Media update of the protest on Jan 22nd 2009 at memorial hall.
The release of the book Genetic Roulette by Jeffrey.M.Smith happened at Hotel Kanchi, Egmore from 10 am to 1pm and was quite a success with farmers and women groups forming majority of the gathered, he touched upon his experiences with farmers who cultivated GM crops. He said what makes a GM crop very dangerous is that it is almost impossible to predict what will happen every time we shoot a gene into a plant/crop, as it is not yet a perfect science. The metabolism that results is totally out of our control and releasing it into nature is a the biggest crime man can do… he also spoke of the GM campaign in US that is gaining strength and will tip the scale any day. He spoke of how the anti-gm groups in US got shopping guides with Non-GM food printed and gave it to consumers. (Maybe something we could do too!!) According to a study conducted 9/10 Americans want GM labeling on their food, but the American companies were being pro-gm for just % major companies against 90% of Americans. But recently Obama has promised GM labeling (Here, the entire audience applauded with wide grins ????!!!)
For the Indian anti-GM movement, Jeffrey Smith thinks we should move our strategy in Political, Medical and Educational (Farmers, Consumers) mode. He also attended the initial few minutes of the Protest and filmed some parts for his documentary.
Protest at Memorial Hall on 22nd January between 4 and 6pm with Almost 200 farmers and activists turned up, though at different points of time and thus the entire strength didn't really show. We used the whistles, blowing in time with some firebrand slogans.