GM Field trials in Maharashtra need to be stopped immediately: Open Statement

GM crops are one of the most controversial technologies in agriculture – there is growing scientific evidence on its adverse impacts on health, biodiversity, farm livelihoods etc. A glimpse of the early warnings from scientific studies related to adverse impacts of GMOs which require a precautionary principle to be adopted with this technology is available in a compilation that can be accessed from:

The technology involves the transfer of genes from one organism to the other, a process which is imprecise and consequences unpredictable. Added to this is also the corporate control of seeds, the most important input in agriculture, through this technology. All this along with the fact that it is a living technology the products of which (GMOs) once out in the environment are uncontrollable and irreversible, has made it a risky technology opposed across the world and shunned by majority of countries.

Field trials and contamination of our food and seed supply chain

Field trials constitute a deliberate environmental release of unknown, untested and presumably unsafe organisms that are new in Nature. GMOs released into the environment in the garb of field trials pose various risks including contamination of wild gene pool, contamination of other crops, undetected entry into the food chain and jeopardizing trade security. In India, time and again, it has also been established that field trials have happened and are happening in violation of the meagre biosafety norms laid down. Institutional apathy and incapability of the regulatory system compounds the risks.

We oppose such risky open air trials of GMOs, whether it is being conducted by MNCs or public sector agencies – a poison is a poison, whoever serves it to us. Moreover, it is completely unacceptable for public sector organisations, funded by public money, to take up such trials on behalf of corporations like Monsanto. Our NARS (National Agricultural Research System)’s universities and their research stations are repositories of India’s germplasm wealth. This is a generous gift from our farmers to other farmers and the nation. All of this is being jeopardized through irresponsible open-air trials of GMOs.

Reports on GM contamination scandals, including the Ministry of Agriculture’s Sopory Committee’s, has shown that such contamination could happen inside a university either accidentally or intentionally, either biologically or through admixtures.

Credible bodies like a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture and a Supreme Court-appointed Technical Expert Committee of independent scientists have strongly recommended an immediate suspension of all open air field trials of GMOs in the country.

Demand to stop GM Field trials in Maharashtra

Maharashtra unfortunately has been made into a hotspot of risky GM experiments. Recently with Gujarat also joining other states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Bihar, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Kerala in denying permissions for field trials, Maharashtra has become the only state where such field trials are happening. The Maharashtra government has no evidence of safety that it has shown the public, that other state governments do not have, that allows it to take this approach when these other state governments are rejecting such trials. According to available information, Monsanto’s Herbicide tolerant and insect resistant (HT Bt) corn as well as HT corn trials are happening in the state at present in MPKV Rahuri and VNMKV Parbhani. Media reports have already shown serious violations at these trials of whatever little norms that exist.

We, the undersigned, demand that the Maharashtra government do not permit any open air field trials of GMOs since they are a threat to our food, farming and environment. We demand that the ongoing trials be destroyed immediately.


  1. Y A Kawade, MIT, Aurangabad
  2. Vinita Mansata, Earthcare Books

  3. Vikram Bokey, Maharashtra Organic Farming Federation

  4. Dr Vikas Amte, Anandwan

  5. Vijay Jawandhia, Shetkari Sanghatana

  6.  Vibha Gupta, Magan Sangrahalaya
  7. Vasudha Sardar, Sendriya Setu

  8. Vanita Adhao, Mahila Vikas Parishad

  9. Vasant Futane, Nagpur Beejotsav Samiti

  10. Tanmay Joshi, Coalition for GM-Free Maharashtra

  11. Dr Suhas Kolhekar, Botanist & Molecular Biologist, Convenor-National Alliance for People’s Movements, Maharashtra

  12. Shripad Dharmadhikary, Manthan Adhyayan Kendra

  13. Shreesh Ponkshe, Small Farmers Group

  14. Subhash Lomte, National Convenor, National Campaign Committee for Rural Workers

  15. Shamika Mone, Organic Farming Association of India

  16. Sarika Saswade, Sahyog Pariwar

  17. Saurabh Raut, Koradwahu Gat

  18. Dr Satish Gogulwar, Amhi Amchya Arogya Saathi

  19. Sarang Pande, Lokapanchayat

  20. Ravindra R P, Dharamitra

  21. Dr Ramesh B Thakre, Geneticist, Bharat Krishak Samaj

  22. Rajubhau Tale, Sashwat Sheti Kruti Parishad

  23. Rajesh Krishnan, Coalition for a GM-Free India

  24. Ravi Badri, Ekta Parishad

  25. Prithvi Ghorpade, Organic Farmers’ Study Group

  26. Prathamesh Patil, Editor in Chief, Sumbaraan Magzine.

  27. Prashant Sawant, Honey For You

  28. Pandurang Shitole, Gram Parivartan

  29. Nitin Mate, Maharashtra Yuva Manch

  30. Nikhil Sheth, Back to the Land Unconference, Pune

  31. Neeraj Jain, Lokayat

  32. Namrata Devikar, Editor in Chief, The Bunk Magazine

  33. Narendra Joshi, Shetkari Mitra Kruti Gat

  34. Nand Kishor Gandhi, Satpuda Organic Farmers’ Group

  35. Maharudra Dake, Academy of Political and Social Studies

  36. Madhukar Ghumble, Kisan Mitra

  37. Kiran Gulrajani, CoEvolve
  38. Kavitha Kuruganti, Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture

  39. Karuna Futane, Gramseva Mandal, Wardha

  40. Kalpanatai Salunke, Pani Panchayat

  41. K J Joy, SOPPECOM

  42. Jayashree Rao, Gram Pari

  43. Jaiwant Mathkar, President, Sewagram Ashram Pratisthan

  44. Datta Patil, YUVA Rural

  45. Chinmay Futane, Sanvad

  46. Bharat Mansata, Van Vadi

  47. Banda Tatya Karadkar, Warakari Sampraday

  48. B G Kolse Patil, Retd. High Court Judge, Lokshasan

  49. Ashwin Paranjape, Gorus Organic Farming Association

  50. Ashok Bang, Chetana Vikas
  51. Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh

  52. Anitha Taheer, Arundel Farm

  53. Anant Bhoyar, Vidarbha Organic Farmers’ Study Group

  54. Ajit Abhyankar, CPI (M), Maharashtra

  55. Alok Tripathi, Biotechnologist, Director, Academia para la Educación Profesional



  1. Walter Mendoza, Pune

  2. Vitthal Deshmukh, Pune

  3. Vipul Shah, Baramati

  4. Tejashri Kamble, Korad Wahu Group, Pune

  5. Swati Kamble, Pune

  6. Swapnil Rishikant Shete, Film-maker, Mumbai

  7. Dr. Sushil  Tukaram Bari, Dnyandeep Academy

  8. Sunanda U Joshi, Pune

  9. Suma Josson, Film-maker, Mumbai

  10. Suhas Paranjape, Senior Fellow, SOPPECOM

  11. Sugandha Upasani, Pune

  12. Sudha Rajput, Pune

  13. Subroto Guin, Pune

  14. Shashi Dawre, Pune

  15. Seema Kulkarni, Senior Fellow, SOPPECOM

  16. Santosh Tungare, Pune

  17. Samiksha Farakate, Kankavli, Konkan

  18. Sachin Patil, Korad Wahu Gat, Nandurbar

  19. Rujuta Nalavade, Korad Wahu Gat, Pune

  20. Ritesh Gandhi, Pune

  21. Rishi Ganguly, Ecological Farming Group, Mumbai

  22. Rohit Patil, Korad Wahu Gat, Dhule

  23. Rina Kamath, Organic Farmer, Mumbai

  24. Rahul Goswami (formerly with National Agriculture Innovation Programme, GoI, 2009-13)

  25. Pawan K Shriwastav, Independent film-maker from Crowd Funding (Naya Pata)

  26. Preetee Oswal, Pune

  27. Pratibha Kamble, Pune

  28. Pranay Kamble, General Secratary Youth Congress, Pune city

  29. Pradeep Kamble, Pune

  30. Prabhakar Dhage, Executive Editor at Daily Pudhari

  31. Poonam Pate, Pune

  32. Poonam Barathe, Pune

  33. Pooja Shelar, Pune

  34. Pallavi Chavan, Korad Wahu Gat

  35. Nishant Morhule, Korad Wahu Gat

  36. Nishant Kamble, Pune

  37. Nikhil Kamble, Pune

  38. Neeraja Pathak, Pune

  39. Nanda Khare, Korad Wahu Gat

  40. Mukesh Varma, Mumbai

  41. Mrunalini Pol, Pune

  42. Madhavi Kolte, Pune

  43. Madhav Pandit, MOFF, Pune

  44. Mahesh Shinde, Director, Dnyandeep academy Pune

  45. Lakshmi Devi Nair, Pune

  46. Lalit Kamble, Maharashtra Arey  Dairy, Pune

  47. Kshitija Dhavle, Pune

  48. Kiran Hadpe, Pune

  49. Kshama Padalkar, Film Maker, FTII Pune.

  50. Kavita Phadatere, Pune

  51. Hemani Padya, Mumbai

  52. Ganesh Ghuge, Pune

  53. Dheeraj Barathe, Pune

  54. Deepak Kamble, Buddhist Society Of India, Pune

  55. Chandrakant Chavan, Pune

  56. Bharati Mirchandani, Pune

  57. Birajdar Ganesh, Latur

  58. Assunta Christy, Pune

  59. Akhilesh Deshpande, Amravati

  60. Ashwin Gambhir, Prayas Energy Group, Pune

  61. Akshay Utane, Korad Wahu

  62. Abhijit Patil, Dhule

  63. Anish Tore, Pune

  64. Anita Kharat, SHG, Baramati

  65. Abhay Saha, Initiatives of Change, Pachgani

  66. Akshay Indikar, Film Maker, FTII, Pune

2 thoughts on “GM Field trials in Maharashtra need to be stopped immediately: Open Statement

    1. I have grown vegetables organically my whole life I am 68 .This is the only way to grow vegetables considering pollution and health concerns, I hope your country stops GMO’S.

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