The Indian government is considering approving genetic modification of our fruits and vegetables starting with Brinjal. While a rigged up "Expert" Committee has recommended clearance to genetically modified Bt Brinjal, due to concerns raised by independent scientists and farmer groups, Minister Jairam Ramesh has requested public feedback before making a decision in February. Let us make our voices heard and democracy work! We can still save our Brinjal!
On January 30, the day that took Mahatma Gandhi from us, a day that also happens to be the last day of the offical national consultation hearing on BT Brinjal, we are planning to gather in different locations across India in prayer and fasting to stop Bt Brinjal. The call for a National Day of Fast is being given by several individuals, groups and people's movements including members of the Coalition for GM-Free India and National Alliance for People's Movements.
We request everyone both individually and from various groups and coalitions to sign up to participate on the day by either fasting or lighting a candle... either at your homes, or in groups at locations across India. The information from all sources will be constantly updated at the easy to remember URL
Here is what you can do:
-- Sign up for fasting or lighting a candle on Jan 30: please click here.
-- Organize a fast gathering on Jan 30: Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get your location listed. See venues.
-- For action leading up to Jan 30, please attend the national consultations and also write to the Minister your views even if you are not able to attend personally.
Sign up for fast or to light a candle Why Save Brinjal Why the National Day of Fast?
Sign up note --
Shri Jairam Ramesh,
Minister of State (I/C) for Environment & Forests,
Government of India.
I would like to convey to you that on Martyrs’ Day January 30 2010, I intend to fast or light a candle to ensure that Indian farming and food systems are free of Genetically Modified food items and to stop the Indian Government from giving any approval to Bt Brinjal. I believe Bt Brinjal would damage our health and adversely impact the environment owing to combining the poisonous Bt genetic material with vegetables. More so, it will open the floodgates to such technologies which will enslave Indian farming and threaten our food sovereignty.
Genetic engineering technology is not going to solve the issue of hunger. The answer lies in education, livelihoods, human rights and sustainable agriculture, development and appropriate technology. Bt Brinjal is a costly experiment to try on the Indian soil and the burden of its failure will have to be borne by common people, if approved. A few corporates and seed companies profit by this and the government should not succumb to the vested interests that are threatening the independence of the farmer and our rich traditional seed and and crop varieties that have sustained us for generations.
On January 30th, while remembering the Mahatma and his hard-fought battle of Swarajya through Satyagraha, I choose to uphold the national food sovereignty from needless, hazardous and enslaving technologies like GM seeds and in particular, Bt Brinjal. I have decided to join the hands of millions across the country to remember the Mahatma, who taught us the most equitable, just and sustainable way towards self-reliance.
Click to Sign