banned GMOs out of concern of potential adverse effect on human health. Especially, there is need of extra caution about a crop that will be directly eaten.
The process in which the GEAC approved the Bt brinjal itself shows that it functioned under political and corporate pressure. Dr Arjula R Reddy, vice-chancellor of Yogi Bemana university, Chair of the Expert Committee (EC2) which was appointed to give the experts’ report on Bt brinjal, and co-chair, GEAC had confessed to have been under tremendous pressure from the Agriculture Minister, the GEAC and the industry to approve Bt Brinjal. The chair of EC2 has admitted that various requisite tests on the safety of Bt Brinjal have not been done and stated that without them (the tests), at this stage, we do not know whether Bt Brinjal is safe or not. Some tests have been done only on mice in controlled laboratory conditions, whereas it is known that open grazing on GM plants by cattle, which does not control amount and variety of intake, have led to morbidity and mortality.
We demand immediate withdrawal of the report of the GEAC which approves Bt brinjal, and cancellation of the proceedings for approval. Moreover, as it is a subject on the State List, the West Bengal government should take the initiative to ban the marketing of Bt brinjal seeds and the production of Bt brinjal in West Bengal to protect the livelihoods of brinjal growers and the health of millions of consumers. We also demand total scrapping of the AKI.
Abhee Dutt-Mazumder, Convener, TASAM
Asis Kusum Ghosh, Convener, FAMA
(on behalf of the Citizens’ Expert Committee on BT Brinjal)
Dated: The 8th January 2009, Kolkata
Contact: 9433008117, 9831100464