2011 LAND BILL MILITATES AGAINST ‘PUBLIC PURPOSE’ says NAPM

For Immediate Release Date: 30th July, 2011

2011 LAND BILL MILITATES AGAINST ‘PUBLIC PURPOSE’

Favours Companies, Legitimises Private Acquisitions
and Ignores Community Concerns

Movements Demand Democratic, Development Planning Act

New Delhi, July 30: The much awaited comprehensive draft of the land acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill promised by Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh was put in public domain for comments yesterday. It is commendable that the Ministry has now agreed to reopen the whole process and focus on the pre-legislative consultations and not introduce such an important legislation in hurry in this Monsoon session of the Parliament. However, the proposed draft is NOT a comprehensive draft but mere combination of the earlier proposed Two Bills and fails to take in account the concerns raised by the millions of project affected people. The Bill focuses on only one concern which is to facilitate land acquisition and serve the land needs of private and public corporations and facilitate urbanization as ‘inevitable’. There is no concerted attempt to fulfill the task of land reforms and protect the land and livelihood rights of the communities across the country. Nor does the Bill realize the gravity of urban displacement and its linkages with the enormous corruption of the land sharks builder mafia.

NAPM and many grassroots movements across the country have been struggling to protect the land rights of the farmers, forest dwellers and other nature-based communities and ensure their control over natural resources through the Gram Sabha and Basti / Area Sabhas, deciding the development plans for public purpose in their area. Proposed provision of consent of the 80% project affected people is only required wherever the private entities are involved in the process of acquisition whereas all the acquisitions for the government requires no such consent, keeping intact the ‘eminent domain’ principle of the state. This will mean that the proposed projects like Jaitapur, Fatehabad or dams, thermal power plants, airports etc. to be built by the government will not require any consent of the people. The Bill provides the much needed legitimacy for the acquisitions for the private companies since today only by violating the existing LAA 1894 state governments could acquire land in POSCO, Noida or many other places for the private entities.

This Bill is regressive that way, since the definition of public purpose covers almost everything from building educational institutions to airports to mining, where a large number of private companies are involved. These companies are not there for the public purpose but for making profit and it is in their private interest. Housing for any income group and by private entities will mean legitimising the real estate activities in all its forms. The broad definition of public purpose reduces the process of deciding the public purpose by a committee full of bureaucrats to a farce; it will be reduced to a mere rubber-stamp authority. The Bill also does not satisfactorily take into account the decades’ long experience and progressive inputs by the displaced communities on land and livelihood based rehabilitation. The provision that R&R shall be provided only when more than 100 families are displaced is unreasonable.

The proposed Bill goes back on the significant debates around the concept of public purpose in last two decades and fails to take in account the provisions mentioned in the Draft Development Policy of NAC – I, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development recommendations in 2008 and submissions made by many social movements. The land struggles in Orissa, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, AP, Narmada Valley or even in urban centres like Mumbai and Chennai are not just for fair rehabilitation and appropriate compensation, but more fundamentally for communities’ control over the resources – land, water, forest, minerals – and their right to decide the kind and process of development they need or what constitutes public purpose. Unless and until the Bill tries to address these concerns and take in account the Constitutional status of gram sabhas, basti sabhas / municipalities under the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments which mandate the formulation of district and metropolitan level development plans for public purpose by them, the Bill itself will serve no real ‘public purpose’.

The Bill is high on rhetoric but low on content and is many steps backward in the overall debate over the land conflicts in the country today. It will in no way quell the ongoing conflicts across the country, armed or otherwise; but will surely facilitate acquisitions in the areas like Haryana, UP and other plain areas, promote real estate and make corporations rich, happy and unruly. However, the communities will have to continue their struggle to save their resources from being taken over by the public and private corporations in the name of public corporations. Although the Bill contains some necessary provisions such as “under no circumstances should multi-cropped, irrigated land be acquired”, it does not address the challenge of large scale diversion of agricultural land across the country for non-agricultural purposes and the consequent impact on the nation’s food security and pauperization of communities.

INDIA is not NOIDA, the architects of the Bill doesn’t seem to recognize the diverse realities of the country and are only concerned about the nine percent growth, creation of infrastructure and urbanization; extremely unfortunate for a Bill drafted by the Ministry of RURAL DEVLOPMENT which is obsessed with the ambitions of the URBAN DEVELOPMENT.

To oppose these draconian provisions being pushed by the government in the name of ‘protecting farmers’ interest’ and legitimizing the acquisitions by the private entities for their profit ventures, NAPM, along with many other social movements of the country from 15 states will be assembling at the Jantar Mantar from August 3rd till 5th under the banner of ‘SANGHARSH’. We continue to demand enactment of a COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT PLANNING ACT which will protect the land, resource and livelihood rights of the communities and ensure democratic participation of the people in deciding developmental plans for public purpose.

Medha Patkar Prafulla Samantara Anand Mazgaonkar Dr. Sunilam

Rajendra Ravi Akhil Gogoi Madhuresh Kumar D. Gabriele

Sr. Celia Ramakrishna Raju Vimalbhai Shrikanth

National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014;
Ph: 022-24150529

6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316

E-mail: napmindia@gmail.com | napm@napm-india.org
Web : www.napm-india.org

Safety of Monsanto’s Synthetic-Toxin maize to be re-examined

Testbiotech and GeneWatch UK formally request withdrawal of EU market authorisation of Monsanto´s genetically engineered maize Genuity VT Triple PRO Corn with synthetic toxins.
28 July 2011. The non-profit organisations Testbiotech (Germany) and GeneWatch UK have submitted a formal request to the European Commission re-examine market authorisation of a genetically engineered maize produced by Monsanto sold under brand Genuity VT Triple PRO Corn (event MON89034 x MON 88017) that produces a synthetic toxin, intended to kill insect pests. This maize was approved for usage in food and feed by the EU Commission on 17th of June. It produces a combination of three different insecticidal toxins, one of which is synthesised artificially. Further, the plants are made tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate (known as Roundup).
The organisations are filing a formal request for internal review of the EU Commission´s decision according Article 10 of Regulation (EC) No. 1367/2006 because the legally required high level of protection for consumers, farm animals and the environment are not met and legal requirements for monitoring of health effects have been ignored completely. They argue that the authorisation should be withdrawn.
“This maize produces a unique combination of insecticidal proteins. In the parts of this plant, a synthetic Bt toxin is produced. Its toxicity might affect a much wider spectrum of species than expected. Further combined effects have to be expected with the other toxins and the residues from spraying with the herbicide. These risks can impact both on health and the environment,” said Helen Wallace from GeneWatch UK. “But none of these risks were properly examined before approval was granted.”
The plants were not tested for health effects in feeding studies. Only a short term trial for its nutritional quality was performed in poultry. The residues from spraying with glyphosate formulations were also not considered by the European Food Safety Authority EFSA. There are further legal requirements for monitoring of potential health effects that were ignored by the EU Commission:
“No plan for monitoring as required by European regulation was made available that would allow identification of particular health impacts that might be related to the use of these genetically engineered plants in food and feed. There is not even a reliable method to measure the level of toxins produced in the maize and to trace the products within the market,” said Christoph Then from Testbiotech.
According the request prepared by the two organisations, this case is also of general relevance for the setting of risk assessment standards by EFSA that are currently under discussion before being adopted as EU regulations. This case shows that in general much more effort is needed to ensure the high level of protection for human health and the environment required by the framework of the EU regulations. Since this case is a precedent, the NGOs have the option of considering further legal steps such as a case at the European Court of Justice if the EU Commission reject their request for internal review
Currently, genetically engineered crops mainly enter the EU from North and South America as soya or maize for use in animal feed. Maize containing a single Bt toxin is also grown for use in animal feed in Spain. Numerous “stacked events” containing multiple Bt toxins and/or resistence to one or more herbicides are awaiting regulatory approval in the EU. Herbicide resistant “superweeds” are becoming a major problem for American farmers growing herbicide tolerant GM crops and pests are also developing resistance to the Bt toxins included in many GM crops. A recent Canadian study suggested that the assumption made by regulators that Bt toxins do not survive in the human gut may be incorrect.

Link to Testbiotech and the request as filed to the EU Commission: http://www.testbiotech.de/node/526

Link to GeneWatch UK: http://www.genewatch.org/uploads/f03c6d66a9b354535738483c1c3d49e4/Document_Request_for_internal_review_MON89034xMON88017.pdf
Contact:
Helen Wallace, + 44 7903 311584, helen.wallace@genewatch.org
Christoph Then, + 49 151 54638040, info@testbiotech.org.,

Farmers urge Anand Sharma to lift restriction on raw cotton

Farmers have urged new Textile Minister Anand Sharma to lift all quantitative restrictions on raw cotton and provide export incentives to farmers, so that their economic interest is protected as done by the US govt
IT WAS imposing of quantitative restrictions in 2004 for free cotton import by the NDA government, which allowed dumping of cheapest 20 million cotton bales, resulting in economic recession and start of cotton farmers’ suicide spiral in Vidarbha. It was once again re-imposed in 2009 when present UPA government. introduced stringent cotton export measures. The purpose of such measures was to protect the interest of the handful of textile mill owners, who wanted cheaper raw cotton despite knowing that it was an unfair trade practice and would come at the cost of 1 billion dying cotton farmers.

Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti informed today that the Vidarbha cotton farmers, who suffered major losses and reported more than 10,000 farmers suicides after wrong policies of cotton export and import, have written to new Textile Minister Anand Sharma to lift all quantitative restrictions on raw cotton and provide export incentives to farmers, so that their economic interest is protected as done by the US government.

“India has reported more than 2 lakhs 34 thousands farmers suicides in the last decade, the largest genocide in the history of mankind, and 90% of farmers who killed themselves are mainly cotton growers. Wrong govt. policies related to export and credit and faulty cultivation pattern and input are the main causes of despair and distress which is killing the innocent farming community in India. This is a blot on the face of mankind, and the fact that a country like America is mainly responsible for the farm genocide,” Tiwari said.

The letter written by Vidarbha cotton farmers’ advocacy group Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS) has urged new Textile Minister Anand Sharma to examine the fact that there is a surplus stock of at least 50 lakh bales and that his ministry has given it’s node to agriculture and commerce ministry’s demand for additional 50 lakhs bales in order to protect the financial interest of Indian cotton farmers. This is part of textile ministry’s effort to get cotton export curtailed so that it can exploit the situation. It’s unfortunate that the textile minister is involved in this textile cartel that has ruined around one billion cotton farmers to tune of Rs.20,000 crore. The losses are likely to be more if Indian govt. continues with anti-farmer policies.

“Indian textile lobby initially managed to convince textile minister to restrict cotton bales export to 55 lakhs bales from last year’s 84 lakh bales though the country’s cotton production is higher by another 25 lakh bales. Now surprisingly as per Quota Policy of Cotton items has added Cotton Waste (Comber Noil) H. S. Code No. 5202 as Cotton Waste is a ‘By-product’ of Cotton Yarn,” Tiwari added.

“New Textile Minister Anand Sharma should admit that cotton production has grown from a low of 225 lakh bales to 330 lakh bales in last 5 years… and when Indian cotton after lot of hard work and promotion by exporters has found a very stable and regular market in foreign countries, the govt. should ensure that the markets created are not lost to competition due to its faulty policies to protect handful textile mill owners,” he further said.

“We need the urgent central intervention and demand that all export restriction on cotton bales and yarn be lifted so that farmers get higher price for cotton,” Tiwari concluded.

PM’s Address at 83rd Foundation Day of ICAR

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, addressed the 83rd Foundation Day of ICAR in New Delhi today. Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s address on the occasion.

My greetings to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research family on the occasion of the Council’s 83rd Foundation Day. It is indeed a pride and a great sense of joy for me to be with you here today.

The ICAR has served our country with great distinction for over eight decades now. It has done pioneering work in many areas of agricultural research, leading to very significant breakthroughs in several areas. The contribution of ICAR scientists in the achievement of national self-sufficiency in foodgrains and diversity in food production is truly enormous.

As you all know, the production of major crops has been at record levels in the year that has just been over. An estimated production of 236 million tonnes, or 241 million tonnes, which was given out by the honourable agricultural ministers, was achieved because of record production of wheat, maize and pulses. Oilseeds production also set a new record. I salute all our farmers and our agricultural scientists for these sterling achievements. I also compliment the State governments, particularly the Chief Ministers and State Agricultural Ministers, for their valiant efforts in increasing agricultural productivity and production.

Nevertheless, the challenges that India’s agriculture faces in the coming years remain enormous. Though we have achieved self sufficiency in cereal production, we continue to depend on imports for pulses and edible oils. We continue to face the problem of under-nutrition, particularly among our children and women. Ensuring food and nutritional security and eliminating hunger, including hidden hunger, remain a high national priority.

The inclusive strategies of development that we are pursuing should further increase the incomes of the poorer sections of our society. This will further increase demand for not only foodgrains but also fruits, vegetables and animal products. The total demand for foodgrains is projected to touch 280 million tonnes by the year 2020-21. Meeting this demand will necessitate a growth rate of nearly 2 per cent per annum in food production. The enormity of the task ahead is indicated by the fact that during the 10 year period 1997-98 to 2006-07, our foodgrain production grew at an average annual rate of only 1.00 per cent. Although foodgrain production has since regained the requisite momentum and the agriculture sector as a whole is set to grow at 3% per annum during the Eleventh Plan, we cannot be complacent. We must note that this is less than the targeted 4% and a consequence in recent years has been unacceptable levels of food price inflation. I expect the Twelfth Plan to contain all measures that are required to accelerate our agricultural growth rate.

We all look back proudly to our green revolution, which helped us overcome food shortages and banish the specter of starvation, or living from ship to mouth. But, today we find that the regions of the country which witnessed the green revolution are suffering from problems of environmental degradation. In many other regions of the country, particularly in eastern India, yields continue to be much lower than what is attainable. More generally, it should concern us that productivity in Indian agriculture has plateaued over the years.

We clearly need a second green revolution that is more broad-based, more inclusive and more sustainable; we need to produce more without depleting our natural resources any further, and we look towards our agricultural scientists for ushering this green revolution. India currently spends about 0.6 per cent of its agricultural GDP on agricultural Research and Development. This needs to be enhanced at least 2 to 3 times by 2020, since a substantial portion of our agricultural growth would come through the application of new technologies and new knowledge to production processes. But spending more on research is not enough unless this improves the quality of human resources in all areas of agriculture.

Today there are more than 50 State Agriculture Universities and institutions and one Central Agricultural University imparting higher agricultural education. All these institutions need to provide the best of academic inputs along with hands-on training to the students. I am very happy that the ICAR has been alive to these evolving needs and has recently revised syllabi to improve the quality of agricultural education. But much more has to be done. I urge the ICAR and our State governments to ensure that our Agricultural Universities produce enough new scientists with the requisite skills. I also suggest that we re-examine the architecture of agricultural extension services so that our scientists, our administrators and the private entrepreneurs can together better help farmers to bridge the gap between yields that are possible and those which are actually achieved. I continue to hear that our agricultural services are not upto the mark in many of our states. I suggest further that the Krishi Vigyan Kendras which cover all the districts of our country, have a very important role to play a very important role in encouraging, what Jawaharlal Nehru used to call the growth of scientific temper for the management of India’s agricultural economy. I urge you all to pay particular attention to this aspect of managing India’s agricultural economy.

Rainfed agriculture continues to play a very important role in our economy, contributing about 60 per cent of the cropped area and 45 per cent of the total agricultural produce. Rainfed areas contribute more than 80% of the pulses and oilseeds grown as well as a substantial part of horticulture and animal husbandry produce. The second Green Revolution, that I have been talking about must therefore explicitly embrace dryland farming. Though many new technologies have been developed for our rainfed regions, yield gaps continue to be very large and not enough is being done to identify the most suitable farming systems and to ensure that they are effectively integrated with our watershed development projects. Our scientists must therefore work intensively to accurately assess the felt needs of our country, and develop new methods, new technologies and new knowledge for better soil and water management practices, improved cropping systems and better crop management.

The area that needs most attention is the management of water, which is going to be probably the most scarce factor in the twenty-first century. Our irrigation efficiency is estimated to be around 30% which needs to be raised to at least 50%. This could contribute considerably to increase in agricultural production. Resource conservation technologies that improve input use efficiency, and conserve and protect our natural resources need to be aggressively promoted. We must also recognize the risks of an excessive reliance on hydrocarbon inputs in increasing agricultural production and we should explore more systematically, organic alternatives like algae, for example.

Climate change has emerged as a major challenge to our agriculture, indeed to the management of our economy as a whole. The immediate problems that our farmers face relate to intra-seasonal variability of rainfall, extreme events and unseasonal rains. These aberrations cause heavy losses to our crops every year. There is therefore an urgent necessity for us to speed up our efforts to evolve climate-resilient crop varieties, cropping patterns and management practices. I am very happy that the ICAR is implementing a major scheme, the National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture and has set up the state-of-the-art National Institute on Abiotic Stress Management. The National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture, which is one of the eight Missions under our National Action Plan on Climate Change also seeks to devise appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies for ensuring food security, enhancing livelihood opportunities and contributing to economic stability at the national level.

I would like to touch upon two other areas that we need to focus on for accelerating our agricultural performance. The first is the protection of crops, animals and farm produce against new and emerging diseases and pathogens. The second is careful application of biotechnology to improve productivity, enable better resilience to stress and also enhance the incomes of our farmers. I hope our agricultural Research and Development institutions will pay the required attention to these areas in the coming years.

Our government, in the last seven years has taken several new initiatives in the agricultural sector. I congratulate my friend and colleague Shri Sharad Pawar for many of these initiatives. Many of these initiatives have shown encouraging results. But we need to build upon this achievement in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan. The Twelfth Plan must ensure further progress in areas of achievement and also remove the deficiencies in areas where our achievements have fallen short of expectations or objective potential of our economy. I urge all our scientists, and technologists, and extension experts to share their experiences and personal assessments of these new initiatives with the Planning Commission and the Ministry of Agriculture so that the Twelfth Five-Year Plan can tackle the many new challenges that have emerged in the last few years. I urge you to introspect on how your own research can contribute to the achievement of higher goals for these initiatives.

As the country’s apex organization for coordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences, the ICAR carries an enormous responsibility on its shoulders. Unfortunately there is an impression among many that the National Agricultural Research System has become somewhat insular over time and responds less well to specific demands from those in the field. You must never lose sight of the fact that your main client is the Indian farmer. Unless you engage with farmers and their problems, you will not succeed in transforming new knowledge into higher productivity and better incomes for our farmers. You must get your research questions primarily from the farmers. This is perhaps the most difficult of the challenges that you must overcome in the years ahead and which can test your commitment and ability.

I am sure the ICAR is already putting in place robust mechanisms to strengthen interaction between agricultural scientists and our farmers and also to ensure better convergence between research and development needs. I hope that you will use this occasion of the foundation day to reflect on your work and on your achievements. Such reflection, I am sure would spur you to look far and wide, look at the best research organizations in the country and abroad and adopt new, and more democratic systems and processes for organizing research free from the usual bureaucratic hierarchies and excessive rigidities.

You have a record to be proud of and although the future challenges are truly enormous, I am sure our agricultural research system will succeed in delivering the national good, whatever be the odds. With these words, I wish the ICAR family, all success in its efforts. May God bless your path.”

MONSANTO, QUIT INDIA! NO TO CORPORATE CONTROL OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE!

Monsanto Quit India
Call for a Nation-wide DAY OF ACTION on Aug. 9, 2011 (Quit India Day)
& KISAN SWARAJ WEEK, Aug. 9TH to Aug. 15TH 2011

“No food shall be grown, that we do not own” – that is the reported objective of Monsanto, the multi-national seed and agro-chemical company notorious for suing and jailing farmers for the “crime” of reusing seeds they purchased from the company! If you are shocked by Monsanto’s aim of controlling the entire world’s food production system, what is more mind-boggling is how much progress it has already made towards its goal. Monsanto is today the world’s largest seed company, already controlling 23% of the proprietary seed market. The annual profit of this single company is Rs. 22,500 crores, more than the GDP of 48 countries! Known for its unscrupulous practices, it is now re-writing the laws and manipulating politicians and officials in the developing world to push its GM (genetic modification) technology, herbicides and proprietary hybrids. Recently, gross violations were exposed in its field trials of GM maize in Karnataka showing the impunity with which the company defies biosafety concerns.

If we as a nation want to protect our food sovereignty, if we want to retain control on what we grow and what we eat, this is the time for us to act decisively. This is a call to all like-minded organizations, alliances and individuals to come together for simultaneous actions on Aug. 9th, 2011 across the country with the outcry “Monsanto Quit India!”, and other actions observing Aug 9th-15th as Kisan Swaraj Week – sending a strong signal nationwide that citizens will not tolerate corporate domination of our food systems and agriculture.

The question of who controls our agriculture – our crores of farmers or a few big corporations – has deep ramifications for the whole society. We all have a big stake in whether unsafe genetically modified foods will be thrust on us, whether unsafe agri-chemicals would further damage our water, soil and health, whether 10 crore farmer families will lose their livelihoods, whether our rural and urban areas will be sustainable and whether we would have safe, diverse and nutritious food to eat. This Day of Action aims to strengthen the broader struggle against corporate domination of agriculture by focusing on its most potent symbol. More information including a leaflet can be accessed from the links under “Resources” below.

How you can participate in the August 9th nationwide Day of Action & Kisan Swaraj Week (Aug. 9th to 15th)

You can either participate in an event being organized in your area, or organize an event yourself. If you plan to organize an event on behalf of your organization or jointly with ASHA (Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture), please contact Kavitha Kuruganti, Kiran Vissa or Rajesh Krishnan. The contact information including coordinators of various states is given below.

Here are some suggestions for what to organize:
· Demonstration at a Monsanto/Mahyco centre
· Padayatra to create awareness amongst farmers and consumers
· Protest against your government if it is partnering with Monsanto using public funds
· Seed Diversity Festival or a Traditional Foods festival
· Demonstration against field trials of GM crops in your state
· Film screening or awareness event about corporatization of our food system
· Bonfire of Monsanto seeds
· Seed Exchange among farmers & felicitation of Seed breeders
· TV or radio programs, press conference
· Release of local language material on Monsanto and its crimes
· Workshop/Round-table on how to stop corporate control of agriculture

You can also take part in a nation-wide post-card campaign in the lead-up to August 9th with a simple message to Monsanto: “Monsanto: We do not need or want your hazardous & unsustainable technologies in agriculture; we will not allow you to control our agriculture and seed resources; we refuse to have your poison served to us. MONSANTO, QUIT INDIA!” Post cards with this message can be sent to: Monsanto India Limited, Ahura Centre, 5th Floor, 96, Mahakali Caves Road, Andheri (East), Mumbai 400 093. Phone: 022-28246450/67029851; Fax: 022-28244707.

If you have better ideas, do share with us and we will propagate them!

– Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA)

Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) is an all-India network of about 400 organizations of farmers, agricultural workers, consumers, social activists and academics, working to promote ecologically sustainable agriculture and secure livelihoods for farmers, and stop corporate domination of our agriculture and food system. ASHA organized the nation-wide Kisan Swaraj Yatra from Sabarmati to Raj Ghat in Oct-Dec 2010 for “Food, Farmers, Freedom”.
Website: http://www.kisanswaraj.in/

Resources and Links:
(1) Leaflet for Monsanto Quit India events
http://www.kisanswaraj.in/wp-content/uploads/leaflet-monsanto-quit-india.doc
(2) Report on “Monsanto-izing Indian Agriculture”
http://www.kisanswaraj.in/wp-content/uploads/Monsanto-ising-indian-agri.pdf
(3) Monsanto: Corporate Manipulation and Deception
http://www.naturalnews.com/z029325_Monsanto_deception.html
(4) Gross violations in GM field trials in Karnataka
http://www.prokerala.com/news/articles/a232125.html
Videos:
(1) Poison on the Platter (Mahesh Bhatt): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8q5TZTFgIM
(2) Poison on the Platter (Hindi): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Qk9leT5kzY
(3) World according to Monsanto: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH4OwBYDQe8
(4) Future of Food: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnD-DiDRIJA

Contacts:
Overall coordination:
Kavitha Kuruganti: kavitha_kuruganti@yahoo.com, 09393001550
Kiran Vissa: kiranvissa@gmail.com, 09701705743
Rajesh Krishnan; rajesh.krishnan@greenpeace.org, 098456-50032

Andhra Pradesh: Kiran Vissa (ASHA); kiranvissa@gmail.com, 097017-05743
Bihar: Pankaj Bhushan (GM Free Bihar Movement); mail.tarafoundation@gmail.com, 094729-99999
Delhi: Rajesh Krishnan (Greenpeace); rajesh.krishnan@greenpeace.org, 098456-50032
Karnataka: Kodihalli Chandrasekhar (Karnataka Rajya Raita Sangha); kodihallikrrs@gmail.com, 098442-93908
Kerala: Sridhar Radhakrishnan (Coalition for a GM-Free India); toxicreporter@gmail.com, 099953-58205
Madhya Pradesh: Nilesh Desai (Beej Swaraj Abhiyan), ndesai52@gmail.com, 094253-29222
Maharashtra: Aarti Pakharaj (Hamara Beej Abhiyan, Maharashtra), 094224 60587; Tejal V. (GM-Free Maharashtra), tejal.roots@gmail.com, 098337-07598
Orissa: Debjeet Sarangi (UNCAGE), livingfarms@gmail.com, 099385-82616; Saroj Mohanty (Paschim Odisha Krushak Sanghatan), 097771-54149
Punjab: Umendra Dutt (Alliance for Safe & GM-Free Food, Punjab), umendradutt@gmail.com, 098726-82161
Tamil Nadu: Ram (Safe Food Alliance), buddha.ram@gmail.com, 094449-57781; Kannaiyan (South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements), 094449-89543
Uttar Pradesh: Rakesh Tikait & Dharmendra Malik (Bharatiya Kisan Union), 092196-91168

Cotton Farmers demands C.B.I. probe in to alleged Rs.500 Crore scam of Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran to stop Cotton Bale-Yarn Export


The present cotton crisis in India is result of wrong policies enforced by ex-textile minister of India to protect interest on handful textile mill owners which has denied best available price of cotton to 1 billion cotton farmers of India and resulted in the total losses of more than Rs.20,000 crore to farmers and local ginners and traders as complete ban on export from January to may 2011 has forced to them to offload the cotton or cotton bales at the half price which was prevailing till march 2011 .all decision of putting stringent restrictions of cotton bales export even on cotton yarn and cotton waste was to favor textile mills and garment industries of south India who paid thousand crore as graft to then Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran and there are documentary evidences of ill-intended decisions taken by textile ministry in last six months and we demand C.B.I. probe to this “Cotton Export Ban Scam” kishore tiwari of Vidarbha Janandoaln Samiti urged Indian Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh to in letter today.
“In letter to Indian Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh on 24th may 2011 ,vidarbha cotton farmers raised the demand of sack Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran when textile minister was not responding to letters written by union agriculture minister ,union commerce minister, chief ministers Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra and Karnataka and delayed the decision of lifting cotton export limit from 55 lakhs bales to 65 lakhs bales as against demand of minimum 100 lakhs bales .we have strong case against the Ex-Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran and ready to submit all proof of mega corruption to C.B.I. if PMO direct the CBI for the same .if PMO fails to take any action the we will move Mumbai high court Nagpur bench for relief ”Tiwari added.
VJAS recalled the letter wrote to PMO iN MAY-2011 and it is reprouced
QUOTE
=============
cotton price are further crashed in India more farmers suicides are being reported the reason for much Taboo on Cotton exports from India is result of unholy cartel of finger counting textile tycoon and Union Textile Minister Dayanithi Maran which is responsible for present cotton rowers crisis in India ,farm activist group Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti VJAS allged and urged indaina prime minister to sack Union Textile Minister Dayanithi Maran to save more than 5 million dyinf cotton afrmers of Maharashtra ,Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti VJAS informed in press note today .
“Hindered of cotton farmers and farm widows are marching to Delhi to meet Indian Prime Minister and UPA Convener Smt.Sonia Gandhi for urgent intervention in order to resolve the crisis as Textile minister initially restricted cotton bales export to 55 lakhs bales from earlier year 84 lakh bales even when country cotton production is higher by another 25 lakhs bales then ban export of cotton yarn and now surprisingly as per Quota Policy of Cotton items now added Cotton Waste ( Comber Noil) H. S. Code No. 5202 as
Cotton Waste is a ‘By-product’ of Cotton Yarn. when plenty of quota of Cotton Yarn lying unutilized the hostile functioning of Union Textile Minister Dayanithi Maran has a allaowed textile cartel to include the by-product banned with a major raw material and brought under same category in the field of exports” Tiwari said..
“Cotton prices have increased from rs 30000/candy in april 2010 to Rs 60000/candy April 2011 which is an increase of about Rs 70-75 per kg and immediately Spinners increased the price of yarn from rs 150/- per kg in April 2010 for 30s combed to Rs 230/- per kg in April 2011. increase of Rs 80 per kg which reflects in cotton value to Rs 30000/per candy minimum. Fabric weavers too have increased prices of grey fabric of 40 x 40 counts 124 x 64 with 200 gm per mtr which is quoted at about Rs 70/- per sqmtr as against Rs 38 in April 2010. There s an increase of Rs 32/mtr which is Rs 160/- per kg which in terms of candy is about Rs 58/60000 and present ban on export has brought back cotton prices to the level of April 2010 which is artificial an stage managed and Union Textile Minister Dayanithi Maran is directly involved in this scam ” Tiwari added.
‘As Cotton is an agricultural commodity and higher the prices farmers get, they will be encouraged to produce more and more of cotton and when Cotton production has grown from a low of 225 lac bales to 330 lac bales in last 5 years the undue protection to Local textile mills benefiting of buying Indian cotton at prices which are at least
lower by 30% as compared to its competitor in Bangladesh, Pakistan and other countries who buy from other growths which is reason behind the present restriction of cotton export and when Indian cotton after lot of hard work and promotion by exporters have found a very stable and regular market of its cotton in foreign countries and Govt should ensure that the markets created are not lost to competition due to faulty Govt policies.” It is alleged.
UNQUOTE
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‘We need the urgent central intervention and demand to lift all export restriction of cotton bales and yarn too so that farmers get higher price to cotton ‘’Tiwari urged.

Producing Under nutrition-talk by Dr. Veena Shatrugna on 18th June

he  nutritional  status  of  the  poor  in  India maybe  described  as  alarming.

Most  of  the  indicators  of  nutrition  status  such  as  adult weights,  heights  BMI,  percentage  of children who  are  severely malnourished, mean  birth weights,  infant mortality  rates,  dietary intakes and unacknowledged starvation deaths confirm this  fact.  Hunger  is as widespread as  it is invisible to the scientific eye.  The question that must be asked is how did India get into this trap of under nutrition with such serious consequences?

Chronic hunger as it exists in India can be largely traced to the rapid scientific advances in the area of food and nutrition analysis, and classification. In addition, from 1940s, the dietary requirements of populations was laid out in terms of calories, with the assumption that foods which are culturally and regionally appropriate such as rice, eggs, milk, fowl, pulses, fish, greens, etc. would be consumed in quantities  which  would  provide  calories  and  all  the  other  nutrients.    Nutrition  research  in  the  50s  and  60s,  though  brilliantly innovative and deeply committed to the welfare of Indians, simplified the science of food further, with indices and correction factors, using concepts like consumption units, biological value of proteins, RDA based on calories, calorie needs of workers, vegetable sources of proteins etc., which then became subjects for scientific research and fed into nutritional policy. Over a short period, these concepts were recast and deployed in administrative initiatives that systematically transformed the diets of the poor in India to plain cereals as the major source, or perhaps the only source of calories, devoid of any other nutrient. The consequences of this cereal overload and nutritional depletion have been  far reaching, and are responsible  for a  large measure of  the profile of  ill health, and the epidemic of chronic diseases in India.

This presentation  is an attempt  to  trace  the steps  in scientific and administrative  thinking and policy that  led to  the nutritional and health impasse the people of this country are in.

The speaker is Dr. Veena Shatrugna who has spent 34 years at the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, doing research on the nutrition questions as they impact women and children in India.  She has also worked in the area of women’s health, and has authored “Savaa laksha Sandhehalu”, a self%help book for women in Telugu with a women’s collective called Stree Shakti Sangathana. She has also written “Taking charge  of  our Bodies”  in English with  the  same  group  of women.  She  is  a member  of Anveshi,  a Women’s  studies  organisation  based  in  Hyderabad.