Concerned Citizens form Alliance on New Year's Eve; Declare to keep 2009 safe from Genetically Modified Food
Manifesto for 'Safe and secure food for all without Genetic Engineering' released
Chennai, 31st December 2008: In a very novel gesture of welcoming the new year, an association of physicians, lawyers, traders, human rights activists, farmers, consumers and academicians officially launched 'Safe Food Alliance', and held a candle light vigil at the Marina beach in the city taking an oath to keep the New Year 'GM food and crops' Free.
The vigil was part of the
Earlier in the week eminent fertility experts of the city Dr.Kamala Selvaraj and Dr. Jayam Kannan, at a press conference had strongly asserted that GM should be banned as its health impacts could involve immune system and liver failure and also infertility. The alliance felt that the Indian Government was rushing into an outdated technology with improper understanding and haste. It has formed a manifesto and will approach political parties in the state and urge them to take a stand against GM and for safe and secure food for all.
"What is of utmost shame to the state is the fact that, while the Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss hailing from Tamil Nadu takes such a progressive stand against GM food crops, hazardous GM trials are being conducted at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore. Political parties in the state need to see this exploitation of the agro bio tech industry which will not only affect the health of the citizens but also the agriculture biodiversity of the state, irreversibly", said Jai Krishna from Greenpeace.
Renowned organic farmer and member of the alliance, Dr.Nammalvar said that a good food system should ensure safe and nourishing food for all people, while restoring the land and the livelihoods of the poor. "GM crops cannot provide more food for the hungry millions; it does not make food safe or nourishing and makes our soil infertile. It has been seen that GM cannot provide more profits for farmers, and is completely unsafe for health" he said while talking about the GM crop technology.
Film Director Vasant and Actress Rohini along with other members of the alliance took an oath not to let GM technology in the country in 2009 and released a manifesto that will be sent to all the political parties of the state as a note of precaution and concern against GM. The demands of the manifesto included that 'all GM approvals be stopped immediately and GM crops safety studies done appropriately.' It also stated that medicinal herbs, staple crops like rice and other culturally significant crops should be declared as NOT to be genetically engineered and that the State agricultural universities should disengage any partnership research on GM crops with any private companies.
For further Information contact
Jai Krishna – Greenpeace +91 98455 91992
Pughazhendi- Vanigar Sangam Peravai, +91 98419 06290
Sundarajan- Poovulagin Nanbargal +91 98402 46661