New Delhi, February 3rd, 2016: All major farmer unions of India, in a joint statement, have slammed the Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change for allowing the regulatory body for transgenics to meet on February 5th to decide on the fate of GM mustard. They demanded that the secret meeting of the regulator be cancelled immediately by the Minister. “All major mustard growing states in India, including BJP-ruled states, heeding to citizens’ voices and scientific advice, have come out against GM mustard.  They have also expressed concern about the secretive processes adopted by the regulators and for not putting out biosafety data in the public domain. The Supreme Court has issued notices to the Centre’s regulators on a contempt petition. Despite all of this, Prakash Javadekar is allowing Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to hold its meeting to process the GM mustard application on Friday (Feb.5th). It makes us wonder what and wherefrom is the need and pressure emerging from”, they said. They objected to the secretive manner in which the government is proceeding on this matter, without public scrutiny of data or any public consultations including with farmers’ unions, despite the GMO being created ostensibly for farmers’ benefit.


The farmer unions pointed out that the government is pushing unneeded, unwanted and unsafe GMOs on the farming community, when viable and feasible alternatives that are safe, affordable and farmer-controlled are already available that need to be promoted with farmers for sustainable farm livelihoods. In the case of mustard for instance, there are non-transgenic hybrids already available in the market, in addition to high-yielding mustard varieties. Further, new agro-ecological approaches like System of Mustard Intensification (SMI) are out-yielding these unsafe solutions significantly, ensuring vastly-increased profitability for farmers, if yield is a concern in the first instance. Such alternatives are not however being invested upon by the government, probably because of collusion with the seed and chemical industry. The experience with Bt cotton, which has not addressed the issue of farm crisis or reduced the number farm suicides is another example. This year, lakhs of farmers in Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Telangana suffered due to whitefly and pink bollworm attack on Bt cotton while the seed companies are going scot-free without being made accountable for the losses. Leaders of the farmer unions pointed out that after 13 years of Bt cotton in India, the myth around GM crops has been busted fully, while a deadly unaccountable experiment was unleashed on the lives of farmers. Agro-chemical usage has gone up in cotton, including of pesticides, and most cotton seed in the market is today controlled by one MNC, known for its anti-farmer operations – Monsanto.


There was deep concern expressed about control in farming wrested from farmers’ hands into the hands of agro-industry, whether it be of seed companies or chemical companies. The developers of GM mustard hold several patents related to the product, and are obviously free to sell these IPRs to any large corporation despite wearing the garb of public sector scientists at this point of time. There is also the question of native seed varieties being contaminated by GM mustard. Foreign genes related to male sterility and herbicide tolerance will then affect the crop of non-GM growers also. There are many farmers in north India who also take up bee-keeping along with mustard cultivation, and scientific evidence on GM mustard shows that bee population will get affected. This would lead to losses in both mustard production and honey production for these farmers, they pointed out. The farmer unions also informed that while there are many extant farmers’ varieties waiting to be registered with the Plant Varieties Protection and Farmers Rights Authority, this is not happening while public-sector and private-sector varieties are being prioritized for the purpose. Why is the government not protecting these farmers’ varieties and promoting the same, they demanded to know.


These farmer unions warned that the fate of the government in the case of GM mustard will be that of an unwanted land ordinance that the government pressed for again and again, uncaring of the public mood and demand. They reiterated that they will resist any environmental release approval of any GMO in the country with all their strength, and work towards real solutions that will support farm livelihoods.


For more information, contact:

Mohini Mohan Mishra, Bhartiya Kisan Sangh: 09013619587

Yudhvir Singh, Indian Coordination Committee for Farmers’ Movements: 09868146405

Sarampalli Malla Reddy, Vice President, All India Kisan Sabha: 09490098666

Kirankumar Vissa, Rythu Swarajya Vedika: 09701705743


Signed By:

Com Hannan Mollah,

General Secretary,

All India Kisan Sabha (36 Canning Lane)

Yudhvir Singh,

General Secretary,

All India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (AICCFM)


Mohinimohan Misra, National Secretary,Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS)


Atul Kumar Anjan,

General Secretary,

All India Kisan Sabha (Ajay Bhawan)

Yogendra Yadav,

National Convenor,

Jai Kisan Andolan




Raghav Sharan Sharma, President,

All India Agragami Kissan Sabha

Ch. Rakesh Tikait,

National Spokesman,

Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU)

Ram Pal Jat,

National President,

Kissan Mahapanchayat,

Chamarasa Malli Patil,


Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS)


Baburam Sharma,


All India Krantikari Kissan Sabha


Ajmer Singh Lakhowal,

State President,

Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Punjab

Uttam Gayen,

General Secretary,

Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity, West Bengal

K. Sella Mutthu,


Tamil Nadu Farmers Association


Maganbhai Patel, President,

Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), Gujarat


S. Malla Reddy,

Vice President,

All India Kisan Sabha

Badribhai Joshi,


Khedut Samaj,



Badri Narayan Chaudhary,


Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Rajasthan


Virendra Kumar Shrivastava,


Laghu Simant Krishak Morach, Uttar Pradesh


Chukki Najundawamy,

Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS)

KT Gangadhar,


South India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (SICCFM)

Ambubhai Patel, Secretary,

Bharatiya Kisan Sangh,



Vijay Jawandhia,

Shetkari Sangathana,



B. Chandra Reddy, Secretary,

Telangana Rythu Sangham


Kodand Reddy, President,

Kisan Khet Mazdoor Congress,


Saroj Mohanty,

Paschim Odisha Krushak Samanvay Samiti


Sagar Rabari,


Khedut Samaj,



Bhagwan Dadhich, Kisan Sewa Samiti, Rajasthan



Jayant Verma,

Vice President,

All India Agragami Kissan Sabha

Kiran Vissa,

Raithu Swarajya Vedika,


Rajesh Singh Chouhan,

State President,

Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Uttar Pradesh

Ms. Rajariga,

President, Women Wing,

Tamil Nadu Farmers Association

Gurman Singh,


Bhartiya Kissan Union, Haryana


K.P Illias,


Kerala Jaiva Karshaka Samithi,


Adv Pradeep Kumar, Kerala Haritha Sena


Vettavalam ManiKandan, President,

Thamizaga Vivasaayikal Sangam,

Indhiya Uzavar Uzaippaligal Katchi



Tamil Nadu Organic Farmers Federation


Jagdish Singh,

State President, Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Madhya Pradesh


Vidyadhar Olkha,

State President,

Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Rajasthan


Pradeep Singh Thakur,

General Secretary,

All India Krantikari Kissan Sabha


S. Kannaiyan,


South India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (SICCFM)


Ratan Singh Mann,

State President,

Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU),



KS Puttanaiah (MLA),

Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS),


Uzhavar Ulaippalar Katchi,

Tamil Nadu Farmers Association



Kerala Coconut Farmers Association

Gomathinayagam, President,

Vivasaya Seva Samgam-Puliangudi,

Thirunelveli Dist



Tamilnadu Vanigar Peravai,


Sukhdev Singh Gill,

State President,

Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU),

Himachal Pradesh

Satnam Singh Cheema,

State President,

Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Uttarakhand

Dhan Singh Sherawat,

Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Maharashtra


Virendra Dagar,

State President

Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU),

Delhi Rural


Thalaanmai Farmers Movement


Ms. Nilam Prabhat,

State Coordinator,

Aroh Mahila Kisan Manch, Uttar Pradesh

Balaji Sankar,

Tharcharbu Iyakkam


Pasya Padma,


Telangana Rythu Sangham


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