———- Forwarded message ———
From: GM Free India <indiagmfree@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2019 at 12:37
Subject: Complaint on threat of deliberate Bt brinjal cultivation in India – request for action
To: <akmehta@nic.in>
Cc: <ps2mefcc@gov.in>, <asaj.moefcc@gov.in>, <prakash.j@sansad.nic.in>, <mefcc@gov.in>, <secy-moef@nic.in>, <sujata@nic.in>, <srrao@dbt.nic.in>, <head_gen@iari.res.in>, Saroj Barik <sarojkbarik@gmail.com>, <kveluthambi@rediffmail.com>, <vcmau@rediffmail.com>, <vbandi_1953@yahoo.com>, <sbakshi@fssai.gov.in>, <sushilgupta-cgwb@nic.in>, Lalitha Gowda <lrgowda2k11@gmail.com>, <jotwanig@icmr.org.in>, Geeta Jotwani <drjgeeta@gmail.com>, <madhudikshit@iitj.ac.in>, <drmadhudikshit@gmail.com>, Ashok Kumar Bhatnagar <akbhatnagar49@gmail.com>, <balu_tnau@yahoo.co.in>, <n.sathyanarayana@nic.in>, <drusharao.ipo@nic.in>, <sachinandan@ndri.res.in>, Sachinandan De <sachinandan@gmail.com>, <sanjeevcpcb@yahoo.co.in>, <secretariat@cbd.int>, <UNBiodiversity@cbd.int>, <manoela.miranda@cbd.int>, <uneproap@un.org>, <bch@cbd.int>, <GM-Platform@fao.org>, Tomio Shichiri <tomio.shichiri@fao.org>, <unenvironment-executiveoffice@un.org>, Aruna Rodrigues <arunarod@gmail.com>, <acs.agri@maharashtra.gov.in>, <commagricell@gmail.com>, <support@chandrakantdadapatil.in>, <info@mahanhm.in>, <collector.akola@maharashtra.gov.in>, <agricultures58@gmail.com>, <commagripb@gmail.com>, <balwinder.sidhu@gmail.com>, <sricha@ias.nic.in>, <dhesids@hry.nic.in>, <cs@hry.nic.in>, <agriharyana2009@gmail.com>, <psfcagrihry@gmail.com>, <dhankar.op@gmail.com>



To,

Shri AK Jain,

Chairperson,

Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC),

Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change,

Union Government of India,

Indira Paryawaran Bhawan, Aliganj Road, Jorbagh, New Delhi, Delhi, 110003

07th June 2019,

Sub: Regarding illegal Bt brinjal cultivation in India

Dear Sir,

This follows a previous complaint made to you on 24th April 2019 by Shri Rajinder Chaudhary regarding illegal Bt brinjal cultivation in Fatehabad district, Haryana. Since the initial complaint it has been more than a month and a few subsequent emails have been sent to you as well, but and however the Bt brinjal event has not yet been identified. Nor has any progress been made on the investigation on the identity of the Bt brinjal seed supplier and those involved in the supply chain. Whilst the Haryana state government authorities have been investigating Bt brinjal illegal cultivation, events have come to such a head that it demands your inputs for action on a national scale, none of which is visible, and immediately; it is with you that action must emanate as you are ultimately responsible for these matters.  We add the following reports.

  1. a)In another suspected case of Bt brinjal cultivation in Sirsa, Haryana – the State authorities seem to have driven a tractor through the  crop without taking samples. Such action is not acceptable. Brinjal samples must first be taken, tested by the strip test method and only then with proof, can an illegal planting of Bt brinjal be destroyed https://www.bhaskar.com/harayana/sirsa/news/haryana-news-tractor-driven-on-the-banana-crop-of-restricted-variety-085505-4661593.html
  2. b)A report in Telugu newspaper Sakshi, mentioned on 23rd May as to how Bt brinjal illegal cultivation is being tested in Andhra Pradesh as well and a committee has been formed by state government and samples been sent for testing. https://epaper.sakshi.com/c/39647439
  3. c)Another group have thrown a challenge to GEAC – they are planning to cultivate Bt brinjal and HT cotton openly and illegally on a wide scale in Haryana, Punjab and Maharashtra as well. https://www.bhaskar.com/harayana/fatehabad/news/haryana-news-farmers-of-three-states-will-protest-against-the-uprooting-of-bt-brinjal-in-ratiya-on-10th-june-083054-html https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/farmers-to-defy-ban-on-use-of-htbt-cotton-to-plant-genetically-modified-variant-publicly-on-june-10/articleshow/69531803.cms

Their open threat is that they will illegally sow Bt Brinjal and HT cotton seeds in Akoli Jahangir village, Akot block, Akola district, Maharashtra at 3 pm on 10th June (just 3 days away).

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2339258379620805&id=100006099978250

This requires an emergency response from you with a directive to all State Government and farmers that any such action will constitute criminal breach of the GMO biosafety law and will be confronted with police action/fines/arrest as appropriate.  We are sure you will accept, that unless countered with the sternest warning from you with a protocol for action, the irrational and blatant threat by a group of individuals committed to break GMO regulation and safeguards is tantamount to an act of ‘war’ on the biosafety of India. This includes certain and irreversible brinjal seed contamination in India and also serious health implications. This of course cannot be allowed. Please act with due authority of the sternest possible warning, which must also be released to the media. Given these, a large-scale testing of Bt brinjal around the country is required as well.

We ask the GEAC to institute large-scale testing nationally to determine how far and wide is the illegal planting of Bt brinjal. In this process, to take the following required steps:

1)      Work with state governments to conduct nation-wide investigation drive to locate illegal Bt brinjal cultivation in farms and its selling in markets.  And test confirmed Bt brinjal for further testing in  event-specific testing.

2)      To inform state governments and district collectors immediately to be ready to take action on threats of deliberate Bt brinjal and HT cotton cultivation in Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra (and elsewhere as the case may be) as it is in direct violation of the Environmental Protection Act and more over will irreparably contaminate our seed  and food supply chains.

3)      Investigate and prosecute those involved in the illegal supply of Bt brinjal seeds – farmers cultivating Bt brinjal without knowledge of it being a genetically modified crop should not be prosecuted, damages resulting from destroying  those crops must be reimbursed to the farmers from the heavy penalties put on those involved in the Bt brinjal seed supply chain.

 

Kind Regards,

Rajesh Krishnan,

On behalf of Coalition for GM-Free India

07559915032

Coalition for a GM-free India 

Website: www.indiagminfo.org, email : indiagmfree@gmail.com,  Facebook page – GM Watch India