- India is in the midst of agrarian crisis and hunger crisis – nearly 2 lakh farmers have ended their lives. It has also been unfortunately noted that a 3rd of the hungry in the world are the food producers themselves. We need to focus our agriculture on feeding people and providing our majority small farmers dignified livelihoods in the countryside. Therefore the day calls for strengthening the food producers of our nation by giving them control over their means of production including seeds and land and not making them dependent on companies or expensive credit for these. Government needs to ensure that farmers own, safe and affordable technologies are given to them, not untested corporate technologies. Furthermore, it is the right of farmers to produce food, for themselves and for society. We therefore demand food sovereignty and not dependence on Monsanto-Mahyco.
- Noted and respected scientist Mr. Pushpa Bhargava himself has noted that less than 12 of the required 30 tests were carried out before giving Bt Brinjal the clearance. Furthermore, he has also said that clearance was given on account of great pressure from Monsanto –Mahyco.
- We absolutely condemn corporations interfering in the matters of such great public importance and governments’ collusion with them as was demonstrated by GEAC.
- Members of SICCFM- had public debates with scientists of Tamil Nadu Agriculture University and Dharward Agriculture universities on BT Brinjal. These Universities have failed to convince the farmers on the GM crops particularly BT Brinjal. The former Vice chancellor of TNAU Mr.Ramasamy asked farmers that why don’t we accept BT technology from Monsanto, where as we have accepted Nokia and other MNCs. This is not a scientific argument appreciated by farmers and consumers.
- Unfortunately the public media has wrongfully labelled all anti Bt brinjal voices farmers as anti- technology. We beg to clear this false assumption. Technology like Bt that is harmful cannot be allowed just because it is ‘technology’. We farmers have our own technologies and science, and we want the government to promote these. We have been successfully adopting technologies developed by our Agriculture universities and research stations. We reject this BT technology as it denies our choice of choosing the crop as a farmers and choice of choosing non BT food. And also this will contaminate our bio diversity.
- Our sister and brother farmers in the Bt Cotton belt have already proven to us that Bt cotton has not been successful. It has caused great debts and hunger and worst of all – suicides.
- We SICCFM strongly feel that the problem of solving the food crisis cannot be solved by the Multinational corporations like Monsanto- Mahyco. It can’t be a technical solution, but a political solution by empowering small and marginal peasants of the country.