Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Congratulations on your Victory: TN Agriculture Council bill withdrawn

Dear Friends,

Thanks for your mails.

The CM had announced that he is holding the bill. That means he is not sending the bill to the Governor for his approval.

Till then the bill is, in fact hangs on. The bill could be withdrawn through another resolution in the assembly. We all should send mails, faxes and letters to the CM to withdraw it completely. Don't forget to thank him.

I am hopeful that the CM will do it. Yet we cannot be complacent.

This success is in fact a great victory for collective actions and the support of Press. This is not the work of my self (R.Selvam) alone. I share your congrats to every one.

We should bring every section of the society in the GM issue also. If all work collectively we could win. We have the strength. Let us chanelise our strength.

Thank you friends,

on behalf of


Companies should follow MTR's lead

Greenpeace volunteers dressed up as “traditional messengers”, unfurled a massive 6x4 feet scroll, which read, “Well Done MTR”, while handing over a Kannada copy of Safe Food Guide to their representative.

MTR is the only food company in India to have a comprehensive policy on GMOs. In an official response to Greenpeace, MTR Foods Ltd. stated, “We have a policy to use 100% natural ingredients and hence GM items are unacceptable.”

Various studies by independent scientists across the world have shown evidence suggesting that GM foods could be harmful to health, especially in the long run, and in ways that are yet unknown. Lab rats fed with GM food showed increased levels of liver and kidney toxicity, increased vulnerability to food allergies and low levels of immunity.

Greenpeace India launched the Safe Food Guide, earlier this week, which categorises 17 food companies operating in India into a ‘red list’ and a ‘green list’ based on their responses to Greenpeace regarding their policy on the use of GM ingredients in their food products.

PepsiCo, Dabur, Haldirams, ITC Foods and Ruchi Soya stated that that their products do not contain genetically modified ingredients in their foods as of today. Hence these companies made it to the ‘green’ list.Of all the companies, Nestlé (along with HUL and others)are on the other end of the spectrum in the ‘red list’.

“Responsible companies across the world are taking proactive steps and adopting a GM-free policy. Indian consumers should not be treated as lab rats for GM food to be experimented upon. Nestle has gone GM free in Europe, Russia and Brazil. Therefore, it is time that Nestlé stops violating its own policy in India and declares itself GM free,” demanded Shah.

Since the release of the guide, over 7,000 consumers have already started demanding that Nestlé India goes GM free and have sent emails to Mr. Antonio Wazcyk who will take over as Chairman and Managing Director, Nestlé India from October 2009.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

TNSAC bill on Hold-Let us rejoice victory with a thanks to the CM

It is really a pleasant surprise to many as there was not demos, no agitations, no slogan raisings, etc. Yet the CM announced that the bill will be on hold at present.

It looked like there was no great uproar here.

But a kind of pressure was built on the government through editorials, articles, press releases, post card campaign and more over the collective voice of all main stream farmers organisations, the press meets of Vandana Shiva, Claude, Satheesh the meeting of Devinder, etc. The support and actions of NGOs like LESIA, WOMEN COLLECTIVE,WOMEN FORUM, TN Environment Council, CREATE, FEDCOT and many others had played a very decisive role.

At the latter part the political parties slowly realised the facts and started to react. Dr.Ramadass of PMK, Com. Mahendran of CPI, Com.K.Balakrishnan, all had expressed solidarity with the farmers association and has started to carry out independent and collective actions.

Junior Vikatan and Pasumai Vikatan - magazines from the respected press group Vikatan did interviews from farmer leaders and articles, Down to Earth carried an article, Dinamani ( of The Indian Express Group) carried an editorial and two editorial page articles, the Kumudam Reporter's columnist and senior journo wrote about the act and GM crops in two issues, farmer leaders sent memoranda through District Collector all had made greater impact on the govt.


(In fact it is a half victory only. The govt. had announced that it will put the bill on hold. It should pass another resolution in the assembly to withdraw it. We all should be vigilant at the time of next assembly session to press the withdrawal.)


The Chief Minister's office fax and mail: Fax 91-44-25671441


on behalf of


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Greenpeace raises GM alert on top Indian foods

Food products of Nestlé, Cadbury, Kellogg, Britannia, and Safal are among a ‘red list’ in a guide on GM-free food released by Greenpeace in New Delhi on September 8, 2009.

The ‘Safe Food Guide’ is a first of its kind in India, and ranks 16 well-known food brands.

The guide comes at a time when the Indian Government is on the verge of approving genetically modified Bt Brinjal.

Following-Bt Brinjal, there are close to 40 other food crops, like rice, tomato, mustard, and potato, which the Indian Government may approve.

“The safety of GM crops as a foodstuff for animals and humans is unknown and the testing regimes are inadequate. Studies on lab rats show potential health risks including allergies, abnormal growth of liver and kidney and many unpredictable effects. Therefore, this guide plays an important role in informing consumers,” Jai Krishna, GM Markets Campaigner, Greenpeace India, said while releasing the guide.

The guide also comes in a pocket-sized version and lists companies based on their responses to Greenpeace India.

Companies like MTR, Dabur, Haldiram’s, ITC Foods, PepsiCo India, and Ruchi Soya are in the ‘green list’ based on their stand that their products are GM-free as of today.

In the ‘red list’ are Nestlé, Hindustan Unilever, Kellogg, Cadbury, Agro Tech Foods Ltd, FieldFresh Foods Pvt Ltd (a unit of Bharti Enterprises), Bambino Agro Industries Ltd, Britannia Industries Ltd, Godrej Hershey Foods, Parle, and Safal.

Bejon Misra, Managing Trustee, Healthy You Foundation, received the first copy of the guide.

“It is an excellent tool for the consumers to become aware about GMOs. This initiative by Greenpeace has brought these positions of food brands in the open. This would empower consumers to make an informed choice,” Misra said.

Greenpeace demands that: i) food businesses adopt a no-GM policy, because of the risks to health and environment, and ii) take proactive steps to inform consumers about the presence or absence of GM ingredients in their products.

Notes to the editor:

1. Download the Safe Food Guide: A consumer's guide to GM free food

2. Download the Safe Food Pocket Guide

Friday, May 8, 2009

Traders 26th annual conference, Vellore

26th annual conference of the Anaithu Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peravai’s conference at Vellore, Tamil Nadu

On May 5th at Vellore, the historic town of Tamil Nadu where the first freedom struggle- the Shepoy Mutiny in 1806 broke out in front of the British Fort, the powerful trader organisation leader Mr.Vellaiyan, declared that the Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peravai (Tamil Nadu Traders Association Federation) will fight against GM crops and will extend the support to all those who fight against the entry of MNCs in retail trade and farming.

The Peravai will continue to fight against the GM crops as this would put farmers to buy the company seeds every time." More than 60,000 traders and their family members from various part of the state had took part in this annual event of Vanigar Day Celebration and Annual Conference.

Having leaders of Trader Organisations from various part of the Country and the All India Traders Federation President in the dias Mr.Vellaiyan said that "all should put up a united fight against MNCs entry in farming and retail trade. The government is trying to impose on us the untested Bt Brinjal, Corn, Rice, Tomato, etc... ", The farmers will be forced to buy the seeds from the company and will be made dependable every time they go for sowing while practicing farming with GM seeds. This situation will lead to destroy the farming and farmers life. That's why we launched the agitation in front of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU, Coimbatore) and got arrested. “If farming is lost then retail trade in the small towns will also end, putting thousands and thousands of small traders in soup" he added. The influence of America is increasing in farming. Our governments simply follow their wish to loose our independency on farming.

Peravai released the election charter with demands. Some of them are

  • Encourage Organic farming through the state.
  • Ban GM crops and its research.
  • No SEZ in farm lands.
  • School uniforms should be in hand loom cloths.
  • Recognisation to Tamil Eelam.

At the end the conference peravai honored the traders who got arrested at coimbate on 2nd April 2009 for protesting in front of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) against Monsanto’s GM corn field trail. Also honored those acted as volunteers during the inauguration of Safe Food Alliance at Chennai, Marina Beach on 31st mid night.

A poster on hazards of GM food was released during the conference, aiming that the poster will be placed in every shop through out the state.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Conference resolutions

Conference of Tamil Nadu Farmers Associations against genetic engineering in Agriculture.

The Conference was the final event of the series of Anti GM activities carried in Coimbatore since early February. Street plays in Colleges and in the villages, signature campaign demanding ban on GM crops and food, a large protest rally (March 16th) have been happening since later February.

Conference of All Farmers Association Leaders of Tamil nadu was convened by SFA on 3rd of April in which almost all the prominent farmers association’s leaders were presented and took active role in the discussions. Before the intense discussion Jai Krishna of Greenpeace, Selvam of Organic Farmers Federation, Jacob Nellithanam of Richarria Campaign had briefed the various aspects of GM research, present scenario of international, national level agitations, farmer’s plight, IPR and Indo-US Knowledge Initiative Agreement.

Shri. Md.Idris, Consumer Association of Penang, Ms.Kavitha of GM free India had sent their messages and wished the conference and the leaders. Navdanya, Delhi had sent Bt.Brinjal hand outs for farmer leader’s benefit.

The conference expressed its solidarity and its concern on the health of Edita and Danuta who are in a hunger strike demanding a ban on GM crops in Poland braving the chilling weather of 1° C and the supporters Jadwiga , Anna Bednarek, farmer and engineer who had jumped in the strike as support.

Excerpts from the addresses of representatives of various Farmer associations
Dr.Sivasamy, President of Thamizhaga Vivasayeegal Sangam (Tamil nadu Farmers association), in his inaugural address said that the origin of man from micro organisms is the product of evolution and synergy of various natural orders. Genetic Engineering is disturbing and destroying this synergy. Earlier we all farmed with good seeds but in the name of Green Revolution all of them were destroyed. Now GM seeds are coming to destroy completely.

Delay by every minute in destroying the GM crops means we are inviting more and more irreparable damage to our world. Like any poison the toxins from GM crops too damage the alimentary system, circulatory system, Spleen, Liver, lungs, etc.

The scientists who have advocated and promoted Green Revolution are now advocating Organic ways of farming. They should be put behind bars for this kind of double talking and backtracking.

The world’s worst institution is the government of America. The more we get closer to the American policies, the more we are making ourselves slaves. We should get free from this trap.
Getting a Ban on GM crops and food should be our first priority among the various issues that we have. Governments, MNCs and scientists all have joined together in forcing the GM crops on us.

It is not easy to fight against the companies like Monsanto individually. We all should be united to fight GM crops. Though we have many differences among ourselves we must put up a united fight against GM crops.

Dr.Markandan, Former Vice Chancellor of Gandhi Gram University, in his felicitation address said that the Government too is against the people. The universities should help the farmers in producing their own seeds instead of supporting the companies to produce sterile seeds.

GM means economic slavery, will put farmers permanently under the domination of Corporates. Who will be responsible and accountable if the GM technology and crops went wrong and play havoc?, he questioned.

Mr.Vellaiyan, President of Tamil Nadu Vanighar Sangangalin Peravai in his address narrated how he answered the fellow trader’s association leaders questioning him why traders should take part in farmer’s issues. “I convinced them and made to realise that 70% of the people in India are dependent of farming. With the entry of MNCs in farming means that the farmers will be thrown out of farming. If farming is affected then the economic loss of this will reach traders in no time. And the direct impact of this economic loss will be on small traders.”

The imperialistic forces are trying to enter in the retail trade to capture and destroy the small traders by monopolizing the retail trade. GM is also in the line to monopolies the farming and food, to destroy the seeds rule over the farmers and sovereignty of the nation. He appealed the farmer’s association leaders that the farmers should join their hands in fighting the entry of multi national giants in the retail trade.

Any government that comes to the power in May should come out of WTO. WTO had done nothing to us. Our growth is not due to WTO. The development of Indian science and technology is not due WTO but due to the isolation and blockade imposed by the same forces on us. Let us not forget that we had sent satellite to moon not because of WTO. The WTO is to ruin our S&T only.

During this election we all should be united to win over our demands and should extract promises from the political parties.

Mr.A.M.Raja, President of CIFA, Tamil Nadu State Wing in his address said that the problems of GM is not just with one crop or yield but goes much beyond that. It had crossed every boundary of various civil societies’ circles. The scientists are not telling the truth. They have become the mouth piece of the companies.
Last year the Vice Chancellor of TNAU said, “I personally had tasted Bt.Brinjal and it was so tastier than other varieties.” When questioned in a different forum, he admitted that he had not tasted it. All are lying to us. Now at this present election every one of our votes should prove who we are. 2011 is not too far. (Here he is referring the State Assembly election in 2011).

Let us strengthen our vote bank. Let us prepare the farmers to show their feelings and strength in a united manner.

The government and the universities are working for the welfare of the companies and not for the people. They are no more for the welfare of the people.

In this election time we should get commitment from every political party on this issue.

Mr.N.S.Palanisamy, President of Tamil Nadu farmers association (non political) during his speech said that the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University should work for the farmers benefits and work farmers’ need based research. Unfortunately the TNAU is going in the other direction.

The University should priority for traditional, chemical free farming ways. If it failed the government should direct the university to do so.

Mr.Sakthivel, Vazhuukku Parai Balu, Mr.Nallasamy, Thiru Navukkarasu, Thulasimani, Ila. Ka. Sadagopan, Mr.Kannaian have also shared their view and echoed similar sentiments.
1). The government of Tamil Nadu should declare Tamil Nadu as a state free of GM crops or food to protect the farming, farmers, people, and the fertile soil. All Field trials of the GM crops be stopped and banned. No GM research should be permitted by state agricultural universities in collaboration with Private Companies.

2). To protect the sovereignty of the nation, to provide Safe Food for all priorities be given to development plans and research on Traditional farming methods, Saving the traditional seeds of the Nation. Tamil Nadu should stop doing researches benefiting the corporates including the Monsanto. Instead it should direct the research for the need and benefit of farmers.

3). The Farmers Associations will launch a massive protest in front of the Tamil nadu agricultural University and stop the research that are not in tune with the traditional farming (this includes Organic and Natural farming).

4).The TNAU in its press release saying that 80% of the Corn yield is lost due to the pest and weeds problems and also said that GM crops are absolutely safe. These statements are farcical. The conference severely condemns the TNAU for this kind of false statements.

5). The Leaders of farmers association request every political party in the state and the central to make open statement or declare in their Election Manifesto that they will ban or support banning of GM crops and food in the state and India as well.

6).The central government should pay a compensation of 10 lakh rupees to the families of all those who had committed suicide due the failure of Bt.Cotton.

7).The conference resolved that during this Parliament election the farmers association will join their hands with the Traders Federation and other like minded organizations to campaign for a ban on GM crops and Food and to oppose the entry of MNCs in retail trade.

8). The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University should call for a public hearing and provide information of all the research done on Gm crops.

9). The Government of India should terminate the Indo-US Knowledge Initiative Agreement signed with the US.

10). If the TNAU fails to destroy the hazardous GM maize trial immediately, before the end of the trial period, the conference warns that the farmers associations in association with Traders federation, Green movements and SFA will launch a massive protest rally and agitate in front of TNAU.
Representatives of organizations adopting the resolutions of the Conference.

1) Dr.M.R.Sivasamy, President of Thamizhaga Vivasayeegal Sangam ( Tamil Nadu Farmers association)
2) Dr. Na. Markandan, Former Vice Chancellor of Gandhi Gram rural university
3) T.Vellaiyan, President, Tamil Nadu Vanighar Sangangalin Perava
4) Ila.Ka. Sadagopan, Tamil nadu Farmers Movement. ( Thamizhaga Uzhavar Perriakkam).
5) Mr.C.M. Thulasi Mani, Vice President, Tamil nadu Vivasayeegal Sangam, (affiliated to the Communist Party of India).
6) Mr.N.S.Palanisamy , President of Tamil nadu farmers association ( non political).
7) Mr. S.Nallusamy, Keezh Bhavani Farmers’ Association. (Lower Bhavani Project Farmers Association).
8) A.M.Raja, President, Confedration Of Indian Farmers Association.
9) R.Selvam, Organic Farmers Federation.
10) Su. Kannaiyan, Organising Secreatry, Thamilga Vivasayeegal Sangam.
11) G.Thirunavukkarasu, Thalanmai Uzhavargal Iyaakkam.
12) P.Thirugana Sambantha Moorthy, Upparru Pasana Vuivasayeegal Sangam. (Upparu River basin Farmers Association).
13) Arumuga Manickkam, Kongu Mandala Vivasayeegal Sangam. ( Kongu region Farmers Association).
14) R.A. Sakthivel, President,South Indian Coconut growers’ Association.
15) K. Ram Mohan, State President, HMKP.
16) Kongu Kulanthaisamy, Erode Dist. Horticultural Farmers’ Society.
17) Dr.Sathya Sundari, Bhavani River Protection Federation.
18) Ponnuthai, Womens Collective.
19) R.Ravi Kumar, Kongu Research Centre.
20) R. Shiva Shanmugam, Organic People.
21) Sundararajan, Poovulagain Nanbargal.
22) M. Shajudheen, Pasumai Illaingarkal. (Green Youth).
23) Kurunthasalam, South Indian Tribals Association.
Those who could not participate but given consent for the resolutions
1) Vetta Valam Manikandan, Thamilaga Vivasyaeegal Sangam.
2) K.Bala Krishnan, State President, Thamizhaga Vivasayeegal Sansam. (Affiliated to the Communitst Party of India Marxist)
3) Arupathy. Kalyanam, General Secreatry, Federation Of Farmers Association of Cauvery Delta Districts.
4) M. Cheran, President, Federation Of Farmers Association of Cauvery Delta Districts.
5) Prabhu Raja, President, NAM farmers’ Movement.
6) Thalpathi, President, Thadappali Farmers Association.
7) Velayutham, President, Kaligarayan Farmers Federation.
8) Vaiyapuri, Iykkiya Farmers Sangam.
9) Abbas, Millai Periyar River Protection Council.

Lunch Break

Friday, April 3, 2009

'Monsanto Quit India’, 65 activists arrested

'Monsanto Quit India’, say active protestors at TNAU, get arrested

Coimbatore, 2nd April 2009: The movement against Genetically Modified (GM) crops in Tamil Nadu took a dramatic turn today when a large number of protestors, led by Vellaiyan, the leader of Tamil Nadu Traders Association were arrested by the police for staging an active protest against the field trial of a GM corn plant inside the premises of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU). The protestors, under the umbrella organization of the Safe Food Alliance had come together to demand immediate destruction of the field where trial of BT corn, a hazardous GM food crop developed by Monsanto within the university premise was being carried out in secrecy for the last 3 months.

Genetically modified (GM) foods have been proved to be risky and can cause serious health hazards like hyper allergies, retarded growth, inflammation and liver and kidney toxicity. Studies have even predicted that long term consumption of GM foods like Bt corn can lead to serious reproductive problems and eventually to infertility. GM crops also are unanimously opposed by all farmers union’s across India, as they can contaminate the agri-biodiversity developed over thousands of years, while increasing corporate control over seed, impairing soil fertility and end the rights of farmers over their seed.

Despite these issues surrounding GM crops that have been raised by activists, the TNAU has been conducting open air field trials for the multinational company Monsanto on the public land held by the university - free of cost.

“We are tired of the strategy of silent destruction that this university has adopted” Said Mr. Vellaiyan, President of the Tamil Nadu Vanighar Sangangalin Peravai while being dragged into the police van. “The university is acting against the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu - both farmers and traders. It has sworn its loyalty to the MNC Monsanto by conducting this field trial, and has been defending its act by propagating lies and misleading the government and the people of this state,” he added.

Earlier in March, the Safe Food Alliance had organised a rally against the continued allegiance of the University to the MNC Monsanto. On the same day, representatives form more than 11 Farmers organisaitons, Tamil Nadu Vanighar Sangangalin Peravai and Greenpeace had delivered a set of recommendations to the University- asking it to destroy the field trials immediately.

‘When countries across the world like France, Italy, Austria, England, Poland and Romania have decided to keep a moratorium on GM crops, when states like Kerala can declare themselves GM free and chart a organic path to revive their farming sector, why cant Tamil Nadu ? If we farmers don’t need GM crops, why does the university continue signing agreements with foreign companies for collaboration?’ asked Aruchamy of the Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam..

Today’s active protest carries a lot of significance to the fluid political situation in the State- as the 15th Lok Sabha Elections are fast approaching. Many parties, like the PMK- Pattali Makkal Katchi have taken a strong position against GM crops in the Manifesto. The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) had also been supporting the demand for gm free India and for a state ban in Tamil Nadu.

Mrs. Ponnuthai of the Womens Collective, who is part of the team, said, “We are here to protest against the introduction GM food in the country. As responsible citizens, we are here to assert that we do not need such technologies. As consumers, our right to safe food cannot be violated and we cannot be made into lab rats in this experiment”

The protests against such anti farmer alliances made by public sector universities has also flared up at Kolhapur in Maharashtra recently. There also farmers have united against the leadership of legendary farmers leader N D Patil and have demanded immediate halt and destruction of the Monsanto’s BT Corn field trial which is currently going on inside the Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyalaya campus in Kolhapur.

Today’s active protest at TNAU university also was also addressed by many others including K. Ramakrishnan, of the Periyar Dravida Kazhagam, Balusamy, Secretary, Thondamuthur region, Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, Selvam from the Erode district organic farmers collective and Jai Krishna from Greenpeace.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Conference of all Farmers’ Associations

Conference of all Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Associations against
Genetic Engineering in Agriculture planned in Coimbatore- Safe Food Alliance

Coimbatore: 30th March 2009: A conference of all the Farmers associations in the state is being organised in Coimbatore on the 3rd of April against Genetically modified crops in Agriculture by The Safe Food Alliance.

Genetically modified (GM) foods have been proved to be risky and can cause health hazards like allergies to serious problems retarded growth, inflammation and liver and kidney toxicity. A recent study has even predicted that long term consumption of GM foods like Bt corn can lead to serious reproductive problems and eventually to infertility. GM crops also are unanimously opposed by all farmers unions across India, as they can contaminate the agri-biodiversity developed over thousands of years, while increasing corporate control over seed and imparing soil fertility.

It is also known that despite the issues surrounding GM crops, the Tamil Nadu agricultural university has been found to conduct field trials for the multinational company Monsanto on its own land - free of cost. On March 16th, the safe food alliance had organised a rally against the continued allegiance of the University to the MNC Monsanto. On the same day, representatives form more than 11 farmers organisaitons, Tamil Nadu vanighar sangangalin peravai and Greenpeace had delivered a set of recommendations to the University.

“Despite our representation, the university has not given any responsible answer so far. In this juncture, we have decided to call for an all farmer organization conference to consolidate the opinions of all the farmers representatives in the state”, said Mr. Vazhukkuppaarai Balu, President of Tamizhagha Vivasaaya Sangam. “A decision to ban GM crops is expected to be adopted in this conference after detailed deliberations within farmer organizations”. He added.

Mr.N.S.Palanisamy Ex. MLA, of the Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam (Non political), said that “Agricultural research in India has never been in favour of farmers. The TNAU always been mis-prioritising its research and its seeds have never been adopted by farmers all these years. Now it has started becoming outsourcing agents for anti farmer agenda of Multinational companies.” “We are going to get a unanimous resolution among farmers of the state against this university.” He added.

“The upcoming election is an ideal platform to put forward the demand for a safe food without Gm crops. All parties should come together in banning GM crops and should mention it in their manifestos. Members of the Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peravai and their families, will choose the political parties that that bring a GM Free India proclamation in their manifesto” said Mr. Vellaiyan the president of the Peravai.

The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) in its manifesto, that has been released on 27th of this month, has declared that it will insist on long-term research before the introduction of GM crops and that Agricultural universities should not be allowed to carry out research on such crops along with the private sector.

Mr. Eashwaran, state deputy organizer of the Engineers association of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), who was present at the conference, said “Our General Secretary Mr. Vaiko, has taken a position against GM crops”. He further added that “It has already been stated by the outgoing union Health minister, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss that GM crops in India have not been tested to be safe. Thus, we would not support the approval of GM crops without long term safety tests, and without assessing the impacts on farmers.”
Mr. Sundararajan of Poovulagin Nanbargal and Mr. Selvam.of the Erode Organic Farmers’ Collective- part of the Safe Food Alliance, were also present during the interaction.

Program Agenda: English, தமிழ்

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Protest: Media Clips

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kovai: Rally Protest

16th march 2009: A deligation of 11 farmer’s leaders and Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangam met the Registrar of TNAU and submitted a memorandum advised the university to destroy the ongoing GM Corn field trail for Monsanto. Police force of 150 personnel was deputed to manage the situation in TNAU. Farmers’ leaders were shocked to see the kind of reception in the University, yes, the main gate of the University was locked by the Police and security personals to prevent entry of the farmer’s leaders. The previous day the police requested to the Safe Food Alliance to submit the memorandum to the district collector as there is no Vice chancellor to TNAU and the Registrar was also not in station. But the Mr.Ram mohan, a representative of safe food alliance told the Police that the Police has no role to advise us to decide to whom the representation to be submitted. The Police said that only 5 representatives could meet the Registrar as there is insufficient space in his office room, but the all the leaders wanted to meet the Registrar. Finally the Registrar of the TNAU came out to his office premises and received the memorandum. Senior farmer’s leader Mr.K.Balakrishnan submitted the memorandum and said the demand of the alliance. But, the registrar was in a hurry to get back to his seat and kept on saying that he would read the memorandum and get back to us.

Rally in the afternoon.
A rally of farmers, traders, women and general public under the banner Safe Food Alliance started in Gandhi Puram near Thiruvalluvar Bus stand. Mr. Vellaian , president of Tamil Nadu vanigar Sangam presided the inaugural of the rally and Mr. Su. Si. Kalaiarasan of Viduthalaigal siruthaigal inaugurated the the rally.
More than 500 women and men wearing ribbon on their fore head saying “No to GMOs” and were marching in the procession shouting slogans against the GMOs, Monsanto, Tamil Nadu Agriculture university and state and central governments. They were also demanded complete ban on GMOs as they are cause cancer, infertility and allergy etc. There were hundreds of placards against GMOs, Monsanto and TNAU were carried and displayed by the participants.
  • Women from women collective were wearing vegetables as ornaments and shouted against GMOs.
  • Mr. Markandan, former Vice chancellor of Gandhi Gram Rural University presided the demonstration in front of the Red Cross Society in Coimbatore at the end of the 5km long procession. He strongly condemned the Government of India and government of Tamil Nadu for having mindlessly allowing GMOs in our country.
  • Mr.Vellaiyan Leader of Tamil Nadu appealed to political parties take resolve to make the state GM Free and announce the same before Lok Sabha election and should implement if they are elected to power or should continue to fight against GMOs if they happened to be in opposition. He declared on behalf of Vanigar sangam that his organisation is even prepared to take violent means to destroy the field trails if it absolutely necessary to prevent the entry of GMOs in Tamil Nadu and to ensure the health and safety of people. He further said that the members of vanigar sangam and their family will cast their votes only to the parties who come out clearly against GMOs.
  • Ms. Saral, secretary of the Women’s collective of the Nilgiris district came out very strongly against the anti farmer and anti people research initiatives of the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU) for the benefit of Trans National Agri Business giant Monsanto by conducting the open field trials in the university campus.
  • Mr. Valukku Parai balu veteran farmers leader said that farmers totally rejected the GMOs as it will take away the farmers control over the seeds and a serious threat to fertility of the land and human and animal health.
  • Mr.Ce.Ma.Velusamy, M.L.A and former minister of Tamil Nadu government and Mr.Pollachi. Jeyaraman, Ex.Minister were also extended their solidarity on behalf their party.
  • Ms. Grace from the Nesakarangal, a part of the Tamil Nadu Womens Forum, N.S. Palanisamy, C.Nallusamy, Mr. Balusamy, Er. Ramasamy, Mr.Thulasimani, Mr.S.Kannaiyan, Mr.Ram Mohan, Vetavalam Manikandan and Mr.R.Selvam were expressed their commitment and extended their solidarity for the ban and banishment of GMOs.

Demands for the Tamil Nadu Government by the safe food alliance:

  • Burn and destroy the GM corn field trial presently being conducted in the campus of the university,
  • GM crops and their field trials should be banned immediately. All State agricultural universities (SAU) must disengage any partnership research on GM crops with any private companies.
  • No GM foods should be allowed through imports or through other means. Strict action should be taken on illegal imports.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


THE SAFE FOOD ALLIANCE and Greenpeace are organizing a state level massive MARCH & PROTEST with thousands of farmers, consumers, students, women’s group and the public at Coimbatore against GM food.

The first Gm crop in India, Bt Brinjal is about to be released anytime now by the central government is not yet proved to be safe. International experts from France and Australia who have reviewed the data have stated that the tests are totally insufficient to say that Bt Brinjal is safe.
Tamil Nadu agricultural university has been found to conduct field trials for the company – on its campus. A variety of GM Corn, which belongs to Monsanto, has been in trial in the university since December 2008. This is an act against people’s rights to choose. 

Join us and voice out, to make sure our food is safe
on Monday, 16th March 2009, at 4.00 pm

Rally Starts at Thiruvalluvar bus stand, Gandhipuram and Protest at 5pm in front of Red Cross building, Coimbatore

பாதுகாப்பான உணவுக் கூட்டமைப்பும் அதன் ஒரு அங்கமான கிரீன்பீஸ் (Greenpeace) அமைப்பும், விவசாயிகள், நுகர்வோர், மாணவர்கள், பெண்கள் அமைப்புகள், மற்றும் பொதுமக்கள் இணையும் மாநில அளவிளான மரபணு மாற்ற உணவிற்கு எதிரான மாபெரும் பேரணி, ஆர்ப்பாட்டத்தை கோவையில் நடத்த உள்ளது.

மரபணு மாற்று பயிர்கள் இன்று நமது பாரம்பரிய வேளாண் முறைகளை மிக வேகமாக அழித்து வருகிறது. எந்த முன்னெச்சரிக்கையுமின்றி, தகுந்த உயிர் பாதுகாப்பு ஆய்வுகளுமின்றி, பலதரப்பு மக்களிடமிருந்து வரும் பலத்த எதிர்ப்புகளையும் பொருட்படுத்தாமல் இந்திய அரசு, மரபணு மாற்று பி.டி. கத்திரிக்காயை வெகு விரைவில் அறிமுகப்படுத்தவிருக்கிறது. 

இச்சமயத்தில் தமிழ்நாடு வேளாண்மைப் பல்கலைக்கழகம், பன்னாட்டு பகாசுர நிறுவனமான மான்சாண்டோ போன்ற நிறுவனங்கள் தரும் பணத்திற்காக மரபணு மாற்றுப் பயிர் ரகங்களை பகிரங்கமாகவும், ரகசியமாகவும் ஆய்வு செய்து வருகின்றன. குறிப்பாக, இங்கு பி.டி. மக்காச்சோளம் மான்சாண்டோவிற்காக இலவசமாக பயிரிட்டுள்ளது உறுதியாகியுள்ளது. இது மக்களின் உணவு, சுகாதாரம், சுற்றுச்சூழல் போன்ற அடிப்படை உரிமைகளை அழிக்கும் ஒரு செயலாகும்.

மார்ச் 16 அன்று (திங்கள்) பேரணியில் கலந்து கொண்டு நமது உணவினை மரபணு மாற்ற ஆபத்திலிருந்து தடுக்க வாரீர்.

பேரணி மாலை 4 மணிக்கு காந்திபுரம் திருவள்ளுவர் பேருந்து நிலையத்திலிருந்து தொடக்கம்; 5 மணிக்கு செஞ்சிலுவை சங்கம் அருகில் ஆர்ப்பாட்டம்.

Participating in the massive protest are…
Dr. MARKANDAN, Former Vice Chancellor, Gandhi Gram University; 
VELLAIYAN, President, Tamilnadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peravai; 
Dr. M. R. SIVASAMY, President, Tamilnadu Farmers Association;
K. BALAKRISHNAN, State Secretary, Tamilnadu Farmers Association (C.P.I.(M));
E. K. SADAGOPAN, President, Tamilnadu Uzavar Periyakam; 
C. BALASUBRAMANIAM, Swadeshi Vivesayigal Kuttamaipu; 
T. S. PRABHU RAJA M.A., President, National Agricultural Awareness Movement; 
Su. Si. KALAIARASAN, District Secretary, Vithudhalai Siruthaigal; 
S. NALLASAMY, Coordinator,Tamilnadu Kal Iyakkam; 
K. C. RATHNASAMY, President, Tamilnadu Farmers Association; 
Vettavalam. K. MANIKANDAN, President, Tamilnadu Farmers Association;
Vazukupaarai BALU, District president, Tamilnadu Farmers Association;

இந்த பேரணி ஆர்ப்பாட்டத்தில்...

தமிழ்நாடு வணிகர் சங்கங்களின் பேரவைத் தலைவர் திரு. வெள்ளையன் ;
காந்திகிராம பல்கலைக்கழக முன்னாள் துணை வேந்தர் முனைவர். மார்கண்டன்;
தமிழக விவசாயிகள் சங்கத் தலைவர் டாக்டர் M.R.சிவசாமி ;
CPI (M) விவசாயத் சங்கத் தலைவர் திரு. K.பாலகிருஷ்ணன் ;
விடுதலை சிறுத்தைகள் மாவட்ட செயலாளர் திரு.சுசி. கலையரசன் ;
தேசிய விவசாய விழிப்புணர்வு இயக்கம் (NAAM) தலைவர் திரு . T. S.பிரபுராஜா;
தமிழக விவசாயத் சங்கத் தலைவர் வழுக்குப்பாறை திரு. பாலு ;
திரு. N.S. பழனிச்சாமி EX- M.L.A 
தமிழக விவசாயத் சங்கத் தலைவர் திரு. K. C. ரத்தினசாமி ;
தமிழக உழவர் பேரியக்கத் தலைவர் திரு. இல. க. சடகோபன் ;
சுதேசி விழிப்புணர்வு இயக்கத் தலைவர் திரு. C. பாலசுப்பிரமணியம் ;
தமிழக விவசாயத் சங்கத் தலைவர் வேட்டவலம் திரு. K. மணிகண்டன் ;

ஆகியோர் உட்பட பலர் கலந்து கொள்ள உள்ளனர்.


Jai Krishna – Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner, Greenpeace India, 098455 91992;
Chennai: Sundararajan – Poovulagin Nanbargal, 98402 46661;
Coimbatore: Gnanaguru – Affiliate, Safe food alliance, 98426 44151;

Friday, February 27, 2009

Street Play Marathon

Street Play Marathon

On the 18th, 19th and 20th of February 2009, safe food alliance met around 6000 students and 1000 public in the city of Coimbatore. 

Street play marathon titled “Thalaiyaati Bhommaigal” by the team named “Theatre for Rights” from Chennai performed to highlight the issue of GM and state of the farmer today.Colleges visited:
• P.S.G. Management College, Peelamedu
• G.R. Damodaran College, Nava India
• P.S.G.R. Krishnamal College, Hope College
• Hindustan College, Meenakshi Garden
• C.I.T. College, Sitra
• Nirmala College, Red Field
• P.S.G. Medical College, Peelamedu
• N.G.P. College, Nehru Nagar
• R.V.S. Engineering College, Sulur
also some of the neighbouring villages like Kaalapatti, Thondamuthur and V.O.C park. 

The response has been overwhelming and we have got more than 4000 signatures on banners. 

The core of the play has been “GM crops are in Tamil Nadu, and GM can be harmful to your health and farmers livelihood. It is in Coimbatore today and it could be in your plate tomorrow. The reason behind this is the MNC Monsanto and its subsidiary – the state owned “Tamil Nadu Agricultural University”. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cover Story: Business World

AGRICULTURE: The Future Of Food

Businessworld (issue 3-9 Feb 2009) covered the story on GM, India’s first genetically modified vegetable Bt Brinjal and other GM crops, promise food security and on consumer safety.

Check the following link or just click the picture above for the complete article.