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Creating an Undemocratic and Unaccountable Biotechnology Regulator

A critique of the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill, 2011  Download the critique Biotechnology is a cross cutting issue that affects food production, farming, health, environment and information technology sectors. It is to be expected then that formulation of any law governing this high risk technology would be deeply democratic and transparent exercise. Particularly because the Constitution of India guarantees that States and Local Governments are principal levels for engaging with debates and decisions when it matters to peoples access to food, health, a clean environment and livelihoods in general. The role of the Centre is supportive, at best. International law also strongly supports this process of bottom up […]

On 10th anniversary of Bt Cotton, Farmer Unions, Scientists and Social activists reject the False Hype and Failed Promises

Rytu Swarajya Vedika & Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) Press Release Hyderabad, 26/03/2012  Roundtable meeting demands comprehensive review of Bt Cotton On the 10th anniversary of introduction of Bt cotton in India, the Roundtable meeting and press conference organized by Rytu Swarajya Vedika and Centre for Sustainable Agriculture exposed the false hype and failed promises of Bt cotton. The Roundtable, which was attended by farmer union leaders, scientists and representatives of people’s organizations, came out with a consensus that “the Government, legislators, policy-makers, farmer organizations and media should reject the false hype about Bt cotton, closely examine the crisis in the cotton belt and critically re-assess the 10 years of Bt cotton. […]

10 years of Bt Cotton – False Hype and Failed Promises Exposed

Coalition for a GM-Free India   Press Release New Delhi, 20/03/2012 Coalition for a GM-Free India demands comprehensive review and halt to the promotion of Bt cotton by the government The false hype and failed promises of Bt cotton in India were exposed by the Coalition for GM-Free India with a special report released in a press conference here today. As the 10th anniversary of Bt cotton’s regulatory approval in India approaches, the Coalition, using data from government institutions, highlighted that the hype around Bt cotton as revolutionizing the cotton production in India is clearly wrong. Closer examination of the data from the last 10 years negates the two important claims of […]


Press Release Rajasthan hybrid maize Report-Download Another controversial seed-based project favoring big corporations is emerging in Rajasthan, after the recent controversy around MoUs with seven seed companies by the state government which led to a scrapping of the agreements due to civil society pressure. Releasing a Fact Finding Report on Project Golden Rays of the Rajasthan Government here today, civil society activists and farmers’ leaders demanded to know how this project came about and who is really benefiting from the project. They pointed out that there is no scientific basis on which the large project has been undertaken with poor tribal farmers of the state, that accountability systems were completely […]

PM’s Speech at the Workshop on Agriculture at Rashtrapati Bhavan

15 February 2012, Press Information Bureau, Government of India Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh addressed the workshop on “Policy initiatives for promoting partnership between stakeholders in agriculture with particular reference to rainfed/dryland farming” at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi today. Following is the text of Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s speech on the occasion: “Let me begin by thanking respected Rashtrapatiji for bringing us all together for this workshop. I understand that the workshop is a part of the initiative on agriculture that arose out of the deliberations of the last biennial conference of Governors. We are now at the final stages of formulation of the 12th Five Year […]


Press Release (RTI document downloadable at this link) New Delhi/Bengaluru, February 6th 2012: Ahead of a regulators’ meeting on February 8th 2012, and reacting to the confirmed reports of Monsanto’s illegal planting of Herbicide Tolerant (HT) maize in its GM maize trial, the Coalition for a GM-Free India demanded that Monsanto be blacklisted immediately. The violation was revealed in a response of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee to an RTI application. “This agri-business corporation has been caught violating the law and norms repeatedly. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has also been caught failing in its duties. GEAC, in spite of violations brought to its notice earlier also, has never taken up […]

ASHA demands on Agriculture and Indian Budget 2012-13

 Agriculture is the foundation of the rural economy which supports nearly 70% of our population and the basis of food security for the entire nation and its citizens. At this juncture, India is in a precarious situation both in terms of the economic condition of the farming community, especially the small and marginal farmers, tenant farmers and those dependent on rainfed agriculture, and the ecological condition in terms of poor soil health, abysmal groundwater situation, poor crop diversity and extent of chemical poisoning of our farm ecosystem and our food. The Budget should give the highest priority to strengthening Indian agriculture, with the focus on sustainable livelihoods, especially for the […]


Press Release of “Public Awareness on Genetically Modified Foods”   “” New Delhi, January 12th 2012: A prominent advertisement by Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech Ltd titled “Bollgard boosts the Indian cotton farmers’ income by over Rs. 31,500 crores” that appeared in Hindustan Times on August 30th 2011, was found to be not substantiated in its claims by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). ASCI found that the claims made in the advertisement were not substantiated under the self regulation code I.1. of ASCI which has been laid down ‘to ensure the truthfulness and honesty of representations and claims made by advertisements and to safeguard against misleading advertisements’. This advertisement was a part of the […]

Regional Course 2012 – Holistic Foundations for Assessment and Regulation of Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Organisms, Tanzania

Organized in collaboration with the University of Dar es Salaam – 23rd April 2012 to 28th April 2012 Venue: Dar es Salaam (University of Dar es Salaam) Topics include: Overview of genomes, genes and gene expression GE process: creation and detection of GMO Laboratory practicals Biodiversity, ecosystems and ecological impacts of GMOs Future applications of genetic engineering Cultural, social, political issues related to GE/GMO Risk assessment and management Implementation of the Precautionary Principle Policy issues, including capacity building and participation (scientific, enforcement, educational, legal) Cartagena Protocol, WTO and other international agreements Practical risk assessment under the guidance of the Biosafety Assessment Tool Background The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety seeks to […]

Govt. urged to clarify on Hyped ‘Desi Bt’ Cotton Seeds of (CICR) – VJAS

Nagpur- Dated 1ST January 2012 Vidarbha cotton farmers urged India’s Govt. to come clean on recent reported controversy of Hyped ‘Desi Bt’ Cotton Seeds having developed its own by Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) and Agriculture universities having spent hundred of crores over so called research which has put ICAR in Bt cotton (genetically modified) variety has taken an embarrassing turn with an RTI inquiry by two scientists revealing how the University of Agriculture Sciences (UAS) at Dharwad went ahead brushing aside all precautions to produce an indigenous variety working on a gene originally patented by Monsanto, Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, a farmers’ advocacy group who are documenting Bt.cotton crop failure and […]

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