Continuing saga….

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Thanal Mail <>
Date: 5 July 2011 15:44
Subject: GM regulatory incapabilities/inefficiencies/apathy in India – Put an immediate stop to all environmental releases of GMOs

Cc: “M. Fayazuddin” <>To:                                                                     July 5th 2011
Shri Jairam Ramesh,

Minister for Environment & Forests (I/C),

Government of India.

Dear Sir,

Sub: GM regulatory incapabilities/inefficiencies/apathy in India – Put an immediate stop to all environmental releases of GMOs

You might be aware of the serious violations documented in the GM maize seed production plot of Monsanto in Karnataka by Greenpeace India and a Kannada TV channel, and the story was prominently telecast yesterday (attached are a press release and Greenpeace’s letters to GEAC/Karnataka government which list out all the violations). While all these violations were documented after the season, one shudders to think of other violations during the cultivation phase!

  • This episode once again showcases the lack of institutional mechanisms for oversight and implementation of biosafety norms and even lack of adequate biosafety norms when it comes to open air releases including for seed production permissions of GMOs in India. With regard to this episode, it is very important that the GM cultivation plot and surrounding areas are cordoned off and tested for contamination immediately and appropriate containment measures taken.
  • It is not clear why GEAC should have cleared 25 acres of seed production of GM maize of Monsanto, which is essentially for an untested product. Even at an average yield of just 20 quintals per acre, the produce from these 25 acres will be adequate for 10,000 acres – this cannot be for research obviously and can only be for commercialisation! It appears that GEAC has no scientific rationale behind permitting such seed production (and in particular, extents) and no control over what happens to such seed. Does this kind of seed production mean that GEAC is anticipating, as the company might be, that GM maize will be commercialized soon and is supporting the company in its preparations?
  • It is being proven time and time again that open air releases of untested GMOs are not under anybody’s control in this country. There are other examples too from the past, including the case of Mahyco planting unapproved illegal herbicide-tolerant GM cotton in its trial fields and the illegal proliferation of herbicide tolerant GM cotton of another kind found in several states (with the state governments confirming this to the GEAC).
  • The regulators are not ridding themselves of objectionable conflicting interests and unscientific functioning despite repeated instances which have come to light; the recent example of Dr Swapan Datta is a very black-and-white case of conflict of interest that cannot be explained away as a “scientific intervention”. Before this, for the April 27th consultation with ‘experts’ on Bt brinjal, the GEAC did not hesitate to call ‘experts’ who are GM crop developers including one expert whose institution receives funding from Mahyco, to pronounce his views on Bt brinjal and its safety. All of this is completely unacceptable and has further eroded our meagre confidence in the regulators.
  • The fact that the regulators do not seem to have realized and internalised that in this case, the EPA 1989 Rules have been created with a specific purpose of protecting Nature, health and environment from the risks posed by GMOs is witnessed time and again. They continue to look at themselves as a clearing house of GM applications, despite your decision to change their mandate from “approval” to “appraisal” committee. A recent example is that of GM rubber trials permitted in two states for 14 years; one of the areas is Dahanu declared as an ecologically fragile taluka within the eco-sensitive/bio-diverse Western Ghats. The permission letter that is supposed to lay down the biosafety norms to be followed for the trial was a copy and paste job from an annual crop single season trial approval letter. On our objections raised to GEAC, the only step taken by GEAC is of forwarding our letter to RCGM to re-examine, while the immediate action should have been to revoke permissions given and stop the trials from being started. This lax attitude and irresponsibility on such serious issues is of grave concern.
  • These issues have been brought to the attention of GEAC but no concrete action has been taken on any of them. So far, despite pointing out numerous violations, the EPA liability clause has NOT been invoked for deterrent action in a single instance. This is ominous and does not bode well for the safety of our environment and health.

It is very clear that the regulators cannot be trusted to regulate GMOs in the country, even though they have an express mandate of upholding biosafety. Their biases, lack of scientific rigour, conflicting interests, incapabilities and apathy are apparent from numerous instances. It is patently obvious that environmental releases of GMOs in India are not under control and yet, the GEAC continues to clear dozens of applications for GM field trials in its meetings. For instance, in the upcoming July 6th GEAC meeting 25 applications are being considered.

It is in this context that we strongly urge you to intervene immediately and:

  1. Invoke the EPA 1986’s penal clauses against Monsanto for its biosafety and other violations in Karnataka and get Monsanto blacklisted;
  2. Order the stoppage of all open air releases of GMOs in the R&D pipeline including for field trials and seed production immediately;
  3. Fix liability on the regulators also for their lapses & rid the regulatory body of conflict of interest

Thank you.



  1. Abdul Rahman C P, Farmer, Jaiva Karshaka Samithi, Calicut
  2. Abdul Rasheed C R P, Farmer, Trivandrum
  3. Abhilash, Software Engineer, Trivandrum
  4. Adivasi Aikya Vedika, Andhra Pradesh 
  5. Adv Pouran, Chairman, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL-Kerala)
  6. Adv Pradeepkumar, Haritha Sena Farmers Organisation, Kerala.
  7. Aishwarya Madineni, Greenpeace, Bangalore
  8. Ajayan R, Plachimada Support Group, Trivandrum
  9. Ajit Kelkar, Abhinav AHRDO, Madhya Pradesh
  10. Ajith, Secretary, Wyanad Organic Consortium
  11. Alauddin Ahmed, State Coordinator, Save our Rice Campaign, West Bengal
  12. Amber Dsouza, Ecomantra, Mumbai
  13. Ambrose, The Lumiere, Organic Hotel, Kochi.
  14. Amina Fareedi, New Delhi
  15. Anand Bala, Ecomantra, Mumbai
  16. Ananthoo, Coordinator, Safe Food Alliance, Tamil Nadu
  17. Anil Akkara, Standing Committee Chairman, Trichur Jilla Panchayath (Young Leader Award 2011 – CNN-IBN).
  18. Anil Ranglani, Mumbai
  19. Animish Mandrekar, concerned citizen, Mumbai
  20. Annapoorni S, concerned citizen, Chennai
  21. Anoop Chandran, Cine Actor, Alappuzha
  22. Anoop Chandran, Cine Actor, Alappuzha
  23. Anshuman Das, DRCSC, Kolkata
  24. Anthra, Hyderabad
  25. Arun Dike, Indore Biotech Agricultural Services, Indore
  26. Arun Tyagi, Dalit Aadivasi Mahapanchayat, Madhya Pradesh
  27. Aruna Rodrigues, Lead Petitioner, SC GMO PIL

  28. Arundhati Sanath, Management Next, Bangalore
  29. Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh, Pune

  30. Ashita Rao, Cisco, Bangalore
  31. Ashok kumar, Teacher and Farmer, Secretary, Nalla Bakshana Prasthanam, Malappuram
  32. Ashwin Daga, Concerned student, Mumbai
  33. Ashwini Yelne, Bhopal
  34. Babu Mylampadi, Manager , South Malabar Gramin Bank, Wyanad
  35. Badushah N, Chairman, Wyanad Environmental Protection Committee, Wyanad
  36. Balasubramanian, Adisil Cholai, Thirumangalam, Madurai

  37. Bhakti Nefertiti, Vriksh, Himachal Pradesh
  38. Bharat Mansata, Vision Acres, Van Vadi, Maharashtra 

  39. Bhau Katdare, Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, Chiplun, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra
  40. Biju, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, Kochi, Kerala
  41. Bina Patel, Mumbai
  42. Binayak Swain, BAT NET, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
  43. Biraj Patnaik, Advisor, Commissioners’ office in the Supreme Court RTF case
  44. Bittu Sahgal, Editor, Sanctuary Asia, Mumbai
  45. Brig. Oommen John (Retd.), Consultant
  46. C Jayakumar, Thanal, Kerala
  47. C R Neelakantan, Writer and Environmentalist
  48. Catherine Lee, Social Activist, Statue, Trivandrum
  49. Chadrasekharan Nair, Kerala Farmers Internet Forum, Trivandrum
  50. Chandan Mukherjee, Consultant, Kolkata
  51. D. Narasimha Reddy, Chetana Society, Hyderabad
  52. D. V Sridharan,, Chennai
  53. Datta Patil, YUVA Rural, Nagpur
  54. Debjeet Sarangi, Living Farms, Bhubaneswar

  55. Deepa V S, Lecturer, College of Engineering, Karunagappalli.
  56. Deepak Arya, Indian Society for Environmental Studies, Bangalore
  57. Deepak Raju, Amarchand Mangaldas, Mumbai
  58. Deepak Shah, Urban Leaves, Mumbai
  59. Deepak Suchde, Malpani Trust, Madhya Pradesh
  60. Dhanaraj Keezhara, Painter and Artist, Bangalore
  61. Dharmen Dhulla, Pune
  62. Dharmendar, Chetna Organic, Hyderabad
  63. Dr Asha Gopinathan, Scientist, SCTIMST, Trivandrum
  64. Dr Biji Abraham, Lecturer in Economics, Christian College, Chengannur.
  65. Dr Bijukumar, Reader, Kerala University, Trivandrum
  66. Dr Goldin Quadros, Interim State Director, WWF India Maharashtra
  67. Dr Maqbool, Professor in Zoology, MES College, Ponnani.
  68. Dr Santhi, Scientist and Ecologist, Trivandrum
  69. Dr Sarada Money, Social Scientist, Trivandrum
  70. Dr Sreekumar, Kottayam Nature Society, Kottayam
  71. Dr Thomas Varghese, Soil Scientist, Ex-Chairman, Kerala State Agricultural Prices Board
  72. Dr Usha Balaram, Professor (Retd.) in Zoology, Trivandrum
  73. Dr V S Vijayan, Chairman, Salim Ali Foundation and Ex-Chairman, Kerala State Biodiversity Board
  74. Dr Vinod, Ayurveda Doctor and Scientist, TBGRI, Trivandrum.
  75.  Dr. (Prof) Anil Sadgopal, Member, Presidium, All India Forum for Right to Education & Former Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Delhi
  76. Dr. (Prof) C Shambu Prasad, Professor of Rural Management, XIM-Bhubaneswar
  77. Dr. (Prof) Rajesh Dubey, Director, Centre for Technology Development & Research (CTDR), Jaipur; State Coordinator RKVY Uttarakhand Government; Advisor, Council of Science & Technology, Chhattisgarh; General Secretary, Prakriti Bharti Sansthan
  78. Dr. A K Malhotra, Trustee, SAI Sanctuary Trust, Karnataka
  79. Dr. Ashok Kundapur, Member, Save Western Ghat Group, INTACH, Udupi
  80. Dr. Bhalchandra Bhawe, Mumbai
  81. Dr. Bhartendu Prakash, Kisan Vigyan Kendra, Banda, UP

  82. Dr. C. Ramachandraiah, Social Scientist, Hyderabad.
  83. Dr. Debal Deb, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, Kolkata
  84. Dr. Deepa P.Gopinath, Lecturer in Electronics and Communication, College of Engineering Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India, Mobile- +919446583466
  85. Dr. Dwijendra Nath Guru, Gaaia Technologies, Bangalore
  86. Dr. G.S. Kaushal, Former Director, Dept of Agriculture, Agri Scientist, Bhopal
  87. Dr. Krishan Bir Chaudhary, President, Bharatiya Krishak Samaj, New Delhi
  88. Dr. Latha Anantha, River Research Centre, Kerala
  89. Dr. Mira Shiva, Initiative for Health & Equity in Society and Doctors for Food & Biosafety
  90. Dr. Mita Dutta, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, Kolkata
  91. Dr. N N Panickar, Retd Scientist, Naturalist, Trivandrum
  92. Dr. R S Lalmohan, INTACH, Nagercoil
  93. Dr. Ramanjaneyulu, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Hyderabad

  94. Dr. Sasikumar Menon, Asst Director, Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Laboratory, Mumbai
  95. Dr. Sekhar Raghavan, Director, Rain Centre, Chennai
  96. Dr. Shree Ram Padmadeo, Tara Foundation, Patna
  97. Dr. Suresh Motwani, Agriculture expert, Bhopal
  98. Dr. V N Sharaf, Retd. Dean, Agriculture College, Indore
  99. Dr. V Rukmini Rao, Gramya Resource Centre for Women, Hyderabad
  100. Dr. Vandana Shiva, Navdanya, Dehra dun
  101. E S Jayachandran, Asst Professor, Model Engineering College, Kochi
  102. Eldo Pachilakkadan, Architect, BIRDS, Trivandrum.
  103. G. L. Janardhana
  104. Gazala Fareedi, New Delhi
  105. Geo Jose, National Alliance for People’s Movement, Kochi.
  106. Gopalan- Shobha, Navadarshanam Trust Krishnagiri District, Tamil Nadu
  107. Gorrepati Madhava Rao, Advocate, Human Rights Forum, Nizamabad, Andhra Pradesh
  108. Gurbhej Singh Sandhu, Kheti Virasat Mission, Amritsar
  109. Guruvayurappan, Wildlife Preservation Society of India, Palakkad.
  110. Hariharan, Farmer, Secretary, Kissan Jyothi Farmers Club.
  111. Harikumar, Sound Engineer, National Award Winner-2010
  112. Harish, Legal Cell, One Earth One Life, Kerala
  113. Hemanshi Ashar, Ecomantra, Mumbai
  114. Hiten Malaviya, Mumbai
  115. Illias, Secretary, One Earth One Life, Kerala
  116. Ishwar Chandra Tripathi, BKU, Madhya Pradesh
  117. J. Prasant Palakkappillil CMI Ph. D, Principal, Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi
  118. Jacob Lazer, PUCL, Kochi.
  119. Jacob Nellithanam, Richharia Campaign, Chattisgarh
  120. Jasveen Jairath, CAPNET, Hyderabad
  121. Jay Mishra, Ecomantra, Mumbai
  122. Jaya Iyer, concerned citizen, Delhi
  123. Jayant Verma, Hamaraj Beej Abhiyan, Madhya Pradesh

  124. Jayaprakash, Prakrithi Padana Kendram, Nilambur
  125. Jayesh Gawde, Ecomantra, Mumbai
  126. Jishnu, Kumarakom Nature Club, Kottayam
  127. John Joseph, Oracle, Bangalore
  128. Jose, Kerala Social Service Forum, Wyanad.
  129. K Sajaya, Coordinator, Caring Citizens’ Collective, Hyderabad
  130. K V Dayal, Chairman, Jaiva Karshaka Samithi, Kerala
  131. K. Loganathan, General Secretary, Tamizhaga Agricultural Labourers Union (TALU)
  132. Kabir Arora, Indian Youth Climate Network, Mumbai
  133. Kalaivani, Erode District Organic Farmers Federation
  134. Karan Sadarangani, concerned citizen, Mumbai.
  135. Kavitha Kuruganti, Convenor, Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA), Bangalore

  136. Kiran Vazha, Student, Trivandrum
  137. Kiran Vissa, Association for India’s Development, Hyderabad
  138. Kisan Mehta, Prakruti, Mumbai
  139. Kodihalli Chandrasekhar, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha
  140. Kodur Sathyamurthy, Chief, Tejas Business Solutions
  141. Krishna Prasad, Sahaja Samruddha, Bangalore
  142. Kunal Bopanna, Economic Times, Mumbai
  143. Lajpat Dhingra, Thane, Maharashtra
  144. Laxman Singh Muniya, Lok Jagriti Manch, Madhya Pradesh
  145. M A Rahman, Professor in English and Film Maker, Kasaragod
  146. M. David Amalanadane, Pharmacist, Karaikal, TN
  147. Madhumita Dutta, Corporate Accountability Desk-The Other Media, Chennai
  148. Mahila Brathukudervuvu Sangham, Medak district 
  149. Mahrukh, Ecomantra, Mumbai
  150. Maj Gen (Retd) S.G.Vombatkere, NAPM, Mysore
  151. Manas Ranjan, Khadya Adhikaar Abhiyaan, Odisha
  152. Manisha Barot, Ecomantra, Mumbai
  153. Mashqura Fareedi, New Delhi
  154. Meghna Patel, Concerned Mother, Mumbai
  155. Mekala Gorrela pempakadharla Sangham, Medak district

  156. Mercy Alexander, Director, SAKHI Womens Resource Centre, Trivandrum.
  157. Milind Wani, Kalpavriksh, Pune 

  158. Mukund Patel, Organic farmer, Pune
  159. Nagarajan-Padmini, Navadarshanam Trust Krishnagiri District, Tamil Nadu
  160. Nalla Gounder alias Thooran Nambi, National Secretary, Tamil Nadu Farmers Association
  161. Narayanan, Farmer, Secretary, Jaiva Karshaka Samithi-Palakkad
  162. Neesha Noronha, Mumbai Organic Farmers & Consumers Association, Mumbai
  163. Nemani Chandrasekhar, WASSAN, Secunderabad
  164. Nilesh Desai, Beej Swaraj Abhiyan, Madhya Pradesh

  165. Nityanand Jayaraman, Researcher, Activist, Chennai
  166. Nivedita Menon, Cstep, Bangalore
  167. O V Usha, Poet and Writer, Trivandrum
  168. P Raghu, ActionAid, Hyderabad
  169. Padma Shri Dr. Kutty Menon, Bhopal
  170. Padma Shri Sugathakumari, Poet and Environmentalist, Kerala
  171. Pallavi Hittanagi, Student, M.Sc (Environmental Science), Mysore
  172. Pandiode Prabhakaran, Desiya Karshaka Samrakshana Samithi, Palakkad
  173. Pandurang Hegde, Chipko/Appiko Movement, Karnataka
  174. Pankaj Bhushan, GM Free Bihar Movement, Patna
  175. Prashant Iyengar, Researcher, Center for Internet and Society, Bangalore
  176. Prashant Nair, Ecomantra, Mumbai
  177. Prathvi Bhatti, Ecomantra, Mumbai
  178. Preeti Patil, Mumbai
  179. Prof. Durai Singam, Ex-Chairman, Consumer Coordination Council of India, Pudukkottai, Tamilnadu
  180. Prof. G Arunima, Associate Professor, JNU, New Delhi.
  181. Prof. Kaladharan, Chairman, Federation of the Consumer Organisations of Tamilnadu and Pondicherry (FEDCOT), Nagapattinam
  182. Purushan Eloor, Chairman, Periyar Malineekarana Virudha Samithi, Kochi.
  183. R Jayaraman, Thiruvaroor, State Coordinator, Save our Rice Campaign, Tamilnadu
  184. R Ponnambalam, Managing Trustee, CREATE Trust, Nagercoil
  185. R Selvam, Tamil Nadu Organic Farmers Federation
  186. Rachna Arora Verma, Public Awareness on GM Foods
  187. Radha Holla, concerned citizen, Delhi
  188. Radhika Rammohan, Director, Restore Health Livelihoods and Nature,
  189. Raghunandan Hegde, Equations, Bangalore
  190. Rajan Robert, Environmentalist, Trivandrum
  191. Rajesh Krishnan, Sustainable Agriculture campaign, Greenpeace Índia, Bangalore

  192. Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, UFRTI, NAPM, Hyderabad
  193. Rakesh Tikait, Bhartiya Kissan Union
  194. Rama Bishnoi, Mumbai
  195. Rama.Nambi Narayanan, State Organizing Secretary, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, Tamil Nadu
  196. Ramasubramanian, Safe Food Alliance, Chennai
  197. Ramesh Choudhary, Madhyanchal Forum, Madhya Pradesh
  198. Ravi Goel, Ecomantra, Mumbai
  199. Ravi Gowande, Thane
  200. Ravi Kelkar, Abhinav AHRDO, Madhya Pradesh
  201. Ravindra A, Researcher, Hyderabad
  202. Rina Kamath, Organic Farmer, Terra Farma and Lawyer, Cause Humane Integrated Professional Services
  203. Rini Matthew, Emc2, Bangalore
  204. Robin, Editor, Keraleeyam Fortnightly, Thrissur
  205. Rony Joseph, INFACT, Pala, Kerala.
  206. Roshni Nuggehalli, CWC, Bangalore
  207. Ruth Sequeira, LEAF Initiative, Mumbai
  208. S Usha, National Coordinator, Save our Rice Campaign
  209. Sachin Jain, Bhojan ka Adhikaar Abhiyan, Madhya Pradesh
  210. Samir Mehta, Dharohar Dharti Trust, Mumbai
  211. Sankara Narayanan, Engineer & Constructor, Bhubaneswar
  212. Saraswati Kavula, Convenor, NAPM-AP
  213. Sarayu Kamat
  214. Saroj Mohanty, Paschim Odhisa Krushak Sanghatan, Odisha
  215. Satinath Sarangi, Bhopal Group for Information & Action, Bhopal
  216. Shaila Wagh, Matheran, Maharasthra
  217. Shalini Bhutani, Lawyer, New Delhi
  218. Shibu K Nair, Programme Director, Zero Waste Centre, Kovalam, Trivandrum
  219. Shweta Wagh, Assistant Professor, Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture & Environmental Studies, Mumbai
  220. Siddharth Jaiswal, Go Green Herbs Pvt Ltd, OFAI Bihar Chapter
  221. Smita Mitra, Outlook magazine, Mumbai
  222. Sreedevi Lekshmikutty, Consultant, Save our Campaign.
  223. Sri Binoy Viswom, Ex-Minister for Forests and Housing, Kerala
  224. Sri Mullakara Rathnakaran, Ex-Minister for Agriculture, Kerala
  225. Sridhar Radhakrishnan, Convenor, Coalition for a GM-Free India
  226. Sruthi Shastri, The New Indian Express, Hyderabad
  227. Sudhir Kedia, Ecomantra, Mumbai
  228. Suma Josson, Film Maker, Mumbai
  229. Sumathy Sethuraman, Volunteer, ReStore, Chennai
  230. Sundarrajan, Advocate, Poovulagin Nanbargal, Tamilnadu
  231. T P Padhmanabhan, Director, Society for Environmental Education in Kerala (SEEK)
  232. T.S. Ananthu, Navadarshanam Trust Krishnagiri District, Tamil Nadu
  233. Tauseef Hussain, New Delhi
  234. Ted D’Costa, Mumbai
  235. Tejal V., Nurturing Grounds, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  236. Thejesha, Sahaja Samrudha, Bangalore
  237. Tree Natesan, Director, Exnora Environmental Research Institute, Chennai
  238. Uday Acharya, Trustee, Vidya Vaaridhi Trust ((Urban Leaves), Mumbai
  239. Uday Kanitkar, Member, HOPE (Here On Project Environment), Thane
  240. Uma Shankari, Rashtriya Raitu Seva Samiti, Chittoor district
  241. Umendra Dutt, Kheti Virasat Mission, Punjab

  242. Urmila Patel, Mumbai
  243. Urmila Rajadhyaksha, Landscape Architect, Mumbai; Fellow, Indian Society of Landscape Architects (ISOLA), Associate, Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), Member, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)
  244. Usha Jayakumar, Thanal, Trivandrum
  245. Vasant Futane, Organic Farmer, SAMVAD, Amravati, Maharashtra
  246. Vinay Sreenivas, Cstep, Bangalore
  247. Vinita Mansata, Earthcare Books, Kolkata
  248. Vipul Patel, Color Art, Mumbai
  249. Vipul Sanghavi, Mumbai
  250. Viren Dhulla, Mumbai
  251. Vishweshwar Madhav, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  252. Walter Mendoza, Centre for Education & Documentation, Pune
  253. Wilfred D’cousta, INSAF (Indian Social Action Forum), New Delhi
  254. Yakshi, Hyderabad


Forwarding Address

Sridhar R (09995358205)

Convener, Coalition for a GM Free India

c/o Thanal
H-3, Jawaharnagar, Kawdiar P.O. Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
India PIN 695 003
Tel / Fax: +91 471 2727150

A note submitted to the GEAC Chair on June 3rd 2011, pointing out to problems with a document that GEAC has circulated to a new set of ‘experts’ called Annex-1 is available here.

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