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;