Mumbai, March 13: Mr Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner released a letter to Maharashtra’s Chief Minister and Agriculture Minister written by leading organizations such as BNHS, AGNI, Council for Fair Business Practices, Avaaz and V CAN and by eminent individuals, including the former Director of TISS, former Secretary Agriculture, GOI and four former Judges of the Supreme Court, namely Justice Sujata Manohar Justice M B Shah, Justice S N Variava and Justice B N Srikrishna, at a press conference today. The letter questioned the need for field trials of GM crops given by Veerappa Moily and Maharshtra”s CM, when the Supreme Court is presently considering a Technical Expert Committee (TEC) report. The TEC’ has recommended a moratorium on all field trials of GM. . The letter points out that a ban on GM field trials was also unanimously recommended by a multi party Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture (PSCA) in 2012.

The letter states that it is shocking that Maharashtra has granted clearance for 28 GM field trials, including foods like rice, wheat, maize best online casino and brinjal. It is one of only 4 States to have given permission, at least 9 states have refused permission .. The letter deplores the secret deliberations and the haste in giving clearances just before the elections. They state “Every citizen and every farmer must have the right to be free of GM if they wish. The Secretary Agriculture, GOI, admitted to the TEC that it will not be possible to segregate GM from non GM crops.” . Their concerns cover the irreversibility, unpredictability and potential risks to health, environment, livelihoods, India”s seed sovereignty. These and the lack of proven benefits is reason for GM is being rejected or severely controlled by most countries. India is already one of 5 countries that account for 90% of GM. cropland Public debate is necessary as it can irreversibly impact food, farming and the environment.

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Mrs Dilnavaz Variava, former CEO of WWF India,Co-convenor, Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA)
Letter to Maharashtra CM to deny permissions for GM field trials in the state.