Scientists write to Maharashtra CM Mr Fadnavis on illegal GM crop cultivation

A group of agriculture scientists and foresters wrote to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis on the matter of illegal GM crop cultivation in the state, and the campaign being run by Shetkari Sanghatana in the state.
The main points in their attached letter are:
* HT cotton is being sought to be introduced by the biotech industry even though Bt cotton has failed in its claims.
* People who are encouraging farmers to plant HT Bt cotton are misleading them.
* In India, the regulators have not done any scientific evaluation or review of Bt cotton after approving it. Monsanto is hiding data on Bt cotton. The Cry protein is no longer able to kill the target pest and therefore, more genes are being added to increase the toxicity.
* GEAC’s assessment of the safety and efficacy of the super toxins on which Monsanto obtained its patent, is very poor.
* There was no scientific basis to GEAC’s green signal to Bt cotton or Bt brinjal or GM mustard and it was only citizen’s alertness and struggle that made the government stop the approvals given by the regulators. It is not clear what are the lobbies that are influencing the GEAC.
* Even though there has been no approval for HT cotton cultivation, MNCs and some organisations are trying to bring it in through the backdoor. They are deploying the same strategy that they used to introduce Bt cotton into India.
* The evidence with HT crops is in front of us – super-weeds get created, and other (non-GM) crops get destroyed. Glyphosate affects soil, other living organisms, and human health. In March 2015, 17 scientists from 11 countries studied the effects of glyphosate and concluded that it is a probable human carcinogen.
* American courts are awarding millions of dollars of compensation to cancer-affected individuals due to glyphosate. There are 14000 cases pending in front of the courts. It is now well known that the company (Monsanto) hid lots of information that it was privy to about lack of safety of Glyphosate and the courts have come to know about this now.
* Shetkari Sanghatana is also aware of all these facts and the dangers. It is a mystery why they are still asking for HT cotton seeds, and why are they misleading farmers.
* In India, apart from two Parliamentary Committees which have said No to HT crops, the MS Swaminathan-led Task Force has also recommended against the deployment of herbicide tolerant crops in the country.
* There is an ongoing Supreme Court case where all evidence is being reviewed by the Court. By growing illegal and unauthorised HT crops, Shetkari Sanghatana is showing disrespect to court.
* What we are witnessing currently is an abetment to a criminal or illegal activity and cases have to be filed to deal with this.
* It is companies like Monsanto and Bayer which have destroyed straightline varieties that used to be available for farmers in the country. They have thereby taken away the autonomy of farmers, and farmers  are paying a heavy price because of this. This is a ploy to destroy our farmers, environment and agriculture.
* We therefore request you to immediately get FIRs filed against those scientists, organisations and companies which are indulging in illegal HT cotton cultivation.
Krishi Vaigyanik Vichar Manch, Nagpur.

For more information, you can contact Dr Sharad Pawar at 9820518757.

Coalition for a GM-free India 

Website:, email :,  Facebook page – GM Watch India

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