Coalition writes to Minister Javadekar condemning GEAC’s behaviour and requesting him for time to listen to arguments and evidence about transgenic mustard hybrid DMH-11

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kavitha Kuruganti <>
Date: Tue, Jun 21, 2016 at 12:38 PM
Subject: After inviting a “team” for a “discussion”, GEAC chooses not to listen to independent scientists, farmer leaders and consumer activists
Cc: “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, warrier <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, Sharad Pawar <>, Debal Deb <>, Jatan Trust <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, Kavitha Kuruganti <>

Dear Shri Prakash Javadekar,
On February 5th 2016, you assured a delegation of the Coalition for a GM-Free India which was protesting outside your Ministry on that day against the government’s/regulators’ steady bullish onward movement on the processing of transgenic mustard hybrid DMH-11 application for approval for commercial cultivation, that all our concerns and evidence will be listened to. You also went in front of the media to give similar assurances. It is also apparent that in a democracy, citizens have a right to be heard and this has been upheld by the previous government in the case of Bt brinjal, which was both “responsible to science and responsive to society”.
The GEAC did invite us for a “meeting to discuss concerns with regard to transgenic technology and GM mustard” on June 20th 2016, but behaved in an unreasonable and unjust fashion which forced us to walk out. Despite an invitation for a “discussion“, for a “team” to come from our side, the GEAC did the unfair thing of first insisting on only one person coming in front of the Committee and only 10 minutes of presentation time. Please note that this is the 4th time that this farcical process has been run by GEAC, twice with just 12-36 hours’ notice, once with 14 days’ notice but cancellation by GEAC at the eleventh hour after our delegation made all its travel plans and presentations and then the latest episode yesterday which is summed up below on our website ( This is a clear indication of the opaque and undemocratic nature of our regulators, manifested yet again. If the regulators think that they are repositories of all knowledge and expertise pertaining to biosafety science, they are wrong. This has been proven time and again. If they think that they can run superficial careless processes around “discussing concerns” with us, they are wrong. We will force the government and the nation to debate the issue, as it pertains to the health and environment of all citizens, and it also pertains to farm livelihoods on which all members of our network work.
At this juncture, we write to you to request you to please provide us with the time that you promised. The revelations that we have dug out about the fraudulent and unscientific R&D and testing of DMH-11 transgenic mustard are of an extremely serious nature and if the government is serious about upholding scientific integrity and rigour in this country, it should listen to the evidence and analysis that we have on this transgenic mustard. Hope you will agree to meet with us and let us know a convenient time with an additional request that you kindly appreciate the fact that our delegation will have to come from various parts of India and would like advance notice of at least 15 days’ time. Thank you.
Kavitha Kuruganti


Posted on  June 20, 2016 by kavitha
On June 20th 2016, despite inviting a team of the Coalition for a GM Free India with a subject line that said “Meeting to discuss concerns with regard to transgenic technology and GM mustard”, and despite us asking for at least 2 hours’ presentation time for a 7-member delegation (at the bottom of this post is communication on this subject between GEAC and Kavitha Kuruganti), GEAC chose to first insist on just one member coming in front of the Committee, further changed to ’3 members at the most’ and finally allowing all 7 members. This was then further compounded by the sheer injustice of asking us to make all our presentations in just 10 minutes. After 7-8 minutes of arguments, with the GEAC agreeing to give only 30 minutes at the most which we found to be completely inadequate for the task at hand, the delegation chose to walk out. In the delegation were: Yudhvir Singh, Convenor, Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements which consists of several farmer unions of India; Rampal Jat, National President of Kisan Mahapanchayat; Dr Sharad Pawar, a Fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and a pulses/oilseeds breeder who was earlier with BARC; Dr Debal Deb, an Ecologist and Conserver of traditional germplasm and a Member of Expert Committee on AgroBiodiversity in National Biodiversity Authority; Kapil Shah of Organic Farming Association of India/Jatan Trust, a plant breeder by training and an organic farming promoter; Ananthoo, a consumer activist from Safe Food Alliance and Kavitha Kuruganti, Co-Convenor of Coalition for a GM-Free India. These members came into the GEAC meeting from Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and came from long distances only to know that GEAC is not keen on listening to the people that it has invited. We condemn this attitude and behaviour of GEAC.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kavitha Kuruganti <>
Date: Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 9:10 AM
Subject: Re: Meeting to discuss concerns with regard to transgenic technology and GM mustard
To: Member Secretary < >
Cc: Madhumita Biswas <>
Dear Ms Madhumita Biswas,
This is to confirm our participation in the upcoming GEAC meeting on June 20th 2016. There will be 7 members in our team, including scientists, farm movement representatives and consumer movement representatives. We are coming from different parts of the country into Delhi just for this. We would require at least two hours presentation time in addition to discussion time. We will be needing projection facility for making a ppt presentation. Thank you.
On Fri, Jun 3, 2016 at 11:15 AM, Member Secretary < > wrote:

Dear Miss Kavita,
With reference to your communication dated 9th February, 2016 addressed to the Minister for Environment Forest & Climate Change requesting  for a discussion on the above mentioned subject matter, I have been directed to inform that the GEAC will be happy to meet you and your team on 20th June 2016 at 11:45 am at Narmada Conference Hall, Jal Block,Indira Paryavaran Bhavan, Jor Bagh, New Delhi. Kindly confirm your participation and provide list of your team members who will be attending the meeting.
Ms. Madhumita Biswas
Member Secretary

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