Archive for the ‘GM Crops’ Category

Kisan Swaraj yatra – coming to Kerala – Can we join the campaign

Dear Friends,

I hope you remember that since the last year and earlier this year, we all joined the  campaign against G M crops in India.  The response was very encouraging and we were able to communicate message to the people, media as well as to state govt. Although with the active efforts of Minister of Environment and Forest Mr. Jaiam Ramesh Govt. of India and with active support of State Governments like Kerala, has temporarily stopped the commercial cultivation of GM Brinjal but many other issues are still there which needs strong discussion and advocacy. Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA), a network of individuals and organizations across the country that has grown out of this movement has decided to initiate these issues.

The Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA), has announced that a Kisan Swaraj Yatra would set off from Sabarmati Ashram on October 2nd 2010, to remind all Indians of our hard-won independence and the insidious ways in which agri-business corporations, supported by the State are taking this independence and sovereignty away, especially with regard to our food and farming. This Yatra is a call for joining forces to save Indian farming and farmers mired in deep distress and to forge a sustainable path forward for Indian farming.

The Yatra will highlight issues such as seeds sovereignty, land grab, climate change, food sovereignty and security, GE seeds, chemical pesticides, farm produce pricing, etc. that directly and indirectly affect small farmers in addition to bringing up a debate around the proposed Green Revolution in Eastern India, the tie-ups that several governments have with MNCs like Monsanto, the continuing saga of farmers suicides and so on.

The Yatra will also raise the concerns over free trade and bilateral agreements, the proposed food security and seeds laws, BRAI Bill, the handing over of public resources for private gains etc. The Kisan Swaraj Yatra will also draw in urban consumers into its fold and will raise issues of food safety, consumer choices etc. The Yatra will celebrate the conservation of diversity by farmers, farmers knowledge and will highlight the successes of ecological farming. The participants will develop concurrent events, programmes, campaigns in accordance with the needs and priorities in their respective states.

The Yatra will visit Kerala from 26th to 29th of October. A concept note in English is attached. We have to plan the programmes for Kerala.  The Yatra will travel through Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Palakkad.

To plan this we are calling a meeting along with Jaiva Karshaka Samithi and One Earth One Life on 15th September 2010 at Kozhikode at 11.00 am.  Please ensure you are able to participate in this meeting.  Please call Sridhar ( 09995358205) for details of venue of this planning meeting.
Hope for an active participation, cooperation and involvement in the Kisan Swaraj Yatra. At the bottom  is the concept note, travel details and a press release.

Usha S (9447022775)
Sridhar R (9995358205)

H-3, Jawaharnagar, Kawdiar P.O. Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
India PIN 695 003
Tel / Fax: +91 471 2727150

Concept note, travel details and a press release.

swaraj yatra-concept note-aug.25

KSY anncmnt-PR-aug.25


Decision on Commercialisation of Bt-Brinjal Part1

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2009 highlights – responsible technology


Why we need and deserve your support!
“The coming year promises to bring about a greater, more pervasive awareness” of the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food supply. This was the prediction of Supermarket News, a trade publication that conventional food executives and retailers use as a primary source of news and trends in the industry. They specifically credit the Institute for Responsible Technology and our new Non-GMO Shopping Guide site as one of the key reasons for this coming change. This is just one of many indications that our tipping point is on its way, and that our strategy is the right one. The success of our Campaign for Healthier Eating in America accelerated dramatically in 2009. We have new partners in all the key sectors, and especially among retailers, health organizations, sustainable agriculture and environmental NGOs, and we are reaching into new groups—like restaurants, religious organizations, parents and many more. We hired two outstanding professionals with extensive experience in coalition building, business
development and sales, who are establishing a national network of organizations and opinion leaders to disseminate our materials to tens of millions of people. In addition, our new internet marketing team is enhancing our website and social media presence. We are more effective than ever at responding to the overwhelming enthusiasm, good will, and opportunities that we generate in the US and around the world.


Building Scientific Support for the Mission
The first medical professional association in the US to take an official position warning of the health risks of GM (genetically modified) food—the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)—called for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent studies, labeling, and asked doctors to prescribe
non-GMO diets and provide educational materials to all patients. This was the result, in part, of four years of IRT work, including three presentations by Jeffrey at their conferences. He received an award at their October conference, where he also spoke. Please see AAEM’s position paper.
Hawaii Organizes!
Jeffrey was invited by the coalition of anti-GMO groups in Hawaii to give a speaking tour. He spoke to packed audiences on four islands, met with local activists to launch new strategic initiatives, and generated media coverage reaching an estimated 500,000 people. He testified before the Big Island County
Council. Less than two months after Jeffrey’s Hawaii tour, two county councils passed resolutions against GMOs. Non-GMO Education Centers were placed in natural food stores statewide, GMO films were shown at public venues and on TV, and a team of students/staff at the University of Hawaii has emerged to address the GMO issue in Hawaii.

Sugar Beets Registry

Last February, on Valentine’s Day, a Non-GM Beet Sugar Registry was launched with the support of 70+ natural foods companies who oppose the introduction of sugar from GM Sugar Beets (planted in 2008) into our food supply. These companies pledged to avoid using GM sugar in their products and the list continues to grow with now more than 100 companies onboard. IRT and the Center for Food Safety (CFS) headed a coalition of 12 watchdog groups who sponsored the Registry. These efforts have expanded into Canada as well.
A Major Victory in Kansas
In response to consumer rejection of milk containing bovine growth hormone (rbST/rbGH), Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Kroger, Publix, Yoplait, Dannon, and 58 of the top 100 dairies have committed to stop using this the drug for some or all of their product lines. As a counter-move, rbGH proponents petitioned state governments, asking them to ban rbGH-free labeling of dairy products. IRT is part of a coalition of organizations that have success-fully fought off these attempts in several states (although some states now require a disclaimer on the package claiming no difference in milk from treated cows). Following our intensive
education campaign, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius last April vetoed legislation that would hamper a company’s labeling of rbGH-free products.
Expo West
The genetically modified organisms (GMO) issue was center stage for the Natural Foods industry last March, starting with a panel discussion with Michael Funk of UNFI, John Fagan of Genetic ID, and Michael Hansen of Consumers Union. A second meeting featured a presentation by Jeffrey Smith, aimed at helping manufacturers and retailers work together to create the tipping point in consumer demand to eliminate GMOs in the marketplace. Non-GMO Shopping Guides were
included in 15,000 shopping bags handed out by New Hope Natural Media, the show organizer.
Non-GMO Shopping Guide
First produced in October 2008—in conjunction with the Center for Food Safety—the Non-GMO Shopping Guide is now in its third edition, with over 40 additional companies and 70 new brands listed. Manufacturers of non-GMO brands are listed in the Shopping Guide as a free public service. We are partnering with food industry leaders, such as Organic Valley Family of Farms, to display
Shopping Guides and hand them out at every veue they visit nationwide. The Guide is also distributed for free to retailers by UNFI.
Stand-Alone Shopping Guide Web Site
We created a stand-alone Website for the Shopping Guide, where consumers can easily view the categories that interest them. They can also download or order the Guide. The site features sponsors’ logos as live links to their homepage and products. The new site was credited in Supermarket News as pivotal in the coming rise of consumer awareness about GMOs.
New Media and Social Networking Partnerships
IRT has entered into a Web 2.0 relationship with regular blogs on Huffington Post, and the No GMO Challenge, a blogsite encouraging people to stay free from GMOs for 30 days. Our presence on the Internet now also includes YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. These new media partnerships help bring the non-GMO “healthier eating” message to life across America. The popular consumer health website——is just one of hundreds of sites that publishes our content and supports us with regular non-GMO features.
Presentations Focused Towards Activism
Jeffrey Smith’s presentations continue to inspire local GMO activism. In 2009 he spoke at more than a dozen festivals, conferences and events and received a standing ovation from over 250 doctors at the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) annual conference in San Diego.
Developing Activists’ Network
In 2009, IRT has nurtured dozens of valuable relationships with volunteer activists in 25 states, who are strategizing to achieve wide impact in their community. They receive free materials, guidance and support from our Director of Community Networks, Margherita Pagni.
Partnerships with NGOs and Outreach to Their Constituencies
We identified 150+ organizations and groups who would likely disseminate educational tools to their constituents, urging them to avoid GMOs, support sustainable agriculture and participate in our Campaign. We have established at least initial contact with half of them and have begun to work closely with several organizations that have large memberships, such as the Weston A. Price Foundation, Citizens for Health, the Holistic Moms Network, the Oregon Country
Fair, and dozens more.
GM-Free School Project
We developed contacts in several locations interested in implementing GM-free schools, by organizing parents, students, and school officials to switch from GMO diets to healthy, fresh, non-GMO school meals.
We have placed GMO educational materials into natural food stores around the nation, and a growing number of stores are utilizing our Retailer Campaign Kit to reach out to their communities. Kari Miller, our new Director of Strategic Relationships, works with retailers, large institutions and corporations to develop active partnerships.
Partnerships with Magazines and Websites
Not only have we authored or inspired several magazine articles around the world, several publishers have committed to raising public awareness about GMOs.
Urban Garden Magazine just released an extensive cover story by Jeffrey Smith on the harmful effects of GMOs, and the cover up. They will publish regular features and post our materials on their blog.
Total Health Magazine published a two-page spread of the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, and will also include regular GMO-related features.
Bollywood GMO Documentary Drives India Towards Tipping Point
Unprecedented anti-GMO fervor has swept India, due to a film by Bollywood superstar producer Mahesh Bhatt. The 30-minute documentary, Poison on the Platter, was largely based on Jeffrey Smith’s book Genetic Roulette. While in India last year, Jeffrey gave presentations to India’s influential National Planning Commission, top government officials in several states, members of the Indian Medical Association, and the World Congress of Ayurveda. He made public
appearances in nineteen cities around the country, launched the Indian edition of Genetic Roulette, and was featured in more than one hundred articles and TV reports.
In May, Jeffrey introduced the Portuguese edition of Genetic Roulette and gave a talk before the Governor of the State of Parana and three hundred staff that was broadcast on national television and radio. In Brasilia, Jeffrey met with several leading politicians, was introduced on the floor of the Senate, and was interviewed on national Senate TV. He was also interviewed on the most influential national TV talk show.


We will continue to build on the momentum created in 2009 towards the tipping point of consumer rejection of GM foods. We plan to launch several GM-free school projects, bring on board a large contingent of doctors, health care practitioners and nutritionists willing to speak out against GMOs, continue to build and empower our growing body of volunteers, train speakers and achieve additional media exposure on GMO-related issues.
Institute for Responsible Technology
P.O. Box 469
Fairfield, IA 52556
(641) 209-1765

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Go slow on genetically modified crops: Expert

‘Kidney and liver problems have surfaced in rats fed with GM corn’

Visakhapatnam, Jan. 4 Genetically modified crops may have certain adverse impacts, as experiments in France have proved of late, and, therefore, the Indian Government will be well-advised to go slow in the matter, says Mr Krishna Dronamraju, Head of the Foundation for Genetic Research, Houston.

Mr Krishna, who hails from Pithapuram in East Godavari district, is here to participate in the Indian Science Congress. He studied B.Sc (biology) in the Maharajah College in Vizianagaram and subsequently obtained the post-graduate degree in plant genetics from Agra University. He received Ph.D from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, where he worked with the eminent scientist, Mr J.B.S Haldane.

He has been conducting research in bio-technology in the US since 1963. He was once nominated for Nobel Prize in bio-technology.

In an interview here, he said that recent experiments had shown that some of the GM were highly toxic. “Kidney and liver problems have surfaced in rats fed with GM corn. Therefore, it is better if the Indian Government goes slow on GM crops. It is better if GM crops are confined to small stretches of land and a lot of research is necessary to find out their toxicity. Bio-tech companies should invest more on fundamental research,” he said.

Higher yields should not be the sole criterion for preferring GM crops, he observed. He felt that the Indian companies should fund foundations, as in the US, for conducting research. “The Government alone cannot do it. The industry should also take the responsibility on its shoulders,” he opined.

Courtesy: The Hindu Businessline